Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Reforestation and Afforestation) Methodology Determination 2013

Link to law: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013L00123

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Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Reforestation and Afforestation) Methodology Determination 2013 1
 
Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011
I, MARK DREYFUS, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, make this Methodology Determination under subsection 106 (1) of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011.
Dated          29 January 2013
MARK DREYFUS
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
 
Contents
Part 1                           Preliminary
                      1.1      Name of determination                                                                        7
                      1.2      Commencement                                                                                  7
                      1.3      Definitions                                                                                          7
                      1.4      Type of project to which this Determination applies                            13
Part 2                           Requirements for declaration as eligible project
                      2.1      Eligible projects                                                                                14
                      2.2      Project mechanisms                                                                          14
                      2.3      Land with abatement potential                                                            14
                      2.4      Identification of project area                                                              14
Part 3                           Delineating boundaries
                      3.1      Delineation of project area                                                                 15
                      3.2      Delineating stratum boundaries                                                          15
                      3.3      Division of project area into strata                                                     16
                      3.4      Requirements for a stratum                                                                17
                      3.5      Growth disturbances and revision of strata                                         17
                      3.6      Requirements for revisions of strata boundaries                                 18
Part 4                           Operation of the project
                      4.1      Removal of trees                                                                              20
                      4.2      Prescribed burns                                                                               20
                      4.3      Restrictions relating to fertiliser use                                                    21
Part 5                           Methods for estimating net project abatement
Division 5.1                 Estimating project removals
Subdivision 5.1.1         General
                      5.1      General                                                                                             22
Subdivision 5.1.2         Conducting a full inventory
                      5.2      Conducting a full inventory                                                                22
Subdivision 5.1.3         Sampling plans
                      5.3      Developing and documenting a sampling plan                                    23
                      5.4      Sampling plan information for full inventory and PSP assessment       24
                      5.5      Sampling plan information for stratum specific functions                    25
                      5.6      Sampling plan information for regional functions                                25
Subdivision 5.1.4         Location of plots
                      5.7      Determining the location of plots                                                       26
Subdivision 5.1.5         Establishing and assessing plots
                      5.8      Establishing and assessing plots during full inventory                        28
                      5.9      Target probable limit of error – full inventory                                       28
                    5.10      Establishing plots                                                                             28
                    5.11      Plot configuration                                                                             29
                    5.12      Plot size                                                                                           30
                    5.13      Identifying and marking plots                                                             30
                    5.14      Plot visits during full inventory                                                           30
                    5.15      Collection of information during plot visits                                         31
                    5.16      Ex post analysis of plots                                                                  32
Subdivision 5.1.6         PSP assessments
                    5.17      Conducting PSP assessments                                                           32
                    5.18      General requirements for PSP assessments                                       32
                    5.19      Ex post analysis of PSPs                                                                 33
Subdivision 5.1.7         Plots located close to stratum boundaries
                    5.20      Dealing with plots located close to stratum boundaries                       33
                    5.21      Edge plots                                                                                       34
                    5.22      Plot carbon stocks                                                                            34
Subdivision 5.1.8         Allometric functions
                    5.23      Applying species specific allometric functions                                   34
                    5.24      Allometric domain                                                                             35
                    5.25      Regression fitting                                                                              35
                    5.26      Minimum data requirements                                                               36
                    5.27      Minimum regression fit requirements                                                  36
                    5.28      Variance of weighted residuals                                                          37
                    5.29      Allometric report                                                                               37
Subdivision 5.1.9         Allometric functions for live trees
                    5.30      Developing allometric functions for live trees                                     38
                    5.31      Developing stratum specific functions                                               39
                    5.32      Updating pre-existing stratum specific functions                                 40
                    5.33      Regional functions                                                                            41
                    5.34      Converting a stratum specific function to a regional function               42
Subdivision 5.1.10       Assessing biomass sample trees
                    5.35      Assessing above-ground biomass of biomass sample trees               42
                    5.36      Assessing root biomass of biomass sample trees                              43
                    5.37      Assessing biomass of entire biomass sample tree                             45
                    5.38      Record keeping and reporting                                                            45
Subdivision 5.1.11       Allometric functions for other trees
                    5.39      Developing allometric functions for trees other than live trees             45
Subdivision 5.1.12       Applicability of allometric functions
                    5.40      Testing the applicability of allometric functions                                   46
                    5.41      Compatibility checks                                                                         46
                    5.42      Validation test                                                                                   46
                    5.43      Reporting requirements                                                                     48
Subdivision 5.1.13       Assessing carbon stocks in fallen dead wood and litter
                    5.44      Assessing carbon stocks in litter                                                       49
                    5.45      Assessing carbon stocks in fallen dead wood                                    50
Division 5.2                 Calculating project emissions
                    5.46      Calculating fuel emissions from project activities                                51
                    5.47      Calculating fire emissions from a stratum                                           51
Part 6                           Calculating the carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement amount for a project in relation to a reporting period
Division 6.1                 Preliminary
                      6.1      General                                                                                             52
                      6.2      Greenhouse gas assessment boundary                                              52
                      6.3      Calculating the baseline for the project                                               53
                      6.4      Requirements for calculating carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement 53
Division 6.2                 Calculations
Subdivision 6.2.1         Calculating carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement amount
                      6.5      General                                                                                             55
                      6.6      Calculating the carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement amount         55
                      6.7      Calculating uncertainty for net abatement amount                               55
                      6.8      Calculating standard error for net abatement amount                           56
                      6.9      Calculating degrees of freedom for net abatement amount                  57
Subdivision 6.2.2         Calculating carbon stock change
                    6.10      Calculating carbon stock change for a project                                    57
                    6.11      Calculating carbon stock change for a stratum                                   58
Subdivision 6.2.3         Calculating initial carbon stocks for a stratum
                    6.12      Calculating initial carbon stocks for a stratum                                     61
Subdivision 6.2.4         Calculating closing carbon stocks for a stratum
                    6.13      Calculating closing carbon stocks for a stratum based on full inventory 62
                    6.14      Calculating closing carbon stocks for a stratum based on PSP assessment  63
Subdivision 6.2.5         Calculating lower confidence bound
                    6.15      Calculating the lower confidence bound for closing carbon stocks for a stratum        66
                    6.16      Calculating the lower confidence bound for mean ratio of change in PSP carbon stocks        66
Subdivision 6.2.6         Calculating mean ratio of change in PSP carbon stocks
                    6.17      Calculating the mean ratio of change in PSP carbon stocks                67
                    6.18      Calculating the ratio of change in PSP carbon stocks                         68
Subdivision 6.2.7         Calculating mean plot carbon stocks for a stratum
                    6.19      Calculating mean plot carbon stocks for a stratum                              69
Subdivision 6.2.8         Calculating carbon stocks in a plot
                    6.20      Calculating carbon stocks within a plot assessed as part of full inventory     70
                    6.21      Calculating carbon stocks within a PSP assessed as part of PSP assessment          71
Subdivision 6.2.9         Calculating carbon stocks in trees, fallen dead wood, and litter
                    6.22      Calculating carbon stocks in live trees within a plot                             72
