Report of the Expert Consultation on GHG emissions and mitigation by gabyion

VIEWS: 34 PAGES: 22

									Expert Consultation on GHG emissions and mitigation potentials in
          the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors




                  Held in Rome 2-4 December 2009




                      Final Report




                           Version 11
                          (26 February 2010)
Content
Acronyms................................................................................................................................................... 2

Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 3
   Background ........................................................................................................................................... 3
   Scoping .................................................................................................................................................. 3

Meeting results .......................................................................................................................................... 4
 I Terrestrial assessment ........................................................................................................................ 4
    1. Identification of state-of-the-art data and knowledge ................................................................ 4
    2. Identification of remaining gaps, uncertainties, inconsistencies, variations ............................. 5
    3. Main stakeholders (providers and users of data) ........................................................................ 6
    4. Framework Design ....................................................................................................................... 6
    5. Issues and obstacles ...................................................................................................................... 8
    6. Suggested next steps ..................................................................................................................... 8
 II. Lifecycle Assessment....................................................................................................................... 9
    1. Purpose and use of LCA .............................................................................................................. 9
    2. Scope of LCA ............................................................................................................................... 9
    3. Uncertainties and gaps in methodologies and data................................................................... 10
    4. Next steps .................................................................................................................................... 12

Conclusions ............................................................................................................................................. 14
    Recommendations........................................................................................................................... 14

Annex A: Participants list ....................................................................................................................... 15
Annex B: Draft outline for a proposed guide for the application of LCA and associated tools ........ 18
Annex C: Description of proposed rapid assessment of current knowledge ....................................... 20
Annex D: List of datasets and tools of potential interest for terrestrial assessment ........................... 21




For additional information or interest in becoming involved in this process, please contact:

Dr Peter Holmgren
Director
Climate, Energy and Tenure Division (NRC)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Viale Delle Terme Di Caracalla, 00153, Rome
E-mail: NRC-Director@fao.org




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Acronyms



AFOLU      agriculture, forestry and other land uses
CDM        Clean Development Mechanisms
CGIAR      Consultative Group on International Agriculture Reseach
CSR        corporate social responsibility
FAO        Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FRA        Forest Resource Assessment
GHG        green house gases
IPCC       Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
LCA        life cycle assessment
LULUCF     Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry
MACC       Marginal Abatement Cost Curves
NAMA       Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions
NAPA       National Adaptation Programmes of Action
NFMA       National Forest and Monitoring Assessment
TA         terrestrial assessment
TAPs       technology action plans
UNEP       United Nations Environment Programme
UNFCCC     United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
WRB        World Reference Base for Soil Resources (




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Introduction
Background
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment is the internationally agreed
science base for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigation potentials, including those of the
agriculture and forestry sectors (although GHG from the fisheries sector is currently not covered by
the IPCC). However, more recent science reports have highlighted the large knowledge gaps and
variations in data systems underlying scientific assessments and GHG reporting. Additional GHG
related data and analysis are therefore required on specific products, land management practices,
processing technologies and other significant elements of the product lifecycle such as
transportation and possibly the end use. To a certain extent, this lack of data has limited the
acceptance and utility of this information for policy and development purposes especially at the
national and sub-national level. An improved knowledge base will therefore not only improve
national GHG assessments, inventories, accounting and reporting of agricultural emissions it will
also facilitate agriculture sectors to be included in post Kyoto agreements and proving the
"additionality" of production and management practices to allow them to qualify for future Clean
Development Mechanisms (CDM).
As the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors have to meet the food security needs of an ever
growing population (which is estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050) and at the same time adapt to
and mitigate climate change, it becomes increasingly important to have accurate figures on GHG
emissions and mitigation potentials of these different sectors. In addition, there is a need for an
improved understanding and identification of production methods and land management practices
which can bring multiple benefits of mitigation, adaptive resilience and increased production in a
sustainable way.


Scoping

FAO, with its partners, has initiated an expert consultation process to assess the current status and
evaluate what is required to ensure the quality of data and knowledge needed for policy, decision
making, monitoring, international reporting and the development of sustainable agriculture, forestry
and fisheries. The initial consultation was held from 2nd – 4th December 2009 in Rome and was
attended by 26 experts from universities, research centres and government and intergovernmental
organisations from Europe, Latin America and North America.

The scoping meeting had the following three objectives:
      Review the state of knowledge on GHG emissions and mitigation potentials in the
       agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.
      Propose a framework for monitoring and assessment of GHG cycle, emissions and
       mitigation potential in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors which will supplement
       existing monitoring/assessment frameworks (such as UNFCCC/IPCC and FRA) and will
       contribute to ensuring robust data collection which meet a variety of needs, including policy
       design and implementation, and
      Propose a process by which FAO and partners, together with member countries can enhance
       the knowledge base, prepare periodical assessments and improve their GHG reporting.




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The consultation was undertaken through two main working groups, one group focused on an
assessment of GHG emissions and mitigation potential from a terrestrial perspective1 and the
second group from a life cycle assessment (LCA) perspective. The reasoning for carrying out the
analysis in two parts is that the Terrestrial Assessment (TA) reflects how traditional assessments
and reporting been carried out in the past, for example by UNFCCC. The life cycle analysis (LCA)
is a relatively new approach which has numerous applications (e.g. product-specific GHG impacts,
sectorial emission, etc.) but also requires a different set of data and knowledge. Due to the fact that
LCA largely falls outside the traditional UNFCCC/IPCC process and most of the scientific effort
have been focused on inventories there are large data gaps for LCA analysis. However as LCA
becomes increasingly important there is a need to assess which are the key data/activities which are
required to undertake the analysis and what is already available from the terrestrial assessments.

