Supporting the Emissions Reduction Fund

With a strong background in project level methods, the Mullion Group supported the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy in the development and review of forest-based methods under Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund. The objective of each exercise was to develop scientifically robust methods, that were clearly articulated and would result in projects under the ERF. This included the recently released Plantation Forestry method, and investigating the feasibility of a woodlands restoration method.

 

Land attribution process

The Mullion Group was engaged by the Australian Department of the Environment to develop an open source tool for countries to attribute the agent of change in spatial land cover change data, to address a gap in available systems.

Remote sensing of land cover has progressed rapidly over the past 10 years. Many data streams have become freely available (Landsat in particular) and the methods of disseminating and processing the data now allow users easy access to data that is close to analysis ready. This has led many countries to develop operational systems based on remote sensing detection of land cover change. Several global products have been developed and made publicly available and are being continuously updated and improved. These methods and products are providing new insights into how land management and land cover has changed over the past 20-30 years.

However, there are multiple reasons for changes in land cover, including human action (such as deforestation or harvesting) and natural disturbances (such as fire or pest attack). These changes cannot be readily identified from land cover data produced from remote sensing. Further, as with any measurement, there will be errors due to multiple factors.

The new land use change tool, along with country specific data and definitions, provide a process for identifying the agent of change and provides spatial and tabular outputs.

The first version of the tool was tested in Indonesia in 2016 in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.