                    6.23      Calculating carbon stocks in live fire affected trees within a plot          72
                    6.24      Calculating carbon stocks in dead standing trees within a plot             73
                    6.25      Calculating carbon stocks in dead standing fire affected trees within a plot   73
                    6.26      Calculating carbon stocks in litter within a plot                                    74
                    6.27      Calculating carbon stocks in fallen dead wood within a plot                74
Subdivision 6.2.10       Calculating biomass in trees
                    6.28      Calculating biomass in live trees within a plot                                     75
                    6.29      Calculating biomass in live fire affected trees within a plot                  75
                    6.30      Calculating biomass in dead standing trees within a plot                     76
                    6.31      Calculating biomass in dead standing fire affected trees within a plot  76
Subdivision 6.2.11       Calculating project emissions
                    6.32      Calculating project emissions                                                            77
                    6.33      Calculating fuel emissions for a stratum                                             78
                    6.34      Calculating emissions for fossil fuel types                                         79
Subdivision 6.2.12       Calculating emissions for fire affected stratum
                    6.35      Calculating emissions for a fire affected stratum                                79
                    6.36      Calculating the standard error for fire emissions                                 81
Subdivision 6.2.13       Calculating probable limit of error
                    6.37      Calculating probable limit of error for carbon stock estimates             83
                    6.38      Calculating number of plots required for probable limit of error           84
Subdivision 6.2.14       Calculating biomass for biomass sample trees and test trees
                    6.39      Calculating total biomass for biomass sample trees and test trees      85
                    6.40      Calculating the dry weight of biomass components for biomass sample trees and test trees  85
                    6.41      Calculating the variance of weighted residuals for biomass sample trees and test trees         86
                    6.42      Calculating the F-test statistic                                                            87
Subdivision 6.2.15       Data collection
                    6.43      Project emissions                                                                             89
                    6.44      Project removals                                                                               89
Part 7                           Monitoring, record-keeping and reporting requirements
Division 7.1                 General
                      7.1      Application                                                                                       90
Division 7.2                 Monitoring requirements
                      7.2      Project monitoring                                                                             90
Division 7.3                 Offsets report requirements
Subdivision 7.3.1         Information that must be included in the first offsets report
                      7.3      General                                                                                             91
                      7.4      Project information                                                                            91
                      7.5      Stratum description and status                                                          91
                      7.6      Baseline land use history and forest cover history for strata                92
                      7.7      Quality assurance and control                                                            92
Subdivision 7.3.2         Information that must be included in all offsets reports
                      7.8      General                                                                                             93
                      7.9      Project information                                                                            93
                    7.10      Strata location and area                                                                     93
                    7.11      Stratum description and status                                                          94
                    7.12      Carbon stocks for stratum                                                                 94
                    7.13      Carbon stocks for plots                                                                    95
                    7.14      Basis of allometric function applied to a stratum                                96
                    7.15      Application of allometric functions                                                     96
                    7.16      Sampling plans                                                                                 96
                    7.17      Growth disturbance events                                                                96
                    7.18      Quality assurance and control                                                            97
                    7.19      Fuel use                                                                                           97
Division 7.4                 Record-keeping requirements
                    7.20      Records that must be kept                                                                98
                    7.21      Stratum records                                                                                98
                    7.22      Project tree measures                                                                        98
                    7.23      Carbon stock calculations                                                                 98
                    7.24      Allometric functions                                                                          98
                    7.25      Sampling plans                                                                                 98
                    7.26      Quality assurance and control                                                            99
                    7.27      Fuel use                                                                                           99
 
——————————————————————
 
Part 1              Preliminary
1.1           Name of determination
                This Determination is the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Reforestation and Afforestation) Methodology Determination 2013.
1.2           Commencement
                This Determination is taken to have come into force on 1 July 2010.
1.3           Definitions
In this Determination:
abatement potential—see section 2.3.
Act means the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011.
actual location coordinates means spatial coordinates that are collected on the ground using a global positioning system, and which define the location of plots, biomass sample plots and biomass sample trees.
actual plot size means the area of a plot as physically measured on the ground.
allometric data range means the range between the smallest and largest predictor measures included within an allometric dataset.
allometric dataset means predictor measures and biomass measurements recorded from biomass sample trees which are used to develop an allometric function.
allometric domain means the specific conditions under which an allometric function is applicable. 
allometric function means a species-specific regression function fitted to a scatter of data-points that relate predictor measures collected through a non‑destructive measurement process to a measure of the weight of biomass within a project tree, and includes stratum specific and regional functions.
allometric report means a document that describes a project proponent’s approach to the development of allometric functions, including descriptions of allometric data, allometric domain, regression fitting processes and outcomes of checks against regression fit requirements.
applicability conditions means the conditions that are specified in Part 2 and that must be met in order for this Determination to be applied.
belt plantings means discrete patches of project trees that have been established in a linear or curvilinear  ‘belt’ pattern where width measured across the belt is no wider than 50 metres.
biomass means dry, vegetation-derived organic matter.
biomass components means sections of trees that are divided on the basis of structure or form or both.
biomass sample plot means an area of land that occurs within a biomass sample site and is delineated in accordance with Part 5.
biomass sample site means an area of land from which biomass sample plots are randomly located and biomass sample trees are randomly selected, for the purposes of developing a regional function.
biomass sample tree means a tree selected for destructive sampling in order to develop an allometric function.
branches means the hard, woody above-ground support elements of a tree that are connected to the stem, support the crown, and have a distinct, thick bark layer.
bulked sample means a sample of litter collected through combining 4 smaller samples into a single sample.
carbon dioxide equivalent means carbon dioxide mass equivalent, calculated by multiplying the mass of elemental carbon by .
carbon fraction means the proportion, by weight, of dry organic matter that is composed of carbon.
carbon stocks means the quantity of carbon, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent, held within project forest biomass.
closing carbon stocks means the amount of carbon, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent, estimated to be held within the project forest biomass occurring within a stratum at the end of a reporting period.
Commencement means the point in time at which preparation of a stratum for planting begins.
crown means non-woody, above-ground tree structures that include twigs, petioles, and leaves, and that are involved in photosynthesis or supporting photosynthetic structures.
crown cover means the amount of land covered by the outer limits of the crown (viewed as a horizontal cross-section) of a tree, or collection of trees.
dead standing tree means a dead tree that shows no signs of having been affected by fire and which remains in an upright, vertical position.
dead standing fire affected tree means a dead tree that shows obvious signs of having been affected by fire and that remains in an upright, vertical position.
disturbance affected stratum means a stratum that has been subject to a growth disturbance event, other than fire—see section 3.5.
establishment phase means a period of land- and project-forest management that is applied to a stratum from 6 months before the planting start date through to 3 years following the planting finish date.
extant project forest means the area of land defined by a project proponent as being occupied by project trees at a specified point in time or during a specified reporting period.
fallen dead wood means dead woody stem and branch components that:
                     (a)   have a cross‑sectional diameter of more than 2.5 centimetres;
                     (b)   are derived from a project tree; and
                     (c)   occur at ground level.
fire affected stratum means an area of project forest that has experienced a fire event and that has been dealt with in accordance with section 3.5. 
fire emissions means emissions of methane (CH4) or nitrous oxide (N2O) arising from fire events.
fire event  means an occurrence of a fire in a stratum or strata.
forest means land of a minimum area of 0.2 of a hectare on which trees:
(a) have attained, or have the potential to attain, a crown cover of at least 20% across the area of land; and
(b) have reached, or have the potential to reach, a height of at least 2 metres.
forest cover—land has forest cover if:
                     (a)   the land has an area of at least 0.2 of a hectare; and
(b)   the vegetation on the land includes trees that:
                                 (i)    are 2 metres or more in height; and
                                (ii)    provide crown cover of at least 20% of the land.
fuel emissions means emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), or methane (CH4) arising from fossil fuel use in relation to the delivery of project activities within the project area.
full inventory means an estimation of carbon stocks conducted in accordance with section 5.2.
