Climate Change

FAO E-learning courses help countries account for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture

6 April 2022, Rome
 - As part of their climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement’s Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF), countries have to monitor and prepare reports on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Focusing on the agriculture and other land use (AFOLU) sectors, FAO works with countries to develop capacity in collecting data and estimating GHG emissions; and in reporting them to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat.

As part of this effort, FAO has developed a series of e-learning courses on greenhouse gas inventories. These free self-paced courses are primarily aimed at staff in national institutions who prepare  national GHG inventories in the agriculture sector. They are also useful for policy makers, researchers, and anyone  wishing to better understand UNFCCC reporting processes. 

“The courses make the learning process free, fast and durable and country teams have been very enthusiastic about them,” remarked Paolo Prosperi from FAO’s transparency team.  He added that stronger capacity means better quality reporting and ultimately a more favourable environment for international investments.

Indeed, the courses have been downloaded nearly 4500 times. They can be used on their own or for “blended” capacity building where they are combined with face-to-face training.

Current and future courses

Four courses are now available in English (see boxes below). French and Spanish versions of these courses, as well as a course on enteric fermentation from livestock at tier 2 in the GHG inventory, are being prepared. 

To see all the courses in the greenhouse gas inventory series, visit:

Preparing a greenhouse gas inventory under the Enhanced Transparency Framework

This course introduces the basic concepts of Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV), UNFCCC reporting requirements and the ETF. It provides an overview of how to set up a national greenhouse gas inventory (NGHGI), looking at its cycle, main elements and principles, and the implications of the ETF.

The national greenhouse gas inventory for land use

This course provides the necessary knowledge to build a sustainable NGHGI and assess GHG emissions and removals from the land use sector. It focuses on the biological and physical process that lead to GHG fluxes from land use-related activities.

The national greenhouse gas inventory for agriculture

This course provides the necessary knowledge to build a sustainable NGHGI and assess GHG emissions from the agriculture sector. It focuses on the biological and physical process that lead to the production of emissions from agriculture-related activities.

Assessing uncertainties in the national greenhouse gas inventory: a focus on land use

Under the ETF there is a mandatory requirement for all countries party to the Paris Agreement to estimate and report on uncertainty in their NGHGIs. This course aims to strengthen institutional and technical capacity in national entities to allow them to meet this requirement and produce reliable data.

Digital certificates are available 

Digital badge certificates, issued  by the FAO e-learning academy, verify that learners have achieved the learning outcomes and competencies outlined in the e-learning courses.

To receive digital badges, users need to take the free final evaluation exam at the end of the course. They can then use these official badges in their online profiles and resumes.

Related greenhouse gas inventory tools

FAO has developed other tools to help countries improve their greenhouse gas inventories in the AFOLU sector. For example, the Greenhouse Gas Data Management (GHG-DM) tool is an excel-based package which helps GHG inventory compilers manage the information related to the activity data (AD) and parameters in various sectors. A case study and guidelines for archiving GHG data and checklists for improving documentation are being finalised. 

To find out more about these and other tools, see:

Support for FAO’s transparency work

The courses have been delivered thanks to support from:

The FAO CBIT-AFOLU project  is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It aims at developing country capacity to meet climate change reporting requirements related to the ETF. For more information about the project and FAO’s transparency work, visit:

The Climate Change Knowledge Hub is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture through the “Advancing the knowledge exchange platform for the agriculture and land sector under climate change” project.

The Hub is a "one-stop shop" for all things related to climate change and agriculture with resources from over 50 organizations. It includes links to communities and networks; webinars and e-learning courses; materials aimed at youth; and curated resource collections on specific climate change topics.