Assessing carbon stocks using indigenous peoples' field measurements in Amazonian Guyana

Butt, Nathalie, Epps, Kimberly, Overman, Han, Iwamura, Takuya and Fragoso, Jose M. V. (2015) Assessing carbon stocks using indigenous peoples' field measurements in Amazonian Guyana. Forest Ecology and Management, 338 191-199. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2014.11.014

Author Butt, Nathalie
Epps, Kimberly
Overman, Han
Iwamura, Takuya
Fragoso, Jose M. V.
Title Assessing carbon stocks using indigenous peoples' field measurements in Amazonian Guyana
Journal name Forest Ecology and Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-1127
Publication date 2015-02-05
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.11.014
Open Access Status
Volume 338
Start page 191
End page 199
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Accurate estimations of carbon stocks across large tracts of tropical forests are key for participation in programs promoting avoided deforestation and carbon sequestration, such as the UN REDD+ framework. Trained local technicians can provide such data, and this, combined with satellite imagery, allows robust carbon stock estimation across vegetation classes and large areas. In the first comprehensive survey in Guyana conducted by indigenous people, ground data from 21 study sites in the Rupununi region were used to estimate above ground tree carbon density across a diversity of ecosystems and land use types. Carbon stocks varied between village sites from 1Tg to 22.7Tg, and these amounts were related to stem density and diameter. This variation was correlated with vegetation type across the region, with savannas holding on average 14MgCha-1 and forests 153MgCha-1. The results indicated that previous estimates based on remotely sensed data for this area may be inaccurate (under estimations). There were also differences in carbon densities between village sites and uninhabited control areas, which are presumably driven by community use. Recruiting local technicians for field work allowed (a) large amounts of ground data to be collected for a wide region otherwise hard to access, and (b) ensured that local people were directly involved in Guyana's Low Carbon Development Strategy as part of REDD+. This is the first such comprehensive survey of carbon stocks, carbon density and vegetation types over a large area in Guyana, one of the first countries to develop such a program. The potential inclusion of forests held by indigenous peoples in REDD+ programs is a global issue: we clearly show that indigenous people are capable of assessing and monitoring carbon on their lands.
Keyword Carbon density
Indigenous land management
Land cover satellite imagery
Tree carbon stocks
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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