Data and Knowledge

In 2009, a Joint IPCC-FAO-IFAD Expert Meeting on FAO data for AFOLU/LULUCF identified data gaps and possible solutions, aimed at improving the use of FAO datasets for the AFOLU component of the National GHG Inventory, and at overcoming the lack of information at global and regional level on GHG emission levels and trends in the AFOLU sector. The outcomes of this expert meeting were summarized in the meeting report “Datasets for use in the IPCC Guidelines - FAO data and how it can be used in the IPCC Agriculture and Land Use Guidelines.”

(Click to read more)
Knowledge gaps in the AFOLU sector had made it extremely difficult for policymakers to make strategic decisions regarding climate change responses, which in turn hampered efforts to mitigate agriculture's emissions. In response to recommendations that emerged from the 2009 Expert meeting, FAO launched the FAOSTAT Emissions database, containing emission estimates for the AFOLU sector, in 2012. These data now support member countries in better identifying their mitigation options.

The knowledge acquired to develop the database has enabled FAO to:

  • produce a manual to support Member Countries in assessing their emissions for the AFOLU sector;
  • provide inputs to Chapter 11 - Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) in Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, IPCC Working Group III Contribution to Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The FAOSTAT Emissions database

The FAOSTAT Emissions database provides country-level estimates of GHG emissions, mainly following the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories at Tier 1 and land approach 1. The database provides annually updated emissions estimates for nearly 200 countries for the AFOLU sector with a breakdown by sub-category for the reference period 1961-present, with projections to 2030 and 2050 (agriculture) and 1990-present (forestry and other land uses). These estimates are based on activity data collected from Member Countries and disseminated through FAOSTAT and Global Forest Resources Assessment.

Emissions Land Use                                                       Emissions Agriculture

The database consists of two domains with emission estimates for:

Agriculture (Click to read more)

Enteric fermentation, methane from the microbial processes that takes place in the digestive systems of ruminants and to a lesser extent non-ruminants (metadata);

Manure management, methane and nitrogen oxide from the decomposition of manure in storage and disposal systems (metadata);

Rice cultivation, methane from the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in paddy fields (metadata);

Agricultural Soils

Cultivation of organic soils, nitrous oxide from cultivation of histosols under cropland and grassland (metadata);

Burning – Savanna, methane and nitrogen oxide from combustion of savanna biomass (metadata);

Burning – Crop residues, methane and nitrogen oxide from the combustion of crop residues (metadata);

Energy use, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from fuel burning and electricity generation for use in agriculture and fisheries (metadata).

Land Use (Click to read more)

Forest land, carbon dioxide emissions/removals from forest land and net forest conversion (metadata);

Cropland, carbon dioxide emissions from cultivation of histosols under cropland (metadata);

Grassland, carbon dioxide emissions from cultivation of histosols under grassland (metadata);

Burning biomass, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from various land cover classes (metadata).


Manual for developing the AFOLU components of a Tier 1 National GHG Inventory

In order to support Member Countries in assessing their emissions for the AFOLU sector, FAO has developed the Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agriculture: A Manual to Address Data Requirements for Developing Countries. This manual offers a step-by-step guide on how to estimate GHG emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use, following the Tier 1 approach of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. The manual was produced in collaboration with the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, a global effort to empower developing countries to produce better agricultural and rural statistics for effective policy making and improving lives.

last updated:  Friday, July 3, 2015