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Land sector reporting

Overview of the land sector in Australia's National Inventory

In Australia, the land sector covers approximately 769 million hectares and in net terms contributed a small sink, offsetting the equivalent of about 3.5% of total human-induced greenhouse gas emissions to the annual national inventory in 2016-17. Emissions from activities such as agricultural production and land clearing are offset through the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by forest lands, croplands, grasslands and other vegetation.

Given the size of Australia's land sector, it is not economically feasible or logistically practical to measure emissions and removals of greenhouse gases over such a large area with the use of direct emissions estimation methods alone, such as field sampling. Given these national circumstances, the design of Australia's national inventory system for the land sector relies heavily on the use of a modelling framework, to estimate the carbon stock change in ecosystems (above and belowground biomass, standing and decomposing debris and soil carbon resulting from land use and management activities).

Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM)

The Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) is the model used to construct Australia's national greenhouse gas emissions account for the land sector.

FullCAM deals with both the biological and management processes which affect carbon pools and the transfers between pools in forest and agricultural systems. The exchanges of carbon, loss and uptake between the terrestrial biological system and the atmosphere are accounted for in the full/closed cycle mass balance model which includes all biomass, debris and soil pools.

Download the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM)

FullCAM is the calculation engine which supports the estimation of carbon stock change on forest and agricultural systems.

System Requirements: This application will run on Windows (XP or higher) and 2GB RAM or more is recommended.

A new release of FullCAM is coming

A new version of FullCAM is being developed for release in 2020. This version will offer changes which make it faster and easier to use, as well as providing revised calibrations.

The update reflects more than three years of research work undertaken by CSIRO, informed by over 20 years of data on plant growth and its effects on the carbon cycle. This significant advance in the science has been progressively implemented into Australia's carbon accounts for the land sector. In particular, the improvements better reflect the spread of carbon densities in Australia's native forests by incorporating a significantly expanded dataset on measurements for these forests, and better model the dynamics of growth, turnover and decay in forests.

The forthcoming 2020 release of FullCAM will align with the calibrations used for Australia's 2018 National Greenhouse Accounts, to be released in May 2020. This release will also be used for calculations under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

Although this updated version of FullCAM will not be officially released until September 2020, a pre-release version is available here for users to download and preview, particularly to help with forward planning for ERF projects.

  • Download FullCAM 2020 pre-release version (MSI file)
  • We have been made aware that while simulations in the pre-release can be run using a start date of 31 December 2017 or earlier, a bug causes the model to freeze when using a 2018 or later start date. We are working to resolve the issue.

See how the 2020 pre-release version of FullCAM differs from the 2019 pre-release version . You can provide comments on the draft method-specific FullCAM Guidelines to support the pre-release.

Land sector technical reports

A large body of work has been undertaken to design and develop Australia's land sector net emissions reporting capability, including FullCAM and the remote sensing program for forest cover change. This work is detailed in a range of technical reports and other reports commissioned from the CSIRO, and is further explained in Chapter 6 (including appendices) of Volume 2 of the National Inventory Report.

Technical support

For enquiries relating to the use of FullCAM with Emissions Reduction Fund methods and FullCAM Guidelines, please contact erfforests@industry.gov.au. For all other FullCAM enquiries, please contact fullcam@industry.gov.au.

FullCAM Guidelines for Emissions Reduction Fund Methods

Several Emissions Reduction Fund Methods require the use of method-specific FullCAM Guidelines to calculate carbon abatement. Method-specific FullCAM Guidelines can be downloaded by selecting the applicable vegetation management method at the link below and then selecting the 'Method Tools' sub-heading on the linked page.