Improving estimates of greenhouse gas emissions in Zambia
ZAMBIA – On May 26th, Research Forester Grant Domke, with the Northern Research Station, presented the results of his work in support of the Zambian government’s efforts to more accurately estimate their greenhouse gas emissions from the forestry sector. While deforestation and other land-use changes cause most of Zambia’s greenhouse gas emissions, in recent years, the government has significantly increased investment in the forestry sector, demonstrating commitment to reducing emissions from forest degradation and conserving forested resources for the benefit of Zambian communities.
Through the interagency technical cooperation program of the U.S. Government, SilvaCarbon, Domke first travelled to Zambia in May 2019 to work with the Zambia Forestry Department on analyzing their forestry data to develop emission factors for country-specific greenhouse gas emission estimations. This work helps the country meet international reporting requirements on greenhouse gas emissions and lays the foundation for results-based payments to be made when reducing forestry-related emissions in Zambia’s eastern province through the Zambian Integrated Forest Landscape Program, part of the World Bank Biocarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes. This program requires forestry sector emission estimates to be based upon country-specific data, which is now possible through Domke’s technical support.
During Domke’s initial visit he facilitated a training on how to develop emission factors for government technicians so they can take the lead on these kinds of analyses in the future. The knowledge and capacity building that researchers and technicians within the USDA Forest Service provide to global partners facilitates sharing of best practices for improved generation of information on forest resources to better plan for future changes in land use and the resulting impacts in local communities and the country more broadly.