Indicator 79. Net GHG emissions in the Agriculture, Forest and other Land Use (AFOLU) sector (tCO2e)

Rationale and definition:

This indicator is defined as total net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) – in the Agriculture, Forest and other Land Use (AFOLU) sector, broken down by gas (including CO2, N2O and CH4) and by land used category (including forest lands, croplands, grasslands, wetlands, settlements and other lands), according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 guidelines for the national GHG inventory,1 and the Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (GPG-LULUCF).2

Inventory methods need to be practical and operational. For the AFOLU Sector, anthropogenic GHG and removals by sinks are defined as all those occurring on “managed land.” Managed land is land where human interventions and practices have been applied to perform production, ecological or social functions. Emissions/removals of greenhouse gases do not need to be reported for unmanaged land. However, it is good practice for countries to quantify and track over time the area of unmanaged land so that consistency in area accounting is maintained as land-use change occurs.


By gas and land use category. In addition, they could also be expressed on a per ton of production basis because data on per unit land may lead to misleading conclusions.

Comments and limitations:

As explained in the introduction of the IPCC 2006 guidelines for the national greenhouse gases inventory chapter 4 on AFOLU,3 the AFOLU sector has some unique characteristics with respect to developing inventory methods. The factors governing emissions and removals can be both natural and anthropogenic (direct and indirect) and it can be difficult to clearly distinguish between causal factors. In addition, this indicator complements #12 Nitrogen use efficiency in food systems.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Primary data source:

Administrative data.

Potential lead agency or agencies:

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) collects data on countries’ national GHG inventories, including for the AFOLU sector, on a regular basis.

  1. Eggleston HS, Buendia L, Miwa K, Ngara T, and Tanabe K (eds.) (2006).

  2. See Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry.

  3. 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Volume 4: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use.