In the context of the adoption at the 16th Conference of the Parties in 2010 on the REDD+ mitigation mechanism, it is important to obtain reliable data on the spatiotemporal variation of forest carbon stocks and changes (called Emission Factor, EF). A re-occurring debate in estimating EF for REDD+ is the use of existing field measurement data. We provide an assessment of the use of commercial logging inventory data and ecological data to estimate a conservative EF (REDD+ phase 2) or to report on EF following IPCC Guidance and Guidelines (REDD+ phase 3).
The data presented originate from five logging companies dispersed over Gabon, totalling 2,240 plots of 0.3 hectares. We distinguish three Forest Types (FTs) in the dataset based on floristic conditions. Estimated mean aboveground biomass (AGB) in the FTs ranges from 312 to 333 Mg ha−1. A 5% accuracy is reached with the number of plots put in place for the FTs and a low sampling uncertainty obtained (± 10 to 13 Mg ha−1). The data could be used to estimate a conservative EF in REDD+ phase 2 and only partially to report on EF following tier 2 requirements for a phase 3.