                         Note    This is one of the 2 measurement processes available to a project proponent to estimate carbon stocks within a stratum and involves the use of temporary sample plots and, optionally, permanent sample plots to estimate carbon stocks. The other process is PSP assessment.
growth disturbance—see section 3.5.
intended location coordinates means spatial coordinates for a randomly selected intersection from a grid overlay used to define the proposed on‑ground location of plots and biomass sample plots.
initial carbon stocks means the amount of carbon, expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, estimated to have been contained within the project forest biomass occurring within a stratum as at 1 July 2010.
lateral root means the woody material that extends laterally from a tree’s tap root or lignotuber, or both, and that forms part of a tree’s below-ground structure.
litter means dead, project-tree derived material which occurs at ground level and is less than 2.5 centimetres in diameter, and can include fallen leaves, twigs, bark and small woody stems in various stages of decomposition.
live fire affected tree means a tree that is living and showing obvious signs of having experienced a fire event, or for which historic records indicate that it has experienced a fire event.
live tree means a tree that is living, which shows no obvious physical signs of having experienced a fire event, and for which no records exist that indicate that it has been affected by a fire event.
maintenance phase means a phase of management activity in relation to a stratum, in which the cumulative carbon sequestration for the stratum is assumed to have plateaued.
management phase means a phase of project tree growth and management activity in relation to a stratum, running from the end of the establishment phase to the start of the maintenance phase.
non-project forest means forest that was not established as a direct result of a project carried out under this Determination.
non-project tree means a tree that was neither planted, nor otherwise established, as a direct result of a project carried out under this Determination.
ortho-rectified aerial imagery means an aerial photograph or satellite image geometrically corrected for distortion to produce a uniform scale across the image.
permanent sample plot (PSP) means a defined area of land that is delineated in accordance with Part 5 and from within which various measurements are taken in order to estimate carbon stocks in a PSP assessment. 
planting means the planting of seedlings or the sowing of seed derived from trees.
planting finish date means the date that planting activities were completed within a stratum, being the date at which the last seedling was planted or the date that the last seed was sown.
planting start date means the date that planting activities commenced within a stratum, being the date at which the first seedling was planted or the date that the first seed was sown.
plot means a defined area of land within the project area and can be a temporary sample plot or a permanent sample plot. 
predictor measure means a measure of tree dimensions collected through a non-destructive measurement process and referenced in an allometric function to estimate the biomass contained within trees.
prescribed burn means the controlled application of fire within a stratum to assist in the removal or suppression of ground‑level vegetation or fire fuel loads.
prescribed weed means any plant that is required by law to be removed.
probable limit of error means the percentage error at the 90% confidence level.
project activity means an activity carried out within the project area as part of the establishment and management of project forest.
project emissions means emissions of greenhouse gases occurring within the project area as a result of a project activity, and from sources identified for inclusion in the project greenhouse gas assessment boundary.
project forest means forest that has been established within the project area as a direct result of a project carried out in accordance with this Determination.
project forest biomass means the biomass contained within project trees, litter, or fallen dead wood.
project removals means removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere caused as a result of the project activities.
project tree means a tree that has been established within a stratum through undertaking project activities. 
pseudo random number generator means computer software used for generating a sequence of numbers that approximates the properties of random numbers.
PSP—acronym for permanent sample plot.
PSP assessment means an estimation of carbon in an area made in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.6. 
                         Note    This is one of the 2 measurement processes available to a project proponent to estimate carbon stocks within a stratum and involves the use of permanent sample plots. The other process is a full inventory.
regional function means an allometric function developed by or for a project proponent and which has an allometric domain that potentially extends across multiple strata.
Regulations means the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011.
sampling plan means a plan that identifies the quantity, intended location coordinates and actual location coordinates of TSPs, PSPs, biomass sample plots, and the quantity and actual location coordinates of biomass sample trees, within a stratum or the geographic limits of an allometric domain—see Subdivision 5.1.3. 
seed number means a number input into a pseudo random number generator for the purposes of generating a sequence of numbers that approximates the properties of random numbers.
size class means a class of items that is determined according to size.
starting edge means, for a plot established within a belt planting, the first edge of the plot to be laid out on the ground.
stem means the hard woody structural support element of a tree that forms part of the tree’s above-ground structure and includes the trunk and heavier vertical limbs extending into the crown.   
stratum means an area in the project area that is determined to have common characteristics in accordance with the requirements of Part 3.
stratum area means the area of land that is occupied by a stratum, expressed in hectares.
stratum identifier means a unique numeric, alpha numeric, or text string that is used by a project proponent to refer to and identify a stratum.
stratum specific function means an allometric function developed by or for a project proponent from an allometric dataset collected exclusively from within a single stratum, to which the stratum specific function is intended to be applied.
tap root or lignotuber means a thickened, rigid and dense woody mass connected directly to a tree’s stem at ground level and extending downwards into the regolith, and with lateral roots extending from it.
target plot size means the area of the land that is intended to be included within the boundaries of a plot or biomass sample plot as determined in accordance with Part 5.
temporary sampling plot (TSP) means a defined area of land that is delineated in accordance with Part 5 and from within which various measurements are taken in order to estimate carbon stocks in a full inventory. 
test tree means a project tree that has been randomly selected from within a temporary sample plot for biomass measurement as part of the process for validating regional functions or converting stratum specific functions to regional functions.
tree means a perennial plant that has primary supporting structures consisting of secondary xylem.
tree status means one of the following conditions of a tree:
                     (a)   live;
                     (b)   dead standing;
                     (c)   live fire affected; or
                     (d)   dead standing fire affected.
tree type means trees that are of the same species and equivalent tree status, and which have predictor measures that fall within a defined range of values.
weighted residual means the difference between measured and predicted (from a regression equation) tree biomass multiplied by a weighting factor, and as calculated using Equation 32b.
         Note    Other words and expressions used in this Determination have the meaning given by the Act, including:
                     baseline
                     carbon dioxide equivalence
                     crediting period
                     eligible offsets project
                     emission
                     methodology determination
                     native forest
                     natural disturbance
                     offsets project
                     offsets report
                      project
                     project area
                     project proponent
                     Regulator; and
                     reporting period.
1.4           Type of project to which this Determination applies
         Note    See paragraph 106(1)(a) of the Act.
                This Determination applies to a project if:
                     (a)   at least some of the land occurring within the project area before Commencement:
                                 (i)    was non-forested land; or
                                (ii)    had forest cover which was removed, or largely removed, by human activity; and
                     (b)   it is intended to generate Australian carbon credit units by:
                                 (i)    establishing project forest by planting into land meeting the requirements specified in paragraph (a); and
                                (ii)    maintaining the project forest so as to achieve and maintain project forest cover over time.
Part 2              Requirements for declaration as eligible project
         Note    See paragraphs 27(4)(c) and 106(1)(b) of the Act.
2.1           Eligible projects
                To be declared an eligible offsets project, a project to which this Determination applies must meet the requirements in this Part.
                         Note    In addition, a project must meet the requirements in section 27 of the Act and in the Regulations, including a requirement that the project may not be an excluded offsets project (see regulations 3.36 and 3.37).  Regulation 3.1 also includes a requirement to provide, in an application for a declaration of an eligible offsets project, a geospatial map of the project area that meets the requirements of the Carbon Farming Initiative Mapping Guidelines, published by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and available at www.climatechange.gov.au.
