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Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Page: 1366


Senator Milne asked the Minister for Climate Change and Water, upon notice, on 19 February 2008:

(1) (a)   Will the 2008 National Inventory Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) contain results and data from the FullCAM model, as produced by the National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS); and

(b)   Will the submission be based on data from 2006.

(2)   Will the NCAS, or the FullCAM model on which it is based, be calibrated with the latest carbon stock numbers for mature native forests, as found in studies such as ‘Assessing the carbon sequestration potential of managed forests: a case study from temperate Australia’ (Roxburgh et al, 2006) and ‘Growth modelling of Eucalyptus regnans for carbon accounting at the landscape scale’ (Dean et al, 2003).

(3) (a)   What age class data on ‘managed native forests’ will be used in the FullCAM model; and

(b)   will this age class data be available to the public.

(4) (a)   What expansion factors will be used to determine emissions from logging operations; and

(b)   on what scientific references are these expansion factors based.

(5) (a)   Will the soil carbon affected by harvesting in the model be used in the National Inventory Report for 2008; and

(b)   what scientific references and data sources are used to calibrate the effect of the harvest of native forests on soil carbon.

(6)   Given that Australia’s inventory will be scrutinized by the UNFCCC and the Marrakech Accords, which state that inventories should be ‘neither over- nor underestimated as far as can be judged’, can the Government confirm that the inventory will not underestimate emissions for Article 3.3 deforestation for the states for 2006.


Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1) (a)   The 2008 National Inventory Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will contain elements estimated using the FullCAM model of the National Carbon Accounting System.

(b)   The submission will present time-series data from 1990 to 2006.

(2)   The FullCAM model is calibrated using a synthesis of available national data. Some 200 studies have been used in the current FullCAM calibrations. The FullCAM calibrations are developed with the assistance of experts from organisations like the CSIRO and the Australian National University, and are published in peer-reviewed literature. Calibrations are reviewed periodically, and not just in response to new individual site data.

(3) (a)   The FullCAM model is not used at this stage to report managed native forests.

(b)   The age class data used to model managed native forests are presented in the National Inventory Report.

(4) (a)   The expansion factor used at present for the managed native forests model is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defaults presented in the 1996 IPCC (Revised) Guidelines.

(b)   The IPCC defaults used for managed native forests are based on Brown et al (1989) Forest Science 35:881-902, and are in the range of those reported by ECE/FAO (United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (1992), The Forest Resources of the Temperate Zones, The United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. (5)   (a & b) Under the UNFCCC reporting structures, soil carbon change from forest harvesting is not reported.

(5) (a & b)   Under the UNFCCC reporting structures, soil carbon change from forest harvesting is not reported.

(6)   Yes. The Government has observed the international guidelines for good inventory practices, and has worked with scientific and research institutions to assemble and synthesise available data to estimate emissions for Article 3.3 Deforestation. This is done openly and transparently, tested in peer-reviewed literature, and validated using field measurements.