We have to-date successfully completed a number of carbon accounting projects, using various software and a number of different approaches:
- Fort Nelson Timber Supply Area
- Invermere Timber Supply Area
- Lignum Innovative Forest Practices Agreement
- Nimpkish Defined Forest Area
- Soo Timber Supply Area
- Vanderhoof Forest District
In conjunction with Dr. Gary Bull (Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia), we have developed various carbon analysis capabilities within FSOS. By building upon our existing services in the areas of forest management planning and sustainable resource analysis, the addition of forest level carbon accounting allows us to consider carbon simultaneously with other forest values. FSOS thus provides an assessment of a forest's carbon account by summing the carbon status for each stand in the management unit while simultaneously scheduling forest harvest and silviculture treatments. Recently, we have begun to develop functionality to include first order decay curves, which addresses issues relating to prolonged carbon storage in wood products.
Depending on the scope and the budget available for the carbon accounting analysis, we have developed two approaches within FSOS:
- Generic Carbon Curves based on Biomass Expansion Factors
- Specific Carbon Curves developed on a project-by-project basis by FORRx Consulting Inc.
The first approach provides estimates of tree carbon based on the relationship between harvestable volume (as calculated for timber supply) and biomass. The second approach utilizes carbon curves created specifically for the same analysis units that were used for the most recent respective timber supply analysis; and because carbon curves are prepared for all carbon pools, total ecosystem carbon accounts can be calculated.
In addition to providing carbon accounting services using FSOS, we are able to provide this service utilizing the Carbon Budget Model created by the Canadian Forest Service (CBM-CFS3).
Generally, we start with a current assessment of the management unit and prepare a baseline carbon scenario, which provides a measure of the forest level carbon account based on current management activities. Once the baseline is established, various management strategies can be investigated and the effect on the carbon account can be quantified. We are thus able to provide a scenario-based planning approach that allows our clients to compare various management options; results from the carbon account analysis can assist negotiations with potential greenhouse gas offset buyers.
Because our FSOS-based carbon account analysis utilizes the same data inputs as other resource analysis projects, we provide a considerable level of analysis efficiency and are able to pass the savings on to our clients. Data inputs required for carbon account analysis include:
- Forest inventory data
- Stand level dynamics (including growth and yield and carbon pool data)
- Forest management assumptions
- Forest management objectives
- Eligible forest management regimes
- Natural disturbance occurrences and patterns
Outcomes may include total ecosystem carbon budget, status of each carbon pool (above- and below-ground tree, understory, litter, coarse woody debris and soil organic matter), carbon sequestration, carbon flux, and carbon storage in wood products. These indicators can be reported annually or periodically.