2.2           Project mechanisms
                The project must aim to generate Australian carbon credit units by:
                     (a)   establishing project forest by planting into land meeting the requirements specified in paragraph 1.4(a); and
                     (b)   maintaining the project forest so as to achieve and maintain project forest cover over time.
2.3           Land with abatement potential
         (1)   For at least 5 years before the project commences, the project area must have included land with the following characteristics:
                     (a)   used for grazing or cropping; or
                     (b)   fallow between grazing or cropping activities;
                     (c)   or a combination of (a) and (b).
         (2)   If project trees are established by planting on the land specified in subsection (1), they will have the potential to attain:
                     (a)   a height of 2 metres or more; and
                     (b)   a crown cover of at least 20% over the total area of the stratum in which the project trees are located.
 
2.4           Identification of project area
                The project proponent must delineate the boundaries of the project area in accordance with Part 3.
Part 3              Delineating boundaries
3.1           Delineation of project area
         (1)   The proponent must delineate land included within the project area through applying one, or a combination, of the following processes:
                     (a)   set the geographic limits of the land to be included within the project area as the limits of land title boundaries;
                     (b)   set the geographic limits of the land to be included within the project area as being less than the geographic limits of the land title boundaries and greater than or equal to the geographic limits of strata, either established or intended to be established.
         (2)   The limits of the project area must be recorded using a geographic information system to generate spatial data-files to identify project area boundaries.
         (3)   The information specified in subsection (2) must be used to produce hard and soft copy maps to show the boundaries of the project area.
3.2           Delineating stratum boundaries
         (1)   A project proponent must delineate the boundaries of strata included within the project area by generating a set of spatial coordinates that define the geographic limits of the land area included within each stratum by:
                     (a)   using one of the following methods, or a combination of them, to identify the limits of extant project forest area:
                                 (i)    conducting an on-ground survey using a differential global positioning system with sub-1 metre relative accuracy;
                                (ii)    using ortho‑rectified aerial imagery; and
                     (b)   using a geographic information system to generate spatial data-files to identify the limits of extant project forest area, stratum buffer and stratum boundaries; and
                     (c)   using the information specified in paragraph (b) to produce hard and soft copy maps to show stratum boundaries.
Use of ortho-rectified aerial imagery
         (2)   If ortho‑rectified aerial imagery is used:
                     (a)   the relevant land area must be digitised from the imagery; and
                     (b)   the imagery must be accurate to within 1 metre; and
                     (c)   the pixel resolution must be no greater than 40 centimetres; and
                     (d)   the image must be of sufficient quality and resolution to allow the clear identification of the limits of project forest establishment activities.
         (3)   The boundary of the extant project forest area of a stratum is the polygon that is the outer limit of the stems of the project trees that are included in the stratum.
Stratum buffer
         (4)   The stratum buffer of a stratum consists of land that lies within a crown radius of the extant project forest area of the stratum, other than:
                     (a)   land that lies outside the project area;
                     (b)   land that lies in the extant project forest area of another stratum;
                     (c)   land that is non-project forest.
         (5)   If application of the stratum buffer would result in the mapped geographic limits of the stratum:
                     (a)   overlapping the geographic limits of a second stratum—then the boundary of the stratum buffer must be equidistant between the two strata along the length of the area where the overlap would otherwise have occurred; or
                     (b)   exceeding the geographic limits of the project area—then the boundary of the stratum buffer must be the limits of the project area.
         (6)   For the purposes of calculating the stratum area, the boundary of the stratum buffer delineates the boundary of the stratum.
Definitions
         (7)   In this section:
crown radius, for a stratum, means:
                     (a)   if an average expected radius of a fully mature project tree in the stratum can be estimated appropriately—that radius; or
                     (b)   otherwise—2 metres.
3.3           Division of project area into strata
         (1)   Before the submission of the first offsets report, the project proponent must define in the project area one or more strata that comply with section 3.4.
         (2)   The project proponent may define new strata that comply with section 3.4 at any time.
         (3)   New strata may be excised from existing strata, may replace existing strata or may cover land within the project area not previously included within stratum boundaries.
         (4)   The boundaries of a stratum must be recorded in accordance with section 3.2, together with the stratum area for the stratum.
         (5)   The boundaries of a stratum may be redefined, subject to the requirements at section 3.6.
         (6)   If the boundaries of a stratum are varied, the new boundaries and the new area must be recorded.
3.4           Requirements for a stratum
         (1)   A stratum is made up of an extant project forest area and a stratum buffer.
         (2)   The extant project forest area of a stratum:
                     (a)   must be land with abatement potential; and
                     (b)   must have been planted with one or more species of project trees over a period of no more than 120 days.
                         Note    Project proponents may further define strata based on any of the following:
                                               –     tree species;
                                               –     observed or measured growth trends;
                                               –     growing regions;
                                               –     climatic conditions;
                                               –     soil types;
                                               –     disturbance history;
                                               –     land management units;
                                               –     management regime; or
                                               –     any other characteristics that may be likely to influence project tree growth.
3.5           Growth disturbances and revision of strata
         (1)   This section applies if an event occurs that is likely to affect significantly the project tree growth characteristics of the whole or part of a stratum that has been previously referenced in an offsets report (a growth disturbance).
                         Note    Examples include floods, fires, droughts, pest attacks, diseases and natural disturbances prescribed by the Regulations.
         (2)   The project proponent must, within 6 months after the growth disturbance, delineate the boundaries of the land occupied by project trees affected by the disturbance.
                         Note    Section 81 of the Act requires a project proponent to notify the Regulator in the event of certain natural disturbances.
         (3)   If the growth disturbance affects an area of more than 10 hectares in a stratum, the project proponent must, before submitting the offsets report that relates to the time when the growth disturbance occurred, revise the affected stratum in accordance with this section.
         (4)   If the growth disturbance affects an area of 10 hectares or less in a stratum, the project proponent may, before submitting the offsets report that relates to the time when the growth disturbance occurred:
                     (a)   define a new stratum to include the growth disturbance affected area in accordance with this section; or
                     (b)   continue to treat the growth disturbance affected area as belonging to a single stratum.
Revision of stratum affected by growth disturbance
         (5)   Subject to subsections 3.6(4) and 3.6(5), if the whole of the stratum is affected by the growth disturbance, the stratum is revised by creating a new stratum identifier and labelling the newly created stratum:
                     (a)   if the disturbance is fire—a fire affected stratum; or
                     (b)   otherwise—a disturbance affected stratum.
         (6)   If part only of the stratum is affected by the growth disturbance, the stratum is revised by excising that portion of the stratum affected by the growth disturbance and defining this area as a separate stratum which:
                     (a)   complies with section 3.4; and
                     (b)   is labelled:
                                 (i)    if the disturbance was fire—a fire affected stratum; or
                                (ii)    otherwise—a disturbance affected stratum.
Requirements for disturbance affected stratum
         (7)   If a disturbance affected stratum is created, then for the purposes of calculating carbon stock changes and standard error for carbon stock change in accordance with Equations 3a and 3c, the initial carbon stocks and the standard error for initial carbon stocks must be assumed to be zero for the disturbance affected stratum.
Requirements for fire affected stratum
         (8)   If a fire affected stratum is created:
                     (a)   a full inventory must be conducted in both the fire affected stratum and the stratum from which the fire affected stratum was excised, within 12 months after the fire event;
                     (b)   an estimate of the fire emissions from any fire affected stratum, and the standard error associated with this estimate, must be calculated in accordance with Equations 26a to 27d; and
                     (c)   for the purposes of calculating carbon stock changes and standard error for carbon stock change in accordance with Equations 3a and 3c, the carbon stocks and the standard error for initial carbon stocks must be assumed to be zero for the fire affected stratum.
