Mapping greenhouse gas emissions and removals from the land use, land use change, and forestry sector at the local level

G.H. Mitri*, J. Karam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry sector (LULUCF) are estimated and reported in National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By definition, the LULUCF sector is a “greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory sector that covers emissions and removals of greenhouse gases resulting from direct human-induced land use, land-use change and forestry activities”. In principle, the annual GHG national inventory should be transparent, consistent, comparable, complete, and accurate. Also, it should be able to systematically account for all changes in land use and forest cover over many years. In this context, it is essential to investigate the development of an automated approach for mapping local GHG emissions/removals from the LULUCF sector for integration at the national level. In view of that, the aim of this work was to develop a semi-automated model for estimating GHG emissions and removals form the LULUCF sector at the local level. The specific objectives were to 1) map changes in land use and forest cover between two consecutive years, and 2) assess GHG emissions and removals from the LULUCF sector. The methodology of work comprised the use of Geographic ObjectBased Image Analysis (GEOBIA) for modelling changes in the LULUCF sector and, subsequently, estimating GHG emissions/removals between two consecutive years. The combined use of Very High Resolution (VHR) SPOT imagery (2.5 m colour) and field data was involved in identifying and mapping land-use changes between 2014 and 2015. Subsequently, GHG emissions and removals were estimated using customized features in GEOBIA and following the 2003 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry”, which adopts a land use category-based
approach to estimate emissions/removals from all land categories and all relevant GHGs. An accuracy assessment of the initial classification was conducted with the use of reference data. The overall classification accuracy of the LULUCF mapping in 2014 was found to be 83%, while the Kappa Index of Agreement (KIA) was 0.74. The developed GEOBIA model estimated for the year 2015 net annual GHG removals of -1.613 Gg of CO2 eq. (i.e., an approximate increase of 12.7% in removals between 2014 and 2015).
Future work will involve further development of the model to account for all possible changes in the LULUCF sector and test the transferability of the model to other sites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of GEOBIA 2016 : Solutions and synergies, 14-16 September 2016, Enschede, Netherlands
EditorsN. Kerle, M. Gerke, S. Lefevre
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-90-365-4201-2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis, GEOBIA 2016: Solutions & Synergies - University of Twente Faculty of Geo-Information and Earth Observation (ITC), Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Sep 201616 Sep 2016
Conference number: 6


Conference6th International Conference on Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis, GEOBIA 2016
Abbreviated titleGEOBIA
Internet address


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