The outputs and recommendations from the two groups have been summarised below.




Meeting results
I Terrestrial assessment
The TA group discussed the GHG emissions and mitigation potential of agriculture, forestry and
other land uses (AFOLU). The underlying aim was to assess how to best calculate and estimate the
emissions and mitigation potential of the AFOLU sectors, how to account for it in a harmonized
way and how a framework for a terrestrial assessment should be best designed. During the
discussion the state-of-the-art knowledge and data for GHG emissions and mitigation potential was
first discussed, followed by defining remaining gaps and uncertainties. The main stakeholders, both
providers and users of data, were identified as well as important elements of the framework design
for emissions and mitigation. Finally the group also discussed the major obstacles and issues to
overcome and concluded by suggesting a timeline and a set of tasks.


1. Identification of state-of-the-art data and knowledge

The discussion focussed on where data and knowledge can be found and for which purposes they
can be used. Several sources have been identified, such as:

       IPCC 2006 IPCC Guidelines AFOLU and 2003 GPG LULUCF (www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp) –
        they provide methods which are designed for estimating, measuring, monitoring and reporting
        on carbon stock changes and greenhouse gas inventories and can be adapted for a global
        assessment;
       IPCC emission factor database (www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/EFDB/main.php)
       FAO – Forest Resource Assessment (FRA www.fao.org/forestry/fra) and National Forest and
        Monitoring Assessment (NFMA www.fao.org/forestry/nfma/en/) which both provide good
        forestry data;
       FAO - World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB): Map of world soil resources
        (www.fao.org/AG/agL/agll/wrb/soilres.stm)and Harmonized World Soil Database
        (www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/External-World-soil-database/HTML/index.html);

1
 Though it was noted that the assessment issues/standards were also likely to be relevant for aquatic contexts and products, and
would also apply to land/water interfaces, wetlands, and integrated production systems.

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    FAO - Global climate maps (www.fao.org/nr/climpag/climate/index_en.asp).
    FAO Global Planted Forests Thematic Study
     (http://www.fao.org/forestry/plantedforests/10368/en/)
    FAO/IIASA Agroecological soil data base (http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/External-
     World-soil-database/HTML/index.html)
    IPCC Emission Factor Data Base (http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/EFDB/main.php)
    Eurostat LUCAS Database (http://www.lucas-europa.info)


Several projects exist which use the information provided by different databases/reporting systems
(e.g.Burkina Faso and Uzbekistan: various datasets have been combined and maps have been
superimposed: usage of IPCC Tier 3 methods for agriculture data, calculation of the stock and stock
changes under different scenarios and assumptions, and usage of research data on legumes and their
role in soil carbon cycling. Reference:
www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/climate/IPCC_croplands_20-10-2009.ppt.


2. Identification of remaining gaps, uncertainties, inconsistencies, variations
Two types of gaps were identified by the group: 1. knowledge gaps which can be filled with more
research studies; and 2. data gaps for which more assessments are necessary.

Currently available on-the-ground data are insufficient for estimating stocks and changes in stocks
of most carbon pools in most countries/regions. A systematic inventory is therefore required to
improve the statistical possibilities of estimating carbon pools in the global forests, agricultural land
and other terrestrial carbon pools, but also to improve the possibility of making and validating
models, facilitating remote sensing interpretation; improve knowledge on relationships between soil
carbon/soil quality and agronomic practices/productivity; and improve estimations of above and
below-ground biomass of trees. There is a need to expand the coverage of allometric equations for
more species and biophysical regions but also to make the original data from destructive sampling
available to ensure that the allometric models are based on adequately large sample of datasets
(increasing accuracy and reducing uncertainty). In addition, a generalization of model formulations
would be extremely helpful as most current models are very heterogeneous in their formulation and
not standardized.

With respect to gaps on soil data it was recommended to use a soil depth of at least 50 cm,
preferably 1 meter (the IPCC Guidelines define soil carbon stocks as organic carbon incorporated
into mineral soil horizons to a depth of 30cm). However it was noted that for soil types like peat
soils the depth can be over 5m, so measuring only the first 50cm can lead to serious inaccuracies on
estimates of carbon content and loss. For such soil types carbon stock-based approaches may
therefore be too inaccurate and direct emissions measurements maybe needed. Further data gaps
were identified for some agro-ecological zones, production and cropping systems and soil
dynamics, e.g. data is poor or missing for many tropical cropping systems, most grasslands and soil
management responses are often poorly understood. In order to estimate soil carbon stock changes
and to make future projections of it, more measurements of both soil carbon stock and litter
decomposition are needed particularly in developing countries, while much better data collections
are already available for developed countries. These measurements can be thereafter be used to test
the applicability of soil carbon models, some of which (e.g., CENTURY, Roth-C) have been
validated for a wide range of conditions, in the regions of interest. Further research should also be
undertaken in collaboration with national research institutes. It was also noted that the integration
and synthesis of existing data would also be a useful process with near-term dividends for a
moderate investment. It should be noted that the soil science community has amassed good
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knowledge about the dynamics of soil organic carbon with respect to cropland/grassland
management practices and soil quality and it is time the knowledge should be applied to mitigation
measures.

Concerning tree biomass, it was noted that a freely available database containing original tree
biomass measurements and models, would be of a high value. This database would be based on
voluntary submissions of individuals/institutions that have conducted biomass assessments. A
natural institution to host this database would be the FAO.

For land management more information is needed on different types of production and cropping
systems and fertilizers, grazing management, spatial data, as well as continuous monitoring of
future changes. Additionally more data on land-use sub-categories is lacking such as different types
of cropland. The temporal continuity of remote sensing data was also highlighted (especially in
regards to the continuity of landsat-like data). In short, there is a need for: (1) broader range of land
use types; (2) better spatial resolution, and (3) better temporal resolution.

