The Ministry of the Environment of Japan and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) convened, together with the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia, the “14th Workshop on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories in Asia (WGIA14)” from 26 to 28 July 2016 in Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar. The main purpose of the annual workshop was to develop and improve national GHG inventories in the Asian region and to enhance cooperative relationships as a means of achieving this.
93 participants attended WGIA14, including government and research institution representatives of thirteen countries (Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam), in addition to representatives of the Technical Support Unit of the IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and others.
Mutual learning sessions on GHG inventories were held during the workshop, and discussions took place on themes related to Biennial Update Reports (BURs) and to various activities with co-benefits for GHG inventories/mitigation and related support. In the mutual learning sessions, the following four GHG inventory sectors were taken up – Energy, Industrial Processes, Land Use, Land-Use Change and forestry (LULUCF) and Waste.
For each session, two countries engaged with each other by following up on the Q&A which had taken place over the course of two and a half months preceding the workshop. Experts and government officials in charge of the national inventory from the partnering countries met each other in person at the sessions, clarifying their questions and elaborating on their answers.
Through the mutual learning sessions, specific issues in the four inventory sectors were identified and some solutions were proposed. Common difficulties such as challenges in collecting activity data or achieving completeness in the coverage of sources/sinks, as well as institutional arrangement issues were acknowledged.
Following the mutual learning sessions, the following topics were taken up in the plenary sessions: 1) Updates on the National Communications and BURs from developing country Parties, 2) Institutional Arrangements for National GHG Inventories and BURs, 3) Good Practices in the International Consultation and Analysis (ICA) Process, and 4) Activities with co-benefits for GHG inventories/mitigation and related support.
Photo credit: Basharat Alam Shah
In Session 1), participants exchanged views on how to interpret UNFCCC decisions, and the practicalities of implementing them. It was acknowledged that the 2006 IPCC Guidelines reflect the latest scientific knowledge, but the transition to using them requires capacity building. In Session 2), the importance of coordinating between institutional arrangements for inventory preparation, mitigation planning and adaptation was highlighted. In Session 3), it was acknowledged that the ICA process contributes to enhancing transparency, and the capacity of countries to improve their GHG inventories, mitigation and emission reduction work, as well as to the next submission of BURs and Nationally Determined Contributions. In Session 4), participants reconfirmed the co-benefits between air pollution control, terrestrial monitoring and the enhancing of GHG inventories. Clarifications were also sought and provided for related support for the improvement of GHG inventories.