3.6           Requirements for revisions of strata boundaries
         (1)   Subject to subsection (3), where a stratum or a stratum boundary is redefined, revised boundaries must comply with section 3.2.
         (2)   Subject to subsection (3), if a revision, or cumulative revisions, of the boundaries of a stratum change the stratum area by more than 5% between any reporting periods, the following apply:
                     (a)   a full inventory must be conducted in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.2 within the revised stratum no earlier than six months before the first offsets report to reference the revised stratum area;
                     (b)   if a PSP assessment is intended to be referenced from within the stratum in a future offsets report, PSPs must be established across the revised stratum using the process specified in Subdivision 5.1.6.
         (3)   Where a stratum area is reduced to zero through redefining stratum boundaries in accordance with section 3.3 or 3.5, subsections (1) and (2) do not apply.
         (4)   Once a stratum is defined within a project area and reported within an offsets report, the stratum identifier associated with that stratum must continue to be reported in subsequent offsets reports as having been associated with the project area even where:
                     (a)   the stratum area is reduced to zero through redefining the stratum boundary; or
                     (b)   the stratum is redefined so that it is entirely replaced with other strata.
         (5)   Where subsection (4) applies:
                     (a)   values of zero must be recorded against the stratum identifier for the closing carbon stocks and standard error for closing carbon stocks; and
                     (b)   these zero values must be applied for the purposes of calculating the carbon stock change for a stratum and standard error for carbon stock change for a stratum in accordance with section 6.11.
                         Note    A project proponent must generate and keep records in relation to each stratum in accordance with the requirements set out in section 7.21.
 Part 4             Operation of the project
         Note    See paragraphs 27(4)(c), 35(2)(a) and 106(1)(b) of the Act and regulations 1.12 and 3.26 of the Regulations.
4.1           Removal of trees 
Non-project trees
         (1)   Subject to this section, native forest and non-project trees must not be removed from the project area, or otherwise disturbed, for the purposes of undertaking the project.
         (2)   Non-project trees may be removed from the project area, or otherwise disturbed, only in the following circumstances:
                     (a)   if the non-project trees are prescribed weeds, they can be removed at any time during the life of the project; or
                     (b)   if removal of the non-project trees is otherwise required by law, they can be removed as required under the relevant law; or
                     (c)   if, at the time of Commencement, non-project trees subject to removal:
                                 (i)    cover a total land area that represents less than 5% of the project area, as measured by crown cover;
                                (ii)    do not meet the definition of native forest; and
                               (iii)    are less than 2 metres in height;
                            then:
                               (iv)    they can be removed from within the stratum at any time from Commencement to six months after planting.
Project trees
         (3)   Project trees may be removed from the project area only in the following circumstances:
                     (a)   for biomass sampling;
                     (b)   to manage a natural disturbance event such as disease or fire; or
                     (c)   where otherwise required or authorised by law.
4.2           Prescribed burns
         (1)   Subject to section 4.1, one prescribed burn may be applied to each stratum at Commencement or between Commencement and planting.
         (2)   Subsequent prescribed burns may be conducted only if required or authorised by law.
4.3           Restrictions relating to fertiliser use
                Fertiliser may be applied to each stratum no more than 4 times in a 100‑year period.
 
Part 5              Methods for estimating net project abatement 
Division 5.1           Estimating project removals
Subdivision 5.1.1 General
5.1           General
                This Division sets out processes that must be conducted when undertaking activities in relation to estimating the carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement amount for an eligible offsets project to which this Determination applies.
Subdivision 5.1.2 Conducting a full inventory
5.2           Conducting a full inventory
         (1)   A requirement under this Determination to conduct a full inventory is a requirement to conduct an inventory in accordance with this section.
         (2)   The most recent map of the stratum and the most recent stratum area estimate generated in accordance with Part 3 must be used to conduct a full inventory.
         (3)   A sampling plan that has been developed in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.3 must be documented.
         (4)   TSPs must be established and assessed during the full inventory in accordance with Subdivisions 5.1.4 and 5.1.5. 
         (5)   If the project proponent intends to conduct PSP assessment in the stratum and:
                     (a)   PSPs have not been established within the stratum as part of a previous full inventory; or
                     (b)   the number of PSPs previously established in the stratum does not allow the proponent to achieve the target probable limit of error specified in Subdivision 5.1.6;
then PSPs must be established and assessed in accordance with Subdivisions 5.1.4, 5.1.5 and 5.1.6.
         (6)   Subject to subsection (9), the project proponent must apply at least one of the following classes of allometric function to estimate the biomass in project trees occurring in each plot within the stratum:
                     (a)   a stratum specific function; or
                     (b)   a regional function.
         (7)   If the project proponent chooses to apply a stratum specific function to estimate the biomass in project trees occurring in each plot within the stratum:
                     (a)   an existing stratum specific function developed in accordance with section 5.31 may be applied; or
                     (b)   a new stratum specific function may be developed in accordance with section 5.31; or
                     (c)   an existing stratum specific function may be updated in accordance with section 5.32.
         (8)   If the project proponent chooses to apply a regional function to estimate the biomass in project trees occurring in each plot within the stratum, the function must have been developed in accordance with section 5.33 or section 5.34 and validated in accordance with section 5.42.
         (9)   If an allometric function that meets the requirements of Subdivision 5.1.8 is not available to the project proponent for project trees of a particular species, tree status or size, then all occurrences of that tree type within plots must be noted and recorded as having zero biomass for the purposes of conversion to estimates of carbon stocks in accordance with subsection (11).
       (10)   If the project proponent chooses to account for carbon in the litter and fallen dead wood pools, the biomass within these pools must be assessed for each plot in the stratum in accordance with sections 5.44 and 5.45.
       (11)   The biomass estimates specified in subsections (6), (9) and (10) must be converted to estimates of carbon stocks within each plot by using Equations 12 to 22.
       (12)   The mean plot carbon stocks for a stratum must be calculated using Equation 11a.
       (13)   The closing carbon stocks for a stratum must be calculated using Equation 5a.
Subdivision 5.1.3 Sampling plans
5.3           Developing and documenting a sampling plan
         (1)   A sampling plan must be developed when one or more of the following occurs:
                     (a)   a full inventory is conducted;
                     (b)   the establishment of PSPs specified in subsection 5.2(5) or the PSP assessment specified in Subdivision 5.1.6 is conducted;
                     (c)   an allometric function is developed, updated, or validated in accordance with Subdivisions 5.1.8 to 5.1.12.
         (2)   A project proponent must undertake the processes set out in this section when developing a sampling plan.
         (3)   A sampling plan must include:
                     (a)   a description of the activity specified in subsection (1) to which the sampling plan relates;
                     (b)   the dates during which the activity was or is to be conducted; and
                     (c)   the information specified in this Subdivision.
5.4           Sampling plan information for full inventory and PSP assessment
         (1)   This section applies if a sampling plan is developed as part of a full inventory or PSP assessment.
         (2)   The sampling plan must include:
                     (a)   a description of the stratum to which the sampling plan refers, including a reference to the stratum identifier;
                     (b)   hard- and soft-copy maps showing the geographic boundaries of the stratum;
                     (c)   the target plot size to be applied within the stratum as determined in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.5;
                     (d)   outcomes from the following processes conducted to determine plot establishment rates and the probable limit of error specified in Subdivision 5.1.5 or 5.1.6:
                                 (i)    the ex ante estimate of the number of plots required to achieve a target probable limit of error for each time the estimate was calculated; and
                                (ii)    the ex post analyses testing whether the target probable limit of error has been achieved for each time the analysis was calculated; and
                               (iii)    the ex post analysis confirming the target probable limit of error has been achieved.