Methodological issues were raised such as whether detailed net rather than gross sequestration
should be used and the appropriate spatial resolution (scale depends very much on the end uses).
Another issue was how many measurements are necessary for one country, which is very dependent
on spatial variability, pilot sampling or the use of remote sensing and stratification. Furthermore,
not only national statistics, which may need to be adjusted for use in emission estimates, is required
but also geo-referenced data on cropping system is also needed. The usage of remote sensing for the
detection and classification of land use needs to be assessed. The challenge is to define a
methodology for a global, multi-scale C stock assessment. The roles of biochar and inorganic
carbon are other research topics that also need to be considered over the long-term. The
convenience of using existing IPCC methodology, complemented by expert judgments on the
characteristics of cropping systems, is recognized.



3. Main stakeholders (providers and users of data)
The discussion centred on who is supposed to fill the existing data gaps and invest resources.
Individual countries need to provide certain data but they need further capacity building (financial,
technical, political) to perform the needed studies, assessments, national communications, etc..
FAO and other intergovernmental organizations can play the role of a facilitator by providing
feedback to countries as well as data storage to avoid data ownership problems. It is crucial to
involve all stakeholders for the collection of data (government institutions, universities and private
sector), but once collected the data will need to be aggregated and processed for use and needs to be
made freely and easily accessible. Activities will need to be undertaken in close collaboration with
end users and subject experts to ensure the data and information generated is useful and can be
easily accessed.



4. Framework Design
An important part of the meeting was the discussion on the framework for monitoring and
assessment for land-use and land-management systems.

Geographical scope
It was recommended that this framework should have a global scope with a focus on the national
level. The measurements should cover all land (both managed and unmanaged) for consistency, but

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the reporting for accounting purposes should be based on managed land (and formerly managed
land).

Measurement unit
The basic unit of measurement should be the agricultural/forestry systems with a wall-to-wall
integrated land use approach. The most relevant systems should be considered, as normally a few
systems cover most of the land in a country. There is the need for some degree of
standardization/aggregation of systems within each country or region. The challenge will be
taking into consideration the choices of the technologies/agricultural practices, which may have
the same levels of crop production but could have very different net emissions (e.g. use of chemical
fertilizers vs composting and mulching).

Data requirements
The activity data in addition to emission factors should be geographically explicit (including
statistics on crops, livestock, wood harvesting, etc.). There is a need for accuracy rather than
conservativeness, and uncertainty needs to be reported along with the estimates. Dynamic
parameters such as fires, livestock population, changes in production systems in response to
markets should also be included. Standardization of data format, particularly the definition of
cropping systems, may be needed.

Structure
The structure of estimates should be applied to ecosystems (soil/climate), land use category (forest
land, cropland, grassland, etc), land use sub-category (annual crops, perennial crops, forest type,
etc), as well as production systems (conservation agriculture, tillage-based systems etc.).

Frequency
It was recommended to have yearly data acquisition and periodic reporting (about every 3 years)
but with permanent collection to ensure continuity of the data, knowledge and skills, and capacity
building. The reporting frequency (averaging over time or annual reporting) was identified to be a
political decision. The data need to be collected according to land management practices (and more
kinds of practices for products).

Data for mitigation potential estimates
The discussion also focused on the inclusion of potential for mitigation of climate change in the
framework. In order to determine the technical potential for mitigation the changes in carbon
stocks as well as current carbon stocks need to be assessed. No clear indication was given on
whether it was better to focus on the biophysical or economic mitigation potential, or both.
Furthermore, this frameworks needs to provide information organized by sector/system (unit of
decision) and by products (units of reporting), to assess net emissions/removals of GHG which are
relevant for mitigation and food security.

Approaches
The measurements and estimates should be based on the IPCC principles and methods for
AFOLU, but should also be carried out in a way that IPCC principles can be improved and if
needed changed.

It was also discussed that forest inventories (such as NFMA by FAO) should be extended to cover
other land-uses, like agriculture (e.g. for a sub-sample of soils and trees outside forests). This
extension would improve the national level land-use estimation and it would facilitate the full
carbon accounting.




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A proposal for the framework is to use the overall organizational structure and experiences from
other international processes with reporting requirements such as the FRA, as a global
assessment of GHG emissions and mitigation potential needs a global structure.
It was also recommended to apply IPCC tier 1 approach immediately to all countries who have
not conducted GHG accounting, even though the uncertainty is quite high. In the near future
continuous improvement of data is needed to move to higher tiers.

Other considerations
It was recommended to conduct risk assessment of non-permanence (in the case of carbon
sequestration), which can be useful for policy making. Map products should include risk
components such as fire and storm. Economic feasibility of mitigation potential may need to be
considered to choose appropriate mitigation practices. For detailed economic studies more
information on Marginal Abatement Cost Curves (MACC) will be necessary.




5. Issues and obstacles
Another point of discussion was issues and obstacles to be addressed and overcome which
included data collection, costs, partners and lead organizations.
Currently, at national level in many countries statistics are not yet designed for collecting data on
parameters relevant for GHGs, which should be undertaken in a continuous and systematic way
with information on land use rather than land cover data. Many countries need capacity building,
guidance and incentives to release the data. Often a strong reliance on expert judgment is observed
besides national statistics/scientific data and it is highly difficult to access data in many countries.
Emission factors and carbon stock factors are available but need further development and
validation.

An appraisal has to be made of the needed outputs, the beneficiaries (including end users), what is
required and what it would cost to undertake a terrestrial assessment. FAO was identified as the
agency which should coordinate the process, in close collaboration with other partners such as
IPCC, UNFCCC, CGIAR, and UNEP (and with other institutions such as universities, government
agencies and the private sector).


