Climate Change

Addressing transparency in agriculture and land use sectors

8 October 2020, 14.30 - 16.00 (Rome, GMT +2)
This webinar is the first of a series that aims at increasing awareness and understanding of the Paris Agreement's Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) and its modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs). The series will also highlight relevant tools to support countries' efforts to address transparency requirements.

Main objectives

  • Highlight the importance of transparency and the way forward for implementing the Paris Agreement.
  • Present the GEF CBIT portfolio.
  • Introduce FAO's work on transparency.
  • Present how FAO will address transparency in the agriculture and land use sectors.
  • Introduce the full webinar series.

Participants will learn more about the FAO CBIT-AFOLU project's activities; and about joining the Transparency in the agriculture and land use sectors network.

Target audience

This webinar is open to the entire transparency community. 



Policy making
How is FAO going to support governments with making proper policies and regulations?
FAO is supporting countries to establish, improve and maintain robust sustainable institutional, Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems to meet the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) requirements through FAO-led projects such as CBIT-AFOLU, CBIT-Forest, and Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through NDCs and National Adaptation Plans (SCALA). This support is provided through trainings, webinars, workshops and ETF-enhanced tools. Part of the upcoming webinars of the ETF webinar series will focus on the ETF-enhanced tools, their usefulness for countries, and how countries may use them. Nevertheless, the responsibility and final decision for making proper policies, regulations, legal arrangements and applying actions for mitigation and adaptation lies with the country itself. Countries are ultimately responsible for integrating all needs, processes, objectives, targets for meeting the ETF requirements into their institutional and legal frameworks; and for taking action.
In my country there is no legislation on land resources. Can the country receive assistance in formulating or expediting the enacting of these laws?
The protection of land resources covers a vast array of different pieces of legislation that reflects the diversity of problems and variety of resources. FAO sets guidelines and standards in this respect. For more information, please visit the following websites:
In terms of transparency, however, we should be looking at linkages between land use and GHG inventories, as well as tracking mitigation and adaptation progress on land. The 2006 IPCC Guidelines and the 2019 IPCC refinement (vol. 4, chapters 2-9) provide the necessary methodologies that allow countries to calculate GHG emissions and removals In order to help countries build the capacity to report on GHG emissions and removals from land use, FAO developed the e-learning course “The national greenhouse gas inventory for land use".
What software one can use for the estimation of the precursors emissions? What is the list of the precursors in this sector?
Information can be found in the sectoral chapters of the 2006 IPCC guidelines - for example in volume four. Furthermore, the EMEP/Corinair inventory guidebook provides additional information and methodologies. The precursors in the AFOLU sector are: NOx, CO, NMVOC, and SO2. They are mainly the result of biomass burning and of the addition of nitrogen to soils. More technical details will be given in the specialized webinars.
Please advise on whether the use of the GS1 standards as a foundation for traceability is being accepted as a norm?
For national GHG inventories and the ETF, the “standards” to be applied (methodological guidance) are those of the IPCC Guidelines. For the AFOLU sector, Volume 4 of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines in combination with Volume 1 of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines ( are recommended.
Do you match your Nationally determined contributions’ (NDC) Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRVs) with current FAO data reporting frameworks such as the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA)?
Yes, the national NDC MRV framework should be consistent with the FAO data reporting framework. However, this does not necessarily mean that the same data and information should always be reported in the NDC and FAO reports such as FRA. For example, a country may apply a different forest definition for reporting in FRA and for its GHG inventory and NDC. Nevertheless, a country should always aim at ensuring the consistency of information in all reporting requirements for the same issue, element, category, etc. The same data source should inform the FRA and GHG inventory and NDC reports. It should allow for differences in the final reported values based on the criteria and thresholds for the different forest definitions.
How essential are having common tables to report on progresses and ensuring transparency in reporting? which common tables are expected/advised to be adopted by countries?
The common reporting tables (CRT) is one of the two main elements comprising the national GHG inventory report, together with the national GHG inventory document. The importance of the CRT lies in that they ensure transparency and most importantly comparability of information among countries. The same apply for the common tabular formats (CTF) for reporting on tracking progress made in implementing and achieving the NDCs. The CRTs and CTF to be used by Parties under the ETF are still under negotiation and expected to be finalized in CMA 3.
How are emission factors established?
For key categories, the IPCC Guidelines suggest performing estimates of GHGs at higher tiers. In these cases, the methodologies to develop nationally specific emission factors (EFs) depend on the category and are illustrated in the IPCC Guidelines under Choice of Emission Factors / Tier 2 in each category chapter. However, it would be best to first investigate scientific literature in your own country or neighboring countries in similar conditions, or the IPCC EF database.
Capacity building and pilot countries
Could you please share insights from the international consultation and analysis (ICA) process? in particular in relation to the main capacity building needs that have been identified related to the AFOLU sector?
The ICA process aims to increase the transparency of mitigation actions and their effects, in a manner that is non-intrusive, non-punitive and respectful of the national sovereignty. The discussion on the appropriateness of domestic policies and measures is not part of the process. The process also contributes towards capacity-building of developing country Parties, which is reflected in the improved reporting of subsequent BURs.
