In March 2017, The Carbon Institute’s International Advisory Panel has issued a new report compiling best practice recommendations for building Terrestrial Carbon Accounting (TCA) certificate programs at top universities in China and Indonesia. Top recommendations include engaging government at multiple levels in course design (recommendation 1) and to consider trainee motivations and professional development options (recommendation 7) for strong career outcomes. Implementing these and other recommendations will enable young leaders to turn their country’s pollution reduction pledges into real measurable actions.
Terrestrial Carbon Accounting uses satellite imagery, ground-based forest measurements, math, and statistics to apply the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines for carbon inventories to track carbon stocks and fluxes in ecosystems. TCA is essential for transparency under the Paris Agreement and for accessing results-based climate finance in the forest sector. Since government workforces tasked with carrying out TCA for governments (e.g. foresters, policymakers) are often small and insufficiently trained, a new skilled workforce is needed. Universities provide an ideal home for sustainable and advanced capacity building on TCA and other technical subjects.
H.E. Mr. Manuel Pulgar Vidal and Dr Ralph Keeling, advisors to the IKI-funded project Carbon Institute project, convened an International Advisory Panel for Terrestrial Carbon Accounting in September 2016 in California. Ten advisors from seven countries discussed the essentials of strong university-based capacity building for carbon accounting. Their report contains the panel’s recommendations for designing the next generation of climate change training programmes that are country-owned, sustainable over time, and designed to solve real government needs.
The publication also introduces The Carbon Institute, which fosters international academic and government cooperation to help measure and manage carbon, and was founded with funding from the German Environmental Ministry’s Internationale Climate Initiative. The Carbon Institute applies a replicable model for creating sustainable in-country TCA certificate programs and will run TCA programs in China and Indonesia. The 11 recommendations in the new report challenge The Carbon Institute to deliver mitigation-ready carbon accounting, blend on-line and in-person training, create world class carbon accounting certificates and foster long term partnerships between government professionals and universities.
The first Carbon Institute TCA programs in China and Indonesia will begin in 2018. The eleven recommendations from the advisory panel will shape these programs to train tomorrow’s forest carbon workforce and meet the transparency needs of the Paris Agreement.