                     (e)   details of the selection process for plot locations, including seed numbers referenced by the pseudo random number generator when generating a grid overlay and randomly selecting grid intersections as intended location coordinates of plots, as specified in section 5.7;
                      (f)   the number of grid intersections that occur wholly within the stratum boundary as specified in section 5.7;
                     (g)   maps showing the position of:
                                 (i)    the grid overlay applied to the stratum as specified in section 5.7;
                                (ii)    the randomly selected grid intersections defining the intended location coordinates of plots as specified in section 5.7;
                               (iii)    the location of plots as established by actual location coordinates.
                     (h)   the intended location coordinates specified in subparagraph (2)(g)(ii) and the actual location coordinates of plots specified in subparagraph (2)(g)(iii);
                      (i)   details of any variation between the spatial coordinates specified in paragraph (h); and
                      (j)   if the variation specified in paragraph (i) exceeds the thresholds specified in section 5.14, details of the corrective measures that were taken.
5.5           Sampling plan information for stratum specific functions
A sampling plan that is developed when a stratum specific function is developed, updated, or validated in accordance with Subdivisions 5.1.8 to 5.1.12 must include the following information:
                     (a)   a description of the stratum to which the sampling plan refers, including a reference to the stratum identifier;
                     (b)   hard- and soft-copy maps showing the geographic boundaries of the stratum;
                     (c)   details of the selection process for biomass sample trees, including:
                                 (i)    size classes;
                                (ii)    the number of project trees within each size class; and
                               (iii)    seed numbers referenced by the pseudo random number generator when randomly selecting biomass sample trees;
                     (d)   maps showing the position of TSPs from which biomass sample trees have been selected; and
                     (e)   actual location coordinates for biomass sample trees.
5.6           Sampling plan information for regional functions
A sampling plan that is prepared when a regional function is developed in accordance with Subdivisions 5.1.8 to 5.1.12 must include the following information:
                     (a)   a description of the intended allometric domain to be sampled;
                     (b)   details of the selection process for biomass sample plots, including seed numbers referenced by the pseudo random number generator when undertaking processes such as:
                                 (i)    generating a grid overlay;
                                (ii)    selecting grid intersections as intended location coordinates for biomass sample plots;
                     (c)   the number of grid intersections that occur wholly within the biomass sites;
                     (d)   details of the selection process for biomass sample trees, including:
                                 (i)    size classes;
                                (ii)    number of trees within each size class; and
                               (iii)    seed numbers referenced by the pseudo random number generator when selecting biomass sample trees.
                     (e)   hard- and soft-copy maps showing:
                                 (i)    the location and extent of biomass sample sites;
                                (ii)    the location of biomass sample plots as established by actual location coordinates and as sampled in accordance with section 5.33;
                               (iii)    the grid overlay applied to the biomass sample sites; and
                               (iv)    the randomly selected grid intersections defining the intended location coordinates of biomass sample plots;
                      (f)   the intended location coordinates and actual location coordinates of biomass sample plots;
                     (g)   the actual location coordinates of biomass sample trees; and
                     (h)   target and actual plot sizes for each biomass sample plot.
Subdivision 5.1.4 Location of plots
5.7           Determining the location of plots
         (1)   A project proponent must determine the location of a plot within a stratum in accordance with this section.
         (2)   In order to define the intended location coordinates for plots, a geographic information system must be applied to:
                     (a)   establish a grid overlay on a recent map of the stratum boundary developed in accordance with Part 3; and
                     (b)   specify selected points of intersection from the grid overlay specified in paragraph (a).
         (3)   The process specified in paragraph (2)(a) must meet the following requirements:
                     (a)   the grid must be composed of square cells;
                     (b)   the grid size must be sufficiently small so that the target probable limit of error specified in Subdivision 5.1.5 can be achieved in the event that all points of intersection are selected as intended location coordinates for plots in accordance with subsection (5);
                     (c)   the grid must be located with grid lines running:
                                 (i)    north to south (vertical grid lines); and
                                (ii)    east to west;
                     (d)   following the process specified in paragraph (c), the grid must be realigned according to a randomly selected angle in accordance with paragraph (e);
                     (e)   the following process must be used to realign the grid:
                                 (i)    a software-based pseudo random number generator must be used to generate a random angle value between 0 and 89 degrees; and
                                (ii)    the grid orientation must then be rotated clockwise around the point of grid intersection so that the vertical grid lines align with the randomly generated angle value referred to in subparagraph (i);
                      (f)   when grid size and grid orientation are established as specified in paragraphs (b) and (e), one grid intersection must be aligned over an anchor point as specified in paragraph (g); and
                     (g)   the anchor point referred to in paragraph (f) must be spatially projected using the 'Lamberts' conformal conic projection referencing the GDA94 datum and is defined as having coordinates of X = 1,277,100m, Y = ‑3,762,300m.
         (4)   The number of grid intersections that occur within the stratum must be recorded in a sampling plan in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.3.
         (5)   If the number of recorded grid intersections is equivalent to the number of plots to be established in the stratum as calculated in accordance with Equation 29b, plots are to be located on the ground according to the location of each grid intersection within the stratum.
         (6)   If the number of recorded grid intersections exceeds the number of plots to be established within the stratum as calculated in accordance with Equation 29b, the following process must be conducted:
                     (a)   each grid intersection is to be numbered consecutively from 1 to i, where i is the total number of intersections occurring within the stratum;
                     (b)   in relation to the number of plots intended to be established within the stratum (), a software-based pseudo random number generator is to be used to generate a set of n random integers that are randomly selected from within the range 1 to i; and
                     (c)   the spatial coordinates of the grid intersections that correspond with the random integers generated in accordance with paragraph (b) are to be recorded in a sampling plan as specified in Subdivision 5.1.3 and applied as the intended location coordinates for plots.
         (7)   If a pseudo random number generator is applied as part of the process specified in this section, any seed number applied for the purposes of paragraph (6)(b) must be documented in a sampling plan and all associated electronic files must be retained on record in accordance with section 7.25.
         (8)   The intended location coordinates selected in accordance with the process specified in this section must be recorded in a sampling plan and uploaded into a global positioning system that is to be used to navigate on the ground to the intended location coordinates when establishing plots in accordance with section 5.10.
         (9)   Subject to subsection (10), the project proponent must apply no more than one of the following layout options across the stratum for the treatment of the on-ground positioning of plots in relation to intended location coordinates:
Centroid option
                     (a)   a plot is established so that the intended location coordinates are located at the centre of the plot;
Consistent edge option
                     (b)   a plot is established so that:
                                 (i)    the starting edge passes through the intended location coordinates and is aligned perpendicular to the orientation of the edges of the belt planting;
                                (ii)    if a belt planting has:
                                            (A)   an east-west orientation, the plot is laid out toward the most westerly end of the belt planting; or
                                            (B)   an orientation other than east-west, the plot is laid out toward the most southerly end of the belt planting; and
                               (iii)    the plot extends across the full width of the belt planting.
       (10)   A project proponent may apply the consistent edge layout option specified in paragraph (9)(b) only if the stratum in which it is located is exclusively comprised of belt plantings.
         Note    Subdivision 5.1.7 specifies the treatment of grid intersections and plot locations that fall close to stratum boundaries.
