Support to forest monitoring and assessment
Improving the assessment of forest biomass and carbon stocks, using tree equations
Forest services in most countries are now required to make more accurate assessment of the forest carbon stocks and carbon stock changes. Some countries have advanced their approaches to forest monitoring by using tree equations. Tree allometric equations predict difficult-to-measure variables of trees, such as biomass or volume, from easy-to-measure variables like diameter and height.
Jointly published by FAO and the French research centre CIRAD, the Manual for building tree volume and biomass allometric equations is the first tool to provide all the necessary information from the field up to the biomass estimation. The appropriate development and use of the tree allometric equations are particularly important when assessing forest carbon stocks and carbon stock changes. This will help national policymakers to make informed decisions regarding bioenergy development and climate change mitigation activities.
The manual for building tree volume and biomass allometric equations is designed for students, researchers and engineers who wish to acquire the knowledge and methodology to establish allometric equations to assess the volume, biomass or mineral mass of trees. The manual provides numerous examples and detailed technical advice, so there are few prerequisites for users. The aim of this synthesis is to highlight and explain the manual’s main steps.
The UN-REDD National Programme in Vietnam is focused on compiling a national database using the existing equations and conducting field measurements to develop new equations in a number of forest types throughout the country. In Indonesia, national efforts have produced and adopted a national standard for developing tree equations. In Mexico, the national forest authorities collect the existing equations and develop the new ones to estimate carbon emissions and in collaboration with FAO generate national equation databases.