The ICA process consists of two steps, which are triggered by the submission of BURs:
  • A technical analysis of BUR by a team of experts (TTE)
  • A facilitative sharing of views in the form of workshop under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)
A team of technical experts (TTE) conducts a technical analysis of the BURs submitted by developing country Parties, and any additional technical information that may be provided by the Party concerned. An increasing number of developing country Parties are submitting national inventory reports (NIR) as additional information, as well as submitting REDD+ as technical annex to the BURs.
I would like to have clarification on CBIT: can only a mandated focal agency - or can any agency in a country - implement it?
The GEF considers two different kind of agencies: the “GEF Agencies” and the “Executing Agencies”. The “GEF Agencies” are well identified in the GEF Partnership. There are 18 agencies responsible for elaborating, submitting reports to the GEF, supervising and monitoring the projects. They receive a fee of 9 or 9.5 percent of the project amount. The “Executing Agencies” are responsible for the actual implementation of the project. It could be any organization in the country (other than a “GEF Agency”), chosen by the project developers (the “GEF Agency”) and the Government. It is most often a national institution.
I am interested in learning more about your capacity building and knowledge enhancement activities in partner countries.
Through the CBIT-AFOLU project FAO is supporting countries to enhance their technical and institutional capacities to standardize and strengthen their MRV and M&E systems in line with the ETF. Countries will eventually be in a better position to scale up their mitigation and adaptation targets, as well as increase ambitions under the Paris Agreement.
In addition to the activities delivered in collaboration with pilot countries and national CBIT projects, the CBIT-AFOLU project is actively responding to a number of other country requests for technical support linked to transparency in the AFOLU sector, thanks to the collaboration with other CBIT/MRV implementing agencies and transparency initiatives. Ultimately, the direct benefits of the Global CBIT-AFOLU project will be further extended through knowledge-sharing networks and transferred to other developing countries, creating a self-sustaining cycle of institutional and technical capacity improvements which will enhance transparency at the global level.
Learn more on capacity building and knowledge enhancement in partnering countries at:
Transparency Projects
You have already touched on the capacity and the reporting mechanisms. Are you also considering national reporting partners in addition just to the country office/state?
A Transparency network has been developed which incorporates various channels for enhancing synergies and collaborations among countries, different partners and even individual practitioners. The main components of the network are the “Transparency in agriculture and land use sectors discussion group” and the online” Roster of transparency practitioners”. Anyone is free to join them. For more information please visit the link (Transparency Homepage) or contact us at [email protected].
Is Mali one of your pilot countries?
Yes, Mali is one of the pilot countries in the Global CBIT-AFOLU project
How our country could participate in the ICAT Program?
We would suggest visiting ICAT website and contact [email protected].
How important is capacity building to this initiative especially in least developed countries?
Capacity building, in particular enhancing the “in-house” capacity of developed countries, is at the core of the objective of the FAO CBIT-AFOLU project and its related initiatives and tools.
I see that a lot of emphasis is on the AFOLU sector. However, livestock - which is a very important emitter of GHGs is not mentioned. Should the ETF emphasize livestock sector more?
Emissions from livestock are part of what more in general we call the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector and the Enhanced Transparency Framework refers to modalities of reporting despite the sector. Therefore livestock is included in the scope of the FAO CBIT-AFOLU project, its related initiatives and tools. The project addresses livestock-related issue in collaboration with FAO experts based on country requests.
Countries who have moved to implement REDD+ have made significant progress in improving transparency. However, in our case it seems that the results of REDD+ were not appealing for countries that have not yet implemented it. How do we convince countries to go ahead and improve systems instead of just carbon off-setting?
Countries applying the REDD+ mechanism on a voluntary basis generally improved their capacity to monitor and report emissions and absorptions in the forest sector. The Modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) and the IPCC Guidelines also encourage them to improve monitoring systems. However, due to limited resources, improvements should be sought primarily in key categories where they could reduce uncertainties and the application of higher tiers. The Biennial Transparency Reports, which should be submitted by 2024 at the latest, will undergo a tough process of revision which will also scrutinize the existence of improvement plans and achievements compared to previous plans.
Many countries face challenges preparing for the AFOLU sector monitoring system in alignment with the ETF. Are there any readiness plans from any funding sources for countries who want to strengthen their AFOLU sector monitoring systems?
In order to help countries strengthen their capacities for transparency, the GEF recently set up the CBIT fund, which is currently funding a vast number of global and national projects. The GEF CBIT funds are not limited to the AFOLU sector. Other funding agencies and projects such as ICAT and PATPA may provide additional resources and support.
Primary producers (farmers, corporate farming entities, etc.) are often not aware of the importance of data. How are we going to contact them individually?
Data availability is a real issue in many countries. However, this is even more so in countries which do not have institutional arrangements. The latter is an organized and durable system that manages the greenhouse gas inventory and reporting, with assigned roles (including data provision), responsibilities, and budgets.
For more information on institutional arrangements, please visit:


The webinar is organized by the Transparency in agriculture and land use sectors team in FAO's Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment. For more details about the learning event, please contact [email protected]