GHG emissions from fire – Cosenza province (Italy)

 Alternative: GHG emissions from fire in Cosenza province (IT)
SDG: Climate Action

Indicator: GHG emissions (from fires) (ESS code: 13_10)

Close UN indicator: 13.2.2 

Copernicus components that will be used:        

Area description:
Calabria is one of the 20 Italian administrative regions (red in the caption map); it extends for 15’080 km2 in southern Italy with almost 2M inhabitants and very high seasonal fluctuations being a relevant cultural and natural holiday destination. Landscape is hilly to mountainous, with lowlands limited to the coastal plains. Annual rainfall ranges from >2000 mm over mountains to <500 mm along the coasts. More than 40% of Calabria has natural forest cover (642’000 ha), reaching 670’000 ha if including plantation areas.

Rationale: : Annual statistics from the globalforestwatch initiative show that from 2001 to 2020 Calabria lost 42’600 ha of tree cover, equivalent to a 6.3% decrease. Around 46% of tree cover loss was in the province of Cosenza (CS, green in the map), the one with the highest share of forest cover (≈50%). Between 2001 and 2020, forests in Calabria emitted 0.82 MtCO₂e/yr (0.41 MtCO₂e/yr for CS) and removed 6.2 MtCO2e/yr (3.27 MtCO2e/yr for CS). From 2013 to 2020, 95% of tree cover loss in Calabria (99% for CS) occurred within natural forests, equivalent to 10.2 MtCO2e emissions (5.8 MtCO2e for CS). Most forest cover changes are related to fires, decreasing the carbon sequestration potential while increasing emissions.

Improving quantification of the emissions from fires is a key component of the National Inventory Report (NIR) on GHG emissions, updated yearly under the UNFCCC from 1990 to the year-2 from the present time, and which contribute to the assessment of SDG indicator 13_10, related to SDG 13 ‘Climate Action”.

Applications: (currently not applicable)

Leader: CMCC


Main stakeholders involveds
“Carabinieri Forestali” (Italian State Forestry Corps) which can implement new ways to collect data on burnt areas and biomass.

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) in charge of using that information for emissions’ estimates in the National Inventory Report National Statistical Office (ISTAT) in charge of publishing the statistics on SDG indicators for Italy.
Objectives: Currently the methodology tor the National Inventory Report on the calculation of fire emissions from forest lands for three main GHGs (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane) includes field data collection which is time-consuming and costly, limited to events that required the Forestry Corps intervention and successive measurements, and suffers from uncertainty due to surveyor and/or survey instruments. The aim of the pilot is to increase the accuracy and completeness of activity data by exploiting Copernicus, especially improving the spatio-temporal detail of burnt areas and vegetation type/status.

Expected results & outcomes: The Pilot will deliver a Copernicus-based tool producing maps of the SDG indicator for the province of Cosenza. The maps will be available through the SDGs-EYES Service and will feed the DSS in the form required by users to allow them to analyse the information (e.g. spatial statistics, temporal aggregation) and embed it in the emission inventories.

The chain of target users and their extended network will learn how to use these results, and they will be made aware of the potential of Copernicus data for improving the quantification of the indicator. This will foster the replicability for other regions, periods, as well as further (towards pre-operational) developments in Italy, increasing the tier level of some components within the existing procedures under the IPCC guidelines. The matching of the end of the Kyoto protocol period (2020) with the beginning of the next 5-years cycles of the Paris Agreement open the way of stimulating further refinements in the adopted approaches which are required to be even more spatially explicit particularly for the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector.

Bovio (2007) ISBN 978-88-87553-13-0; Chiriacò et al. (2013) Doi:10.1071/WF12011; San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. (2021) Doi:10.2760/059331ß

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