6. Suggested next steps

   •   FAO should define partnerships with other institutions (such as IPCC, UNFCCC, CGIAR
       and UNEP) and engage with other actors, building a strong network on the science; social
       and economic perspective.
   •   FAO needs to link framework with its mandate and other partners such as UNFCCC

   •   FAO should develop a work programme which needs to focus on the improvement of
       data collection process, country capacity building, development of country case study,
       finally global assessment




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II. Lifecycle Assessment

1. Purpose and use of LCA
LCA is a useful technique for analysing and documenting technical options and alternatives to
reduce emissions over existing practices, and to identify consequences for other sustainability
and social goals.
The LCA breakout session understood the objective within this project as being to use LCA to
inform policy-making and facilitate practical actions towards simultaneously meeting two
objectives: feeding the growing population and avoiding dangerous climate change. The primary
end-use of LCA in this context might be to help identify inefficiencies and develop and refine
mitigation actions, offset protocols (e.g. CDM methodologies) or other policy mechanisms such as
carbon taxes. In order to support such mitigation actions and policy tools, LCA should be
undertaken to develop and refine a matrix of default emissions values that apply to different discreet
policy-relevant categories, such as crop, agricultural product, agroecological zone, production
system, land management practice, processing technology etc. The accuracy of the emissions values
should be appropriate to the policy mechanism for which they are to be applied, and the level of
disaggregation (including geographical granularity) should be determined with this in mind. LCA
could also be used to devise policy scenarios that would allow analysis of the potential impacts of
different options (e.g. cap-and-trade, carbon tax, labelling of products, etc.). The work could help
provide data and analysis that would allow consumers to make better informed choices (e.g.
accurate product labelling and information on “food production efficiency”), but this would be a co-
benefit and not its main purpose. It will be important to determine how and when the private sector
should be engaged. This sector has collected and owns a lot of the necessary data (especially in
regards to processing), it has interests to protect this data it but may also be inclined to take
mitigation actions, e.g. voluntary for corporate social responsibility (CSR) or programmatic CDM.

LCA results are often misinterpreted or misapplied by decision-makers due to a lack of clarity about
the question that is being answered and the assumptions that have been made. It will be essential,
therefore, to be very clear about the purpose of an LCA and its potential uses.



2. Scope of LCA
Full life-cycle LCA is useful for evaluating and informing consumer choices, policies that
influence them and priorities for R&D and technology transfer. In general, an LCA framework
should encompass the whole lifecycle, and so it would be preferable to create a common
methodological framework, with common phases in the life cycle and guidance as to choices about
methodology and data use and the resultant level of uncertainty. However, full life-cycle LCA can
involve a lot of time and costs, and may not be necessary in order to identify and inform mitigation
actions.

The portions of LCAs that estimate emissions from production systems and techniques are
useful for choosing mitigation efforts. A useful activity could be to perform a quick scan for
“hotspots” of sources and sinks in the lifecycle and then assess the mitigation potential. Attention
would be focused on these “hotspots” for the development of mitigation projects, offset protocols
and behaviour change. Major uncertainties along the lifecycle – in emissions, data and methodology
– should also be identified. However, eventually a comprehensive analysis will be required to avoid
unintended consequences of mass uptake of a particular mitigation effort, e.g. emissions somewhere
else along the chain, adverse effect on the environment (e.g. biodiversity) or resources (e.g. water)
and also the social and economic/market effects. Such an analysis will also allow for the


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identification of opportunities and synergies with other desirable outcomes, highlighting for
instance useful synergies with adaptation, food security, energy access and economic development.

If LCA work is to be applied within the UNFCCC context, there might be “barriers” for the
inclusion of certain phases in the lifecycle, e.g. international transportation emissions. Some experts
felt that the production phase (“up to the farm gate”) was the appropriate focus for attention in
terms of changing behaviour. However, in some cases, it would be difficult (fisheries) or unhelpful
(when considering long-term carbon storage in forest products) to define the analogue of the farm
gate. However, for complete assessments to be undertaken a full cradle to grave LCA may be
required. Whatever approach is chosen, it will be important to specify the scope/boundaries applied,
to ensure comparability and potential for harmonization.

Since LCA should be applied to develop policy mechanisms to encourage mitigation actions, it
would be important to distinguish between currently unregulated (or uncapped) and regulated (or
capped) emissions (e.g. nitrous oxide emissions arising from fertiliser application, as compared to
carbon dioxide emissions from fertiliser production.


3. Uncertainties and gaps in methodologies and data
Some important gaps exist in data, methodologies, and our understanding of key physical
processes.
3.1 Methodologies issues to be addressed:
           An agreed upon, improved system for accounting for the implicit land-use GHG costs of
            agricultural production for multiple uses (including food, fibre and energy);
           Guidance on the choice of unit. For example, emissions per unit of a single commodity
            will be different from emissions per unit of nutritive value (e.g. protein or calories)
            which might also be context-specific;
           For emissions from land-use change, an agreed upon way of handling emissions timing.
            Timing must be considered in two ways:
                   o First, how to account for different times of actual physical emissions, for
                     example, how to count relatively immediate land-use change emissions over
                     time. To date, this aspect of timing is handled in one of three ways: counting
                     all emissions instantaneously, using an amortisation period, and using some
                     form of discount rate;
                   o Second, how to account for different residence times and radiative forcing of
                     different GHGs, i.e. whether in LCA of a time-bound activity or policy
                     measure, the atmospheric lifetimes of the different greenhouse gases are
                     appropriately considered using the standard global warming potentials, which
                     are calculated by amortizing the heating effects of the gases over 20, 100
                     (IPCC preference) or 500 years;2
           Guidance on the scale of application, which would vary with the type of emissions and
            activities or products considered (and will also be dependent on data availability);
           Guidance on the accounting of co-products from agricultural production;



