A New Climate Change Action: A System for Land Based Emission Estimation for Kenya (SLEEK)
As a part of its efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change the government of Kenya has identified the need to develop a comprehensive national carbon accounting system for Kenya (NCAS-K). This system will be instrumental in the measurement reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions of green house gases (GHGs) that result from changes in land use as measured under the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) initiative. In tandem with this new carbon monitoring system is the Kenyan government’s development of a readiness preparation proposal (R-PP) that has been submitted to the World Bank to support the development of a carbon reference scenario and the design of a comprehensive monitoring system.
The Australian government through the Clinton Climate Initiative as the lead NGO is supporting the development of a system for land based emission estimation for Kenya (SLEEK). The system will be consistent with and contributes to elements of the R-PP and will allow the government to meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) criteria of robustness, transparency, and verifiability on carbon monitoring.
The system will also help in addressing challenges relating to tracking carbon mitigation efforts, namely monitoring permanence (is the carbon really being sequestered), avoiding leakage (ensuring a national wide accounting system of carbon), and ensuring no additionally of emissions reduction (making sure efforts are not duplicated). The system and tools described for NCAS-K are consistent with the IPCC guidelines and in line with methods and the standards and protocols emerging internationally.
A series of round tables, consultative meetings, identified seven major components to the development of NCAS-K. These were:
- Land cover change,
- Land use and management
- Climate trends and parameters,
- Forest biomass stock and growth increment / forest parameters,
- Crop growth and plant parameters,
- Soil carbon
Subject matter experts were tasked with developing concepts for each of the components which will contribute to a coherent overall structure. And working groups for each component have been formed. They are tasked with developing work plans for delivery. The Green Belt Movement is a member of the Forest biomass element working group. This is because of our expertise and knowledge in carbon mitigation and forest biomass has been focused on watershed restoration . However GBM has an interest and knowledge in other components of the overall plan and will be following developments in the other working groups, especially around land use and management, and land cover change.
A quarterly workshop was held in April 2014 where working groups presented their plans.
For the forest biomass working group the expected outputs will be for estimation of biomass stock and growth increment including:
- Methods of estimating above and belowground biomass of various tree species and forest types for Kenya.
- Methods of estimating carbon in biomass, dead wood, litter and soil for different tree species and forest types for Kenya.
- A suitable protocol for estimating carbon stocks in different forest ecosystems in Kenya.
- Growing carbon stocks in various forest types will be mapped out using geographical information systems (GIS)/remote sensing.
- Traditional forest inventory systems improved for providing reliable biomass estimation and carbon quantification and emissions under different forest managements.