Subdivision 5.1.5 Establishing and assessing plots
5.8           Establishing and assessing plots during full inventory
                A project proponent must undertake the processes specified in this Subdivision when establishing and assessing plots during a full inventory.
5.9           Target probable limit of error – full inventory
                Plots must be established within a stratum at a rate that achieves a target probable limit of error of no more than 10% at the 90% confidence level around the estimated mean carbon stocks for plots within the stratum calculated using Equation 28.
5.10        Establishing plots
         (1)   At least 5 plots must be established per stratum.
         (2)   Subject to paragraphs 5.2(5)(a) and 5.2(5)(b), if a project proponent chooses to conduct PSP assessments in the stratum in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.6, the following requirements must be met:
                     (a)   PSPs must be established within the stratum during full inventory at a rate that achieves a target probable limit of error of no more than 20% at the 90% confidence level around the estimated mean PSP carbon stocks for PSPs within the stratum, as calculated using Equation 28;
                     (b)   a minimum sampling rate of one PSP per 50 hectares of land within the stratum must be achieved; and
                     (c)   at least 5 PSPs must be established within the stratum.
         (3)   PSPs may be used in combination with TSPs to meet the requirements in subsection (1) and section 5.9.
         (4)   To assess whether the number of plots intended for establishment within a stratum is likely to achieve the target probable limit of error specified in paragraph (2)(a) and section 5.9, a project proponent must make an ex ante estimate of the number of plots required by applying Equations 29a and 29b to pre‑existing data collected from either of the following:
                     (a)   a full inventory or PSP assessment previously conducted in the stratum or in other analogous strata; or
                     (b)   a pilot study conducted within the stratum and in which at least 5 TSPs are established and assessed.
         (5)   Data from TSPs assessed as part of a pilot study specified in paragraph (4)(b) must be used only for the purposes of Equations 29a and 29b and must not be further included in the calculation of carbon stocks.
         (6)   The intended location coordinates for all plots must be uploaded into a global positioning system.
         (7)   Plots must be established according to the intended location coordinates as shown on the global positioning system and without any deliberate on-ground repositioning except in instances where the establishment of a plot at the intended location coordinates would constitute a serious safety risk.
         (8)   If establishing a plot at the intended location coordinates would constitute a serious safety risk, the project proponent must relocate the plot to the nearest safe point to the intended location coordinates and document this relocation and the rationale for the relocation within a sampling plan in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.3.
         (9)   If intended location coordinates lie close to stratum boundaries, plots must be established in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.7.
5.11        Plot configuration
         (1)   Plots may be established in one of the following shapes:
                     (a)   circular; or
                     (b)   rectangular.
         (2)   Once the plot shape is selected, all plots in the stratum must be of the same shape.
         (3)   In the case where rectangular plots are established in strata:
                     (a)   which are not composed of belt plantings; and
                     (b)   in which project tree planting follows a consistent pattern;
the project proponent may orientate the direction of the plot sides so that 2 plot sides run approximately parallel to the direction of planting lines.
         (4)   The plot location must not be deliberately shifted from the intended location coordinate as a result of the process specified in subsection (3).
         (5)   In the case where strata are composed of belt plantings, the project proponent may apply the consistent edge layout option specified in paragraph 5.7(9)(b).
5.12        Plot size
                The following requirements must be met in relation to the size of plots in a stratum:
                     (a)   all plots within the stratum must be established according to a constant target plot size;
                     (b)   the target plot size must be at least 0.02 hectares; and
                     (c)   the difference between the actual plot size and the target plot size must not be greater than 2.5%.
5.13        Identifying and marking plots
         (1)   Each plot must be given a unique identifier being numeric, alpha-numeric or a text string.
         (2)   Subject to Subdivision 5.1.7, the following parts of a plot must be marked:
                     (a)   the corners of a rectangular plot;
                     (b)   the centre point of a circular plot.
                         Note    Subdivision 5.1.7 deals with plots that are located close to stratum boundaries.
         (3)   The plot parts specified in subsection (2) must be marked in a way that allows for the identification of:
                     (a)   a TSP and the project trees included within the TSP for at least 12 months from the completion of a full inventory assessment; and
                     (b)   a PSP and the project trees included within the PSP for at least the first 5 years following the date of the establishment or most recent assessment of the PSP.
         (4)   The boundary markers for a PSP must be fire and flood resistant to allow for the identification of the PSP if a growth disturbance event occurs within 5 years from the establishment, or most recent assessment, of the PSP.
5.14        Plot visits during full inventory
         (1)   All plots must be visited during a full inventory.
         (2)   The actual location coordinates for each plot must be logged on the ground using a global positioning system.
         (3)   An ex post comparison between:
                     (a)   the intended location coordinates generated in accordance with section 5.7; and
                     (b)   the actual location coordinates specified in subsection (2);
must be conducted.
         (4)   Except where subsection 5.10(8) applies, the variation between the coordinates specified in subsection (3) must be no greater than 10m (the location tolerance).
                         Note    Subsection 5.10(8) requires the project proponent to relocate a plot to the nearest safe point if establishing a plot at the intended location coordinates would constitute a serious safety risk.
         (5)   Except where subsection 5.10(8) applies, if the difference between the intended location coordinates and the actual location coordinates for a plot is greater than the location tolerance specified in subsection (4), then:
                     (a)   data collected from the plot must not be included in any calculation specified in Part 6;
                     (b)   the plot must be relocated; and
                     (c)   the processes specified in subsections 5.10(6) to 5.10(9) and subsections (2) to (4) of this section must be repeated until the location tolerance specified in subsection (4) of this section is met, at which point data can be collected from the plot for the purposes of application to the calculations specified in Part 6.
                                        Note     All ex post comparisons including, if applicable, the requirement to relocate plots as specified in paragraph (b), must be documented in a sampling plan in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.3.
5.15        Collection of information during plot visits
         (1)   The following information must be collected during visits to a plot:
                     (a)   the plot identifier and date of assessment;
                     (b)   the dimensions of the plot;
                     (c)   whether the plot falls wholly within the stratum boundary, or is an edge plot that is partially inclusive of land that falls outside the stratum boundary; and
                     (d)   the following characteristics for each project tree in a plot:
                                 (i)    tree status;
                                (ii)    species; and
                               (iii)    predictor measure.
         (2)   If there are no project trees within the boundaries of a plot, or the plot includes only project trees to which subsection 5.2(9) applies:
                     (a)   the plot must be recorded as having zero carbon stocks; and
                     (b)   the carbon stock values recorded in accordance with paragraph (a) must be included in the following calculations:
                                 (i)    Equations 9a, 9b, 11a and 11b; and
                                (ii)    if project trees occurred within the boundaries of the plot at the most recent full inventory to have been referenced in an offsets report, Equation 10.
         (3)   Non-project trees must not be assessed or included in any carbon stock calculations for the project.
         (4)   If the project proponent chooses to account for carbon contained in litter and fallen dead wood, the carbon must be assessed in accordance with sections 5.44 and 5.45.
5.16        Ex post analysis of plots
         (1)   Where full inventory is conducted, a project proponent must calculate the probable limit of error for mean plot carbon stock for a stratum using Equation 28 to determine whether the target probable limit of error specified in section 5.9 has been achieved.
         (2)   If the target probable limit of error has not been achieved, the project proponent must establish and assess additional plots in accordance with this Subdivision until the target probable limit of error specified in section 5.9 is achieved.