2
 Further issues relating to time in GHG LCA are addressed in the draft ANSI standard “Life Cycle Stressor-Effects
Assessment Greenhouse Gas Accounting Framework: http://www.scscertified.com/cas/docs/Draft-American-(ANSI)-
GHG-Accounting-Standard.pdf

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          Guidance on the level of uncertainty acceptable for different mitigation uses (e.g.
           offsets, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions - NAMAs) and for assessing this
           uncertainty (to be expanded in Chapter 4);
          Analysis calculating mitigation benefits should take account of the robustness of the
           practice in achieving the projected reduction, i.e. how dependent the reductions are on
           the details of the implementation. More robust practices should receive higher
           awards/incentives;
          Guidance if and how to segregate emissions that are otherwise subject to limits, from
           emissions which are unregulated;
          Clarity regarding when it is appropriate to use attributional or consequential LCA in
           order to answer a given policy question.

3.2 Data issues

Main data issues identified included:
    Information on the distribution of different agricultural production techniques is critical to
     LCA and will be critical to National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) and would also
     be useful for National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) but data is often lacking or
     of poor quality.
    Emissions factors for nitrous oxide have large potential consequences but appropriate factors
     are currently scientifically uncertain. Data on the level of nitrous oxide from dispersed manure
     in rangeland systems is particularly lacking.
    Data gaps are particularly large in developing countries.
    Data quality generally has not been systematically assessed.
    Much data is in private hands (particularly for the processing phase).
    Some data is too aggregated, some too site-specific (particular for processing phase, where
     figures might be plant-specific) – the right balance between practicality and accuracy is
     required in order to identify good and bad practices and reward improvements.
    Ruminant digestibility is a key area in need of more data for LCA.
    National GHG inventories/reporting framework need to be amended to provide the data
     required to perform LCA. In the meantime, we should perform LCA with the best data we
     have in order to highlight gaps.
    Guidance is needed to deal with data gaps.
    A more systematic assessment of technologies and practices needs to be undertaken.
    Baseline emissions factors from different farming systems need to be established and better
     descriptions of agricultural land management practices and their emission impacts are needed.
    Specific data demands – what improvements in data supply are possible /realistic in practice
     in different country context related to reference date and co-products

3.3 Potentially significant GHG hotspots (sources or sinks) that merit consideration (note this is not
a complete list and only reflect ideas that emerged from the discussions):

          Agricultural/aquaculture ponds – may be large carbon sinks or could be managed to
           enhance sinks.
          Black carbon – in general, black carbon emissions from agricultural activities have not
           been reflected in agricultural emissions calculations or mitigation activities.

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          Blue carbon – some aquatic habitats can be significant carbon sinks that can be
           adversely affected by agricultural/fishery activities. Important habitats include
           mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. Activities that may have significant effects
           include trawl nets, pond formation for aquaculture, species/ecosystem management and
           eutrophication.
          Restoration of degraded lands.
          Peat lands.


4. Next steps
4.1. Suggested next steps for FAO-led activities

Develop guidance on the application of LCA-type tools for different policy purposes. FAO
should generate a guidance document on how to apply LCA-type analyses for answering questions
around GHG mitigation, adaptation and food security. See Annex A for a draft outline of this
guidance document.

Develop an agreed upon, improved system for accounting for the implicit land-use GHG costs
of agricultural (including forestry and fisheries) production for multiple uses (including food,
fibre and energy). This should be part of the above-mentioned LCA guidance document. However,
it should be noted that this is a very complex, potentially controversial and certainly politically and
economically charged subject that is currently being debated, particularly in the context of potential
biofuel drivers/regulation as well as within climate change discussions. Agreement on such a
system, or methodological approach, will require some time.

FAO should lead the effort to develop detailed technical guidance for potential NAMAs. This
was seen by some as an obvious priority for the FAO in framing its work to help developing
countries to meet both food and climate objectives. This is particularly appropriate when you
consider developing countries have a large share of their GDP and thus GHG emissions linked to
their rural sectors, hence the importance of the agricultural nexus. It was noted that it will be
necessary first to examine how NAMAs stand after Copenhagen and follow-up negotiations.
Suggestions on the development of NAMAs were:
      NAMAs should be based on emissions reductions per unit of food produced, i.e. emissions
       intensity;
      accounting for reductions should avoid direct efforts to estimate additionality and focus
       instead on positive changes from a baseline;
      agricultural productivity enhancement measures should be coupled with forest protection
       and soil carbon stock measures to ensure that productivity-enhancing activities do not create
       incentives for local deforestation and degradation;
      guidance on how to use LCAs in order to develop better and more effective site-specific and
       programmatic offset projects in agriculture, both CDM and voluntary, should also be
       developed, with a focus on the ability of small-scale farmers to access project financing.


FAO should lead development of database resources needed for LCA-type work. This should
be part of the reporting framework for the terrestrial assessment of GHG emissions and mitigation
potentials. It will need to include standardised data on production systems for raw materials,
agroecological zones, land management practices, processing technologies, and other major
elements of product lifecycles such as (possibly) transportation and end use.

                                                                                                    12
Default emissions values will need to be established for the full lifecycle under consideration and
for each phase of the lifecycle depending on how much of the above information is given. This will
require the definition of categories of practices and research on emissions and their variation
amongst categories. Current IPCC default values should be used as a starting point to the process.

