Allometric volume and biomass models in Tanzania

Under the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (ICFI), Norway and Tanzania signed a Letter of Intent on a Climate Change Partnership in April 2008. The two countries agreed to cooperate for five years and Norway committed itself to support the cooperation with up to Norwegian Kroner (NOK) 500 million equivalent to United States Dollar (US$) 100 million for the period. As a result of this cooperation, Norway provided support to the government of Tanzania which aimed at improving capacity to manage REDD+ so as to prepare the county for the upcoming REDD+ payments (REDD+ Readiness process).

The Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation (CCIAM) Programme was a 5 year Programme (2009-2014) being supported under the Norwegian ICFI. It was implemented by four local Tanzanian Institutions (Sokoine University of Agriculture, University of Dar es Salaam, Ardhi University and Tanzania Meteorological Agency) in collaboration with four Norwegian Institutions (Norwegian University of life Sciences; Oslo University; Center for International Climate and Environmental Research; and Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute). The Programme was officially launched on 30th November 2009 and the contract agreement between the Royal Norwegian Embassy (representing the Royal Norwegian Government) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (representing the government of Tanzania) was signed on 16th December 2009. Funds for the implementation of the CCIAM Programme were first released on 21st January 2010 and research activities started in February 2011 after holding a harmonization of site selection workshop. Most of the research activities were done through MSc and PhD scholarships.

The Project “Development of biomass estimation models for carbon monitoring in selected vegetation types of Tanzania” was one of several projects implemented under the CCIAM Programme. This project also got additional funding from the research project on Enhancing the Measuring, Reporting and Verification of forests in Tanzania through the application of advanced remote sensing technology (MRVLiDAR). The main objective of the project was to develop models and methods for assessing and monitoring carbon stocks in Tanzania required for implementation of REDD+ at local as well as national levels. Vegetation types/tree species covered were miombo woodlands, lowland and humid montane forests, mangrove forests, thicket, Acacia-Commiphora woodlands, forest plantations (Pinus patula and Tectona grandis), and coconut, cashewnut and baobab trees.

For some vegetation types, both biomass and volume models were developed while for others only biomass models have been covered. In total 801 tree were sampled for aboveground biomass estimation; 542 for belowground biomass and 551 for volume. The work was implemented through a scholarly process which resulted into 5 PhD and 7 MSc degrees thus contributing to capacity building in the country. Also several papers in peer reviewed journals have been published. This book was written by members of the project as well as students who participated in project research activities. The book may be useful for scholars who wish to engage in tree allometric modelling. The developed models may also be used in REDD+ estimations and other carbon trade mechanisms. They may as well be useful to the practicing forester for determination of forest stocking levels needed for forest planning.


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