 
Subdivision 5.1.6 PSP assessments
5.17        Conducting PSP assessments
                A project proponent must undertake the processes specified in this Subdivision when conducting a PSP assessment within a stratum.
5.18        General requirements for PSP assessments
         (1)   Before undertaking the processes specified in this section, PSPs must have been previously established within the stratum as part of a full inventory in accordance with section 5.2 and Subdivision 5.1.5.
         (2)   A recent map of the stratum and a stratum area estimate for the stratum must be generated in accordance with Part 3.
         (3)   A sampling plan developed in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.3 must be documented to describe the number and location of PSPs within the stratum.
         (4)   All PSPs within the stratum must be visited and the processes specified in section 5.15 performed.
         (5)   The biomass content of project trees assessed within each PSP must be estimated using allometric functions that have been developed and validated in accordance with Subdivisions 5.1.8 to 5.1.12.
         (6)   Where an allometric function that meets the requirements of Subdivision 5.1.12 is not available to the project proponent for application to a project tree of a particular tree type occurring within a PSP, then that project tree must be noted and recorded as zero biomass for the purposes of conversion to estimates of carbon stocks as specified in subsection (8).
         (7)   If the project proponent chooses to account for carbon in the litter and fallen dead wood pools, the biomass within these pools for each PSP must be assessed in accordance with sections 5.44 and 5.45.
         (8)   The biomass estimates specified in subsections (5) to (7) must be converted to estimates of carbon stocks within each plot by using Equations 12b to 18.
5.19        Ex post analysis of PSPs
         (1)   For the purposes of this Subdivision, the target probable limit of error around the mean of carbon stock values for PSPs occurring within the stratum is to be no greater than 20% at the 90% confidence level.
         (2)   The project proponent must calculate the probable limit of error for the mean of carbon stock values for PSPs occurring within the stratum using Equation 28 to determine whether the target probable limit of error specified in subsection (1) has been achieved.
         (3)   If the target probable limit of error specified in subsection (1) is achieved, closing carbon stocks for the stratum are to be calculated using Equation 6a.
         (4)   If the target probable limit of error specified in subsection (1) is not achieved:
                     (a)   data from the PSP assessment must not be used to calculate the closing carbon stocks for the stratum using Equation 6a; and
                     (b)   the project proponent must:
                                 (i)    conduct a full inventory in accordance with section 5.2; and
                                (ii)    if the project proponent intends to conduct further PSP assessments in the stratum, establish and assess PSPs in accordance with Subdivisions 5.1.5 and 5.1.6 for the purposes of achieving the target probable limit of error specified in subsection (1).
Subdivision 5.1.7 Plots located close to stratum boundaries
5.20        Dealing with plots located close to stratum boundaries
         (1)   This section applies if the intended location coordinates for a plot as determined in accordance with section 5.7 fall close to the boundary of a stratum.
         (2)   Except where subsection 5.10(8) applies, if the intended location coordinates are within the stratum boundary, a plot must be established and assessed so that the difference between the actual location coordinates and intended location coordinates is no greater than the location tolerance specified in subsection 5.14(4).
                         Note    Subsection 5.10(8) requires the project proponent to relocate a plot to the nearest safe point if establishing a plot at the intended location coordinates would constitute a serious safety risk.
         (3)   If the intended location coordinates fall outside the stratum boundary, no plot is to be established at that location.
5.21        Edge plots
         (1)   If part of the boundary of a plot falls outside the stratum boundary, the plot is to be known as an ‘edge plot’.
         (2)   Edge plots can be either circular or rectangular.
         (3)   Plot markers for rectangular edge plots must be either:
                     (a)   aligned with the limits of the stratum boundary; or
                     (b)   placed at all corners of the plot.
         (4)   Circular edge plots must be marked in accordance with paragraph 5.13(2)(b).
         (5)   The plot area for an edge plot is taken to be equivalent to the target plot size as established in accordance with section 5.12.
5.22        Plot carbon stocks
         (1)   Project trees that occur both within the plot boundary and the stratum boundary must be assessed in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.5.
         (2)   If the project proponent has elected to assess litter and fallen dead wood within the stratum, then the litter and fallen dead wood that occur both within the plot boundary and the stratum boundary must be assessed in accordance with the specified section:
                     (a)   litter – section 5.44;
                     (b)   fallen dead wood – section 5.45.
         (3)   Plot carbon stocks must be calculated using Equations 12a to18, where the plot area value (Ap) is equivalent to the target plot size as specified in subsection 5.21(5) and as documented in the sampling plan.
Subdivision 5.1.8 Allometric functions
5.23        Applying species specific allometric functions
         (1)   A project proponent must undertake the processes specified in this Subdivision when estimating biomass of project trees for a given tree type.
         (2)   A project proponent may only apply an allometric function where:
                     (a)   the requirements set out in this Subdivision are met; and
                     (b)   the compatibility and validation tests specified in Subdivision 5.1.12 are satisfied.
         (3)   An allometric function must only be applied to project trees that occur within the allometric domain for that allometric function.
5.24        Allometric domain
         (1)   For each allometric function applied, the project proponent must clearly define the allometric domain for that function by recording and documenting the following in an allometric report in accordance with section 5.29:
                     (a)   the following information regarding the tree type from which the allometric dataset has been collected:
                                 (i)    the species of tree;
                                (ii)    the tree status; and
                               (iii)    the allometric data range;
                     (b)   the predictor measures referenced by the allometric function;
                     (c)   the procedures used to assess the predictor measures; and
                     (d)   subject to subsection (2), the geographic area over which the allometric function is assumed to apply.
         (2)   For a stratum specific function, the geographic limits of the allometric domain are defined as being the limits of the stratum boundary from which the allometric dataset was collected.
         (3)   To avoid doubt, an allometric function must not be used if the information requirements specified in subsection (1) cannot be met.
5.25        Regression fitting
         (1)   A project proponent must undertake the processes specified in this section when conducting regression analyses for the purpose of developing allometric functions.
         (2)   An allometric function must not be used as part of an offsets project to which this Determination applies unless the function has been derived by using regression analyses to relate predictor measures collected from biomass sample trees to biomass estimates obtained for the same set of biomass sample trees.
Allowable regression forms
         (3)   In cases where a project proponent uses either a single predictor measure or multiple predictor measures:
                     (a)   data must not be transformed; and
                     (b)   the weighted least squares method must be applied to estimate the line of best fit.
         (4)   In cases where a single predictor measure is used, linear or non-linear regression techniques may be applied.
         (5)   In cases where multiple predictor measures are used, multiple linear or non‑linear regression techniques may be applied.
         (6)   An allometric function must take one of the following forms:
(a)            
or
(b)          
where:
  =
biomass for a tree in kilograms of dry matter.

 =
the ith of p predictor measure(s) for estimating biomass within a tree.

 ,  =
constants derived through regression analyses, .

5.26        Minimum data requirements
         (1)   This section specifies the minimum data requirements for conducting regression analyses for the purpose of deriving an allometric function.
         (2)   The regression analyses used to develop an allometric function must reference data collected from at least 20 individual biomass sample trees sampled from within the geographic limits of the relevant allometric domain.
         (3)   Both above-ground and below-ground biomass components of the biomass sample trees specified in subsection (2) must have been sampled in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.10.
         (4)   An allometric function used as part of an offsets project to which this Determination applies must not assume a below-ground biomass fraction.
5.27        Minimum regression fit requirements
         (1)   This section specifies the requirements that must be met before an allometric function can be used to estimate biomass from project trees.
         (2)   In this section:
statistically significant means a two-tailed probability level of