FAO should adopt a system for identifying gaps in data quality and application. A periodic
summary and analysis of GHG LCAs undertaken for agriculture would be useful, with a focus on
assessing the quality of data and methodologies used and highlighting important research gaps. This
would be facilitated by promoting the use of a common methodological framework for such LCAs,
such that assumptions and results were laid out transparently, clearly and in a standard manner. This
would also make the results of such LCAs more understandable.

4.2. Detailed proposals for products and timing

Detailed proposals for two short-term products are set out in Annexes B and C. These comprise
guidance on the application of LCA and associated tools in agriculture and a rapid assessment
of current knowledge on LCA in agriculture, including major sources and sinks and areas of high
mitigation potential. Additionally, a plan for work to be led by the FAO to develop guidance for
NAMAs, other mitigation actions and offsets and the database resources needed for LCA-type
work should be developed. This work on NAMAs would be a long-term ongoing activity, but
should be initiated as soon as possible (taking into consideration the results of ongoing climate
negotiations), and some examples of potential NAMAs should be included in the plan.
Additionally, the plan should include LCA-specific data requirements to include in the development
of the framework for assessment of emissions and mitigation potentials in agriculture, which will
require work on definitions for the standardisation of data and research to determine the
appropriate degree of disaggregation of practices along the lifecycle (including scale of
geographical zones), for the formation of categories for reporting purposes.

Drafts of the LCA guidance and the rapid assessment should be prepared for discussion at the
next consultation (to include Member State representatives) and subsequent revision should be
submitted to the UNFCCC SBSTA working group on Agriculture which should be created in 2010.

A list of relevant partners for the work should also be drawn up immediately in order to involve
them in future activities of the initiative (including experts, universities, government institutions and
the private sector).




                                                                                                      13
Conclusions
The expert consultation meeting has allowed the initialization of the development of a framework
and the participants have identified some of the key issues that need to be considered. A number of
recommendations have been made from the two working groups and thee have been integrated and
listed below. Based on these recommendations and through the expansion and development of the
network of experts, FAO in partnership with other institutions, will develop the a scoping document
which identifies and lists all the key areas, data, products and proposed solutions for
implementation.

Recommendations
Main recommendations from the consultation included:
       Define the scope of the assessment. Working groups should be formed of which the
        modalities (mandate, outputs, timelines, audiences) should be defined by FAO. For
        example is should be decided if the two tracks of LCA and terrestrial assessment is the
        most appropriate.
       With participation from regional and national stakeholders as well as technical experts,
        draw up a detailed work programme for the assessment. The work programme should focus
        on improvement of data collection process, country capacity building, development of
        country case studies and finally develop a global assessment.
       Undertake an assessment of current sources of knowledge /data / practices to build an exact
        understanding of the current base from which the framework can be developed and identify
        the major uncertainties that are truly influential (i.e. propagate through estimation process)
        and which should be addressed.
       Survey a sample of countries for barriers and limitations to adopting or developing GHG
        emission databases and use this information to help devise a strategy to overcome the
        issues.
       Link the framework with the mandate of FAO and other partners such as UNFCCC/IPCC.
       Set up a mechanism for sharing information.
       Define immediate deliverables in short-term with long-term goals in perspective.
       A fast implementation of steps towards improving data collection process is required.
       Capacity building at country level is crucial as well as building incentives for data
        generation and provision.
       A country case study should be carried out and completed in 2010 as a first example -
        Eventually a global assessment using IPCC tier 1 method should be prepared allowing for
        extensive information to be available for 2012 (end of first Kyoto commitment period).
       FAO should focus on an expansion of the framework assessment to all countries and build
        capacity in countries to provide more reliable information and data by themselves.




                                                                                                    14
       Annex A: Participants list



       External participants
Name                   Institute                                      E-mail

Aleksi Lehtonen        Finnish Forest Research Institute              aleksi.lehtonen(a)metla.fi
Angus Garrett          Seafish                                        A_Garrett(a)seafish.co.uk
Carlos M. Duarte       Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and   carlosduarte(a)ifisc.uib.es
                       Complex Systems
Christine Negra        Terrestrial Carbon Group                       negra(a)heinzctr.org
Christoph Kleinn       University of Goettingen                       CKleinn(a)gwdg.de
Daniel Martino         Carbosur                                       carbosur(a)adinet.com.uy
Florin Vladu           UNFCCC                                         FVladu(a)unfccc.int
Francesco Tubiello     Joint Research Centre of the European          francesco.tubiello(a)jrc.ec.europa.eu
                       Commission
Frédéric Achard        Joint Research Centre of the European          frederic.achard(a)jrc.ec.europa.eu
                       Commission
Gill Petrokofsky       University of Oxford                           gillian.petrokofsky(a)plants.ox.ac.uk

Robert Goodland                                                       rbtgoodland(a)gmail.com
Guido Bonati           INEA                                           bonati(a)inea.it
Hans Joosten           Greifswald University                          joosten(a)uni-greifswald.de

James Muir             University of Stirling                         j.f.muir(a)stir.ac.uk
Lutz Fehrmann          University of Goettingen                       lfehrma(a)gwdg.de
Martin Wattenbach      University of Aberdeen                         m.wattenbach(a)abdn.ac.uk
Mary Menton            University of Oxford                           mary.menton(a)plants.ox.ac.uk

Minh-Long Nguyen       IAEA, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear       M.Nguyen(a)iaea.org
                       Techniques in Food & Agriculture
Rattan Lal             Ohio State Univ                                lal.1(a)osu.edu
Rich Conant            Colorado State University                      Rich.Conant(a)ColoState.EDU
Scott Goetz            Woods Hole Research Center                     sgoetz(a)whrc.org

