SilvaCarbon/CEOS Regional Workshop – Biomass Measurements

27 June 2022 - 02 July 2022

Many tropical forested countries have pledged to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as part of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) or in the context of results-based payments under REDD+ (Art. 5), two elements of the Paris Agreement. The implementing rules of the Agreement introduced more rigorous GHG fluxes reporting requirements for developing country-Parties (or non-Annex I countries), posing a domestic challenge to these countries, given many of them have never submitted a GHG inventory under the current measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) arrangements.

Satellite-based Forest monitoring is an integral part of domestic MRV systems. The recent and planned deployment of satellite missions specifically designed to measure above-ground biomass (AGB) density is very attractive, especially to countries with remote and inaccessible forests. Considerations on their use are particularly relevant in light of the new 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. However, the availability of multiple satellite products is confusing, there are still very few examples of the practical implementation of the IPCC Guidelines, and the guidance itself seems generic and unclear, which hinders the uptake of these new datasets.

The group of countries from Latin America and the Caribbean has been increasingly advancing their methodologies and improving their MRV capabilities. The SilvaCarbon program and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) are co-organizing a regional workshop to bring together i) national land monitoring experts and GHG inventory analysts from Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Guatemala; ii) global land monitoring experts from the CEOS group; and iii) LULUCF experts nominated in the UNFCCC roster by their governments or contributors to the 2019 refinement of the IPCC guidelines. Participants will discuss the new capabilities for measuring biomass from space and how they can be integrated with plot data to improve NFIs and GHG inventories following IPCC guidance. The workshop also includes a 1-day field trip to a forest plot to validate a model to map biomass combining GEDI and plot data that has been tested by INFONA and the US Forest Service.


1. To present the national forest inventory systems, focusing on plot design and measurements and on the methods currently used to derive emission/removal factors (EF/RFs) and estimate GHG fluxes in the reports to the UNFCCC. Exchange experiences of the verification processes and identify shared difficulties and the ways found to overcome those difficulties, with an emphasis on EF/RFs.

2. To introduce the existing and upcoming space agency missions specifically designed to map AGB and the ongoing projects producing continental to global biomass maps. Showcase different methodologies and discuss their potential value to estimate GHG fluxes in the land sector. Discuss partnerships for the calibration/validation of products.

3. To discuss the IPCC guidance with a focus on the 2019 refinement and the considerations for the use of satellite-based data and derived products.