Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Carbon Stock in Sub-National Level Forests in Nepal

Version 1 : Received: 18 March 2021 / Approved: 22 March 2021 / Online: 22 March 2021 (11:17:20 CET)

How to cite: Ghimire, B.R.; Mishra, B.; Nagai, M.; Asanobu, K.; Sasaki, N. Carbon Stock in Sub-National Level Forests in Nepal. Preprints 2021, 2021030516 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0516.v1). Ghimire, B.R.; Mishra, B.; Nagai, M.; Asanobu, K.; Sasaki, N. Carbon Stock in Sub-National Level Forests in Nepal. Preprints 2021, 2021030516 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0516.v1).

Abstract

United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCC) conventions in their conference of parties (COPs) has continuously considered and agreed reducing emission level in order to minimize the impact of global climate change. Reducing emission due to deforestation and degradation (REDD) ,was considered as one of the major activities in this regard during Kyoto protocol in 2009 which laid foundation for the participating countries to be compensated financially for reduced carbon emission. Mexico convention -2012 required the countries to develop and implement a transparent and consistent monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) process. Later in Paris agreement-2015, the parties agreed to limit the global warming to 2 degree centigrade and with further efforts to 1.5-degree centigrade furthering entailing the parties to prepare and communicate nationally determined contributions (NDCs) every five years. Nepal aimed to decrease the average annual deforestation rate by 0.05 percent from existing 0.44 percent in the terai region and 0.1 percent in the Chure. Nepal decided to develop its forest reference level (FRL) in national level for the historical period 2000-2010 considering Carbon dioxide and carbon pools above and below ground. As per the Forestry Sector Strategy, Nepal aims to increase carbon stock growth by at least 5% by 2025 as compared to 2015 and decrease mean annual deforestation rate to 0.05. After major change in administrative division in Nepal, forest management responsibility has shifted down to the Sub-national level. But forest resource studies have not been conducted yet in these levels. Despite a small country, Nepal has at least four clear physiological regions. The amount of carbon stock stored by different forest type are different depending upon species distribution, carbon volume and density for each species, and their distribution along ecological and physiological regions. Sal (shorea Robusta), for example, having one of the highest carbon densities, is a major forest types in Nepal. The purpose of this study was to generate forest map of the country, calculate carbon stock, gain and loss, and their rate in each province due to deforestation/afforestation using remote sensing data. Further Sal forest map was generated and its contribution in carbon stock was calculated using averaged national carbon density as well as using regional density method. According to the study, around 5.1 million hectares of Nepali land was forest in 2015 increasing from 4.2 million hectares in 2005. However, Sal forest has decreased during the same period. Province 1 contributed the maximum (130 Tg) and Province 2 the minimum (40Tg) of Carbon stock in 2015. Using the conventional method of calculation with national average density (108.08 t/ha), a total of 36.7T CO2 yr-1 carbon sink was observed in the Country. Whereas, with the new approach of calculation, a total of 44.7 T CO2 e of carbon sink per year was estimated during the same period. This approach holds potential for qualifying as an MRV process of Nepal. The subnational level forest and carbon statistics produced during this study can be important assets for the better forest governance. This can also pave way for policy formation and preparation of action plan for sustainable forest management and intervention strategy and obtaining better financial incentives participating in the reduction of emission due to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) plus programs.

Keywords

REDD; Carbon Stock; MRV; Remote Sensing; Sal; Sub-national

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