Tim Searchinger        Princenton University                          tsearchi(a)princeton.edu
Tom Goddard            Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development,     tom.goddard(a)gov.ab.ca
                       Canada
Tomas Thuresson        Zephyr Forestry                                tomas.thuresson(a)telia.com
Uwe Schneider          Hamburg University                             uwe.schneider(a)zmaw.de
Mario Coto Hidalgo     Gov. of Costa Rica                             macohi(a)costarricense.cr




                                                                                                           15
FAO participants

Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch (AGAL)
Henning Steinfeld, Coordinator, Room C542, Ext. 54751
Ben Henderson, Livestock Policy Officer, Room C 536, Ext. 56894
Theun Vellinga, Agronomy/agricultural science, Room C536, Ext. 52095
Carolyn OPio, Public information specialists, Room C540, Ext. 56306


Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division (AGN)
Vincent Gitz, (AGND), Economists/econometricians, Room C204, Ext. 54411


Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP)
Caterina Batello, Senior Officer, Room C780, Ext. 53643
Theodor Friedrich, Senior Officer, Room C782, Ext. 55694
Amir Kassam, Consultant, Room C787, Ext. 55355



Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA)
Bernadette Neves, Environmental scientists, Room C315, Ext. 56205, (ESAC)
Nancy McCarthy, Economists/econometricians, Room C317, Ext. 55204



Statistics Division (ESS)
Robert Mayo, Senior Statistician, Room C436, Ext. 54105



Fisheries Department (FI)
Ari Gudmundsson, Fishery Industry Officer, Room F611, Ext. 54561
Doris Soto, Senior Fisheries Officer, Room F503, Ext. 56149
James Muir, Writers, Room C386, Ext. 55078
John Fitzpatrick, Fishery specialists, Room F611, Ext. 56028


Forestry Department (FO)
Mette Loyche Wilkie, Senior Officer, FRA, Room C374, Ext. 52091
Jesper Tranberg, Associate Professional Officer, Room C484, Ext. 54420
Rikiya Konishi, Associate Professional Officer, Room D420, Ext. 55762
Rebecca Tavani, Forestry Officer, Room D475, Ext. 54811
Alberto Del Lungo Forestry Officer, planted forests database, Room C359, Ext. 53889
Walter Kollert, Forestry Officer, planted forests database, Room D470, Ext. 53834




                                                                                      16
Natural Resources Management and Environment Department (NR)
Alexander Müller, Assistant Director General, Room B502, Ext. 53037
Wendy Mann, Senior Adviser, Room B506, Ext. 53842
Marja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom, Senior Officer, Room B507B, Ext. 53460
Christina Seeberg-Elverfeldt, Associate Professional Officer, Room B506B, Ext. 52110
Maria Muller Lindenlauf, consultant, Room B5L3, Ext. 55817



Environment, Climate Change and Bioenergy Division (NRC)
Peter Holmgren, Director, Room B512, Ext. 52714
Hideki Kanamaru, Associate Professional Officer, Room C870, Ext. 56809
Reuben Sessa, Natural Resources Officer, B515bis, Ext. 56519
Jonathan Reeves, Programme Officer, Room C856, Ext. 56163
Olivier Dubois, Senior Officer, Room F803, Ext. 56497
Anne Bogdanski, Associate Professional Officer, Room C850, Ext. 54174




                                                                                       17
Annex B: Draft outline for a proposed guide for the application of LCA and associated tools


Chapter One: In the context of informing decisions about meeting the combined challenges of
climate change and feeding the expanding population, how can LCA and associated tools be used?
An LCA may help to:
      answer the GHG consequences of different consumer decisions;
      inform public policy behaviour that influences consumption decisions, e.g. biofuels;
      make decisions about agricultural technologies for transfer and funding;
      understand leakage or other knock-on effects; and
      decide needed areas of research.

This kind of LCA would typically focus on cradle-to-grave analysis. To understand mitigation
activities, consequential LCA would normally be appropriate, but faces the challenge of
constructing alternative scenarios, requires challenging and often different economic projections,
and may credit adverse effects, such as reduced food consumption.

Analysis included in an LCA will typically also be useful for analysing changes in emissions from
different agricultural production practices, which can be used to analyse:
     offsets
     mitigation projects.

This kind of analysis should be able to estimate emissions changes from different agricultural
practices or production decisions. In this regard applications such as Ex Act should be considered,
see: www.fao.org/docs/up/easypol/768/ex-act_flyer-nov09.pdf.

Chapter Two: Step-by-step guidance for GHG LCA in agriculture
The PAS 2050 and the guide to its use and the GBEP Common Methodological Framework for
GHG LCA of Bioenergy, Version Zero were mentioned in the expert consultation meeting as
examples of materials which could be used to develop guidance, but the emphasis should be on
recommendations for how to deal with issues of methodology and data quality specific to
agriculture and land use. Default emissions values for phases of agricultural product lifecycles
could be provided after further research (see matrix of emissions values mentioned in Annex C).

The guidance could be split into the steps already used in the GBEP Common Methodological
Framework for GHG LCA of Bioenergy (generalised to all agricultural products):
      Step 1: GHGs Covered
      Step 2: Source of biomass
      Step 3: Land use change
      Step 4: Biomass feedstock production
      Step 5: Transport of biomass
      Step 6: Processing of biomass into food, fibre, fuel etc.
      Step 7: By-products and co-products
      Step 8: Transport of product
      Step 9: Consumption of product
      Step 10: Comparison with replaced product


                                                                                                      18
Methodological issues to be addressed include:
       An agreed upon, improved system for accounting for the implicit land-use GHG costs of
        agricultural production for multiple uses (including food, fibre and energy) by production
        system;
       Guidance on the choice of unit. For example, emissions per unit of a single commodity will
        be different from emissions per unit of human nutrition (e.g. protein or calories). Definition
        of the unit of human nutrition might be context-specific in accordance with local elasticities
        within the food basket;
       For emissions from land-use change, an agreed upon way of handling emissions timing.
        Timing comes up in two ways:
           o First, how to account for different times of actual physical emissions, for example, how
             to count relatively immediate land-use change emissions over time. To date, this aspect
             of timing is handled in one of three ways: counting all emissions instantaneously, using
             an amortisation period, and using some form of discount rate;
           o Second, how to account for different residence times and radiative forcing of different
             GHGs, i.e. whether in LCA of a time-bound activity or policy measure, the atmospheric
             lifetimes of the different greenhouse gases are appropriately considered using the
             standard global warming potentials, which are calculated by amortizing the heating
             effects of the gases over 20, 100 (IPCC preference) or 500 years;3

       Guidance on the regionalisation of the analysis, which would vary with the type of emission;
       Guidance on the accounting of co-products from agricultural production;
       Guidance on the level of uncertainty acceptable for different mitigation uses (e.g. offsets,
        NAMAs) and for assessing this uncertainty (to be expanded in Chapter Four);
       Analysis calculating mitigation benefits should take account of the robustness of the practice
        in achieving the projected reduction, i.e. how dependent the reductions are on the details of
        the implementation. More robust practices should receive higher awards;
       Guidance on how to segregate emissions that are otherwise subject to limits and unregulated
        emissions.

Chapter three: Consideration of other aspects of sustainability in LCA
This would include guidance on how to integrate assessment of implications for food security,
adaptation, biodiversity, water, economic development etc. into the GHG LCA in a simple but
effective manner. The aim would be to avoid unintended adverse affects and indeed identify
mitigation actions with adaptation co-benefits.

Chapter four: Use of LCA in the development of NAMAs, CDM methodologies and other mitigation
actions and offset mechanisms
Suggested guidelines for the development of NAMAs:
       NAMAs should be based on emissions reductions per unit of food produced, i.e. emissions
        intensity.
       Accounting for reductions should avoid direct efforts to estimate additionality and focus
        instead on positive changes from a baseline.
       Agricultural productivity enhancement measures should be coupled with forest protection
        measures to ensure that productivity-enhancing activities do not create incentives for local
        deforestation and degradation.

3
 Further issues relating to time in GHG LCA are addressed in the draft ANSI standard “Life Cycle Stressor-Effects
Assessment Greenhouse Gas Accounting Framework: http://www.scscertified.com/cas/docs/Draft-American-(ANSI)-
GHG-Accounting-Standard.pdf

                                                                                                                19
Annex C: Description of proposed rapid assessment of current knowledge of major sources,
sinks and mitigation potentials in agriculture

Sources, sinks and mitigation potentials in agriculture

The LCA breakout group suggested at the expert consultation meeting that a rapid assessment of
what we know and don’t know (well) should be undertaken. In particular, a table is suggested
showing “hotspots”, i.e. major sources, sinks and low-hanging mitigation fruits along the lifecycle
of different agricultural products and production systems, with identification of data quality/level of
understanding, type of research needed to fill gaps in data or understanding, timeframe for this
research and actors to be involved in it. The table should also include the implications of each
source, sink and mitigation action for goals other than climate mitigation including food security,
adaptation and other social impacts. There should also be a focus on what we know about the
variation (between and within agroecological zones) of emissions from certain categories of land
management practice, production systems and production chains, bearing in mind the aim of
producing a matrix of estimates or default values for emissions according to crop/product,
system/practice, zone etc. that would form a sufficiently practical and accurate basis for mitigation
actions and incentives.




                                                                                                    20
Annex D: List of datasets and tools of potential interest for terrestrial assessment



- IPCC 2006 IPCC Guidelines AFOLU and 2003 GPG LULUCF (www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/) –
they provide methods which are designed for estimating, measuring, monitoring and reporting on
carbon stock changes and greenhouse gas inventories and can be adapted for a global assessment;

-FAO Datasets on agriculture, land use and forestry for use together with the IPCC Guidelines document is
in preparation and can be requested from FAO (climate-change@fao.org).

- IPCC emission factor database (www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/EFDB/main.php)

- FAO – Forest Resource Assessment (FRA www.fao.org/forestry/fra) and National Forest and
Monitoring Assessment (NFMA www.fao.org/forestry/nfma/en/) which both provide good forestry
data;

- FAO - World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB): Map of world soil resources
(www.fao.org/AG/agL/agll/wrb/soilres.stm) Harmonized World Soil Database
(www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/External-World-soil-database/HTML/index.html);

- FAO - Global climate maps (www.fao.org/nr/climpag/climate/index_en.asp).

- GIS-based scenarios of SOC annual change on croplands at sub-national level: case studies of
Burkina Faso and Uzbekistan
(www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/climate/IPCC_croplands_20-10-2009.ppt )
see also notes on presentation:
www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/climate/Accompanying_document_to_FAO
-IFAD-IPCC_Meeting.pdf

-The genetic improvement of forage grasses and legumes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; The
genetic improvement of forage grasses and legumes to enhance adaptation of grasslands to climate
change
www.fao.org/ag/AGP/agpc/doc/climatechange/papers/abberton_%20geneticimprovement.pdf
www-data.fao.org/ag/AGP/agpc/doc/climatechange/papers/Adaptationpaper.pdf

- See FAO AGP division climate change
www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/core-themes/theme/climatechange0/en/

- CarboAfrica
www.carboafrica.net/index_en.asp

- Global agroecological zones
www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/GAEZ/index.htm
www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/SAEZ/index.html
www.fao.org/landandwater/default.stm

- Yasso07 soil carbon model
www.environment.fi/default.asp?node=21605&lan=en
www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?node=21613&lan=en


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