Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Reforestation and Afforestation—1.2) Methodology Determination 2013

Link to law: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013L01210

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Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Reforestation and Afforestation—1.2) Methodology Determination 20131
Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011
I, Yvette D’Ath, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, make this Methodology Determination under subsection 106(1) of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011.
Dated  25 June 2013       
YVETTE D’ATH                                     
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation
 
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                                                                                15
                      2.2      Location                                                                                           15
                      2.3      Project land characteristics                                                                15
                      2.4      Project mechanisms                                                                          16
                      2.5      Identification of project area                                                              16
Part 3                           Delineating boundaries
                      3.1      Division of project area into strata                                                     17
                      3.2      Minimum requirement for a stratum                                                    17
                      3.3      Delineating stratum boundaries                                                          17
                      3.4      Ortho-rectified aerial imagery                                                             19
                      3.5      Growth disturbances                                                                         19
                      3.6      Revision of stratum affected by growth disturbance                           20
                      3.7      Requirements for disturbance affected stratum                                   20
                      3.8      Requirements for fire affected stratum                                               20
                      3.9      Requirements for revisions of strata boundaries                                 20
Part 4                           Project operation
                      4.1      Removal of trees                                                                              22
                      4.2      Preparation burns                                                                              23
                      4.3      Restrictions relating to fertiliser use                                                    23
Part 5                           Methods for estimating net project abatement
Division 5.1                 Estimating project removals
Subdivision 5.1.1         General
                      5.1      General                                                                                             24
Subdivision 5.1.2         Conducting a full inventory
                      5.2      Conducting a full inventory                                                                24
Subdivision 5.1.3         Sampling plans
                      5.3      Developing and documenting a sampling plan                                    25
                      5.4      Sampling plan information for full inventory and PSP assessment       26
                      5.5      Sampling plan information for stratum specific functions                    27
                      5.6      Sampling plan information for regional functions                                27
Subdivision 5.1.4         Location of plots
                      5.7      Determining the location of plots                                                       28
Subdivision 5.1.5         Establishing and assessing plots
                      5.8      Establishing and assessing plots during full inventory                        30
                      5.9      Target probable limit of error—full inventory                                       30
                    5.10      Establishing plots                                                                             30
                    5.11      Plot shape                                                                                        32
                    5.12      Plot size                                                                                           32
                    5.13      Identifying and marking plots                                                             32
                    5.14      Plot visits during full inventory                                                           33
                    5.15      Collection of information during plot visits                                         33
                    5.16      Ex post analysis of plots                                                                   34
Subdivision 5.1.6         PSP assessments
                    5.17      Conducting PSP assessments                                                           34
                    5.18      General requirements for PSP assessments                                       34
                    5.19      Ex post analysis of PSPs                                                                  35
Subdivision 5.1.7         Plots located close to stratum boundaries
                    5.20      Dealing with plots located close to stratum boundaries                       35
                    5.21      Edge plots                                                                                       36
                    5.22      Plot carbon stocks                                                                            36
Subdivision 5.1.8         Allometric functions
                    5.23      Applying species specific allometric functions                                   36
                    5.24      Allometric domain                                                                             37
                    5.25      Regression fitting                                                                              37
                    5.26      Minimum data requirements                                                               38
                    5.27      Minimum regression fit requirements                                                  38
                    5.28      Variance of weighted residuals                                                          39
                    5.29      Allometric report                                                                               39
Subdivision 5.1.9         Allometric functions for live trees
                    5.30      Developing allometric functions for live trees                                     40
                    5.31      Developing stratum specific functions                                               41
                    5.32      Updating pre-existing stratum specific functions                                 42
                    5.33      Regional functions                                                                            43
                    5.34      Converting a stratum specific function to a regional function               44
Subdivision 5.1.10       Assessing biomass sample trees
                    5.35      Assessing above-ground biomass of biomass sample trees               44
                    5.36      Assessing below-ground biomass of biomass sample trees               45
                    5.37      Assessing biomass of entire biomass sample tree                             47
                    5.38      Record keeping and reporting                                                            47
Subdivision 5.1.11       Allometric functions for other trees
                    5.39      Developing allometric functions for trees other than live trees             47
Subdivision 5.1.12       Applicability of allometric functions
                    5.40      Testing the applicability of allometric functions                                   48
                    5.41      Compatibility checks                                                                         48
                    5.42      Validation test                                                                                   48
                    5.43      Reporting requirements                                                                     50
Subdivision 5.1.13       Assessing carbon stocks in fallen dead wood and litter
                    5.44      Assessing carbon stocks in litter                                                       50
                    5.45      Assessing carbon stocks in fallen dead wood                                    51
Division 5.2                 Calculating project emissions
                    5.46      Calculating fuel emissions from project activities                                52
                    5.47      Calculating fire emissions from a stratum                                           52
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                                                                                             53
                      6.2      Greenhouse gas assessment boundary                                              53
                      6.3      Calculating the baseline for the project                                               54
                      6.4      Requirements for calculating carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement 54
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         56
                      6.7      Calculating uncertainty for net abatement amount                               56
                      6.8      Calculating standard error for net abatement amount                           57
                      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                                    58
                    6.11      Calculating carbon stock change for a stratum                                   59
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 63
                    6.14      Calculating closing carbon stocks for a stratum based on PSP assessment  64
Subdivision 6.2.5         Calculating lower confidence bound
                    6.15      Calculating the lower confidence bound for closing carbon stocks for a stratum        67
                    6.16      Calculating the lower confidence bound for mean ratio of change in PSP carbon stocks        67
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                68
                    6.18      Calculating the ratio of change in PSP carbon stocks                         69
Subdivision 6.2.7         Calculating mean plot carbon stocks for a stratum
                    6.19      Calculating mean plot carbon stocks for a stratum                              70
Subdivision 6.2.8         Calculating carbon stocks in a plot
                    6.20      Calculating carbon stocks within a plot assessed as part of full inventory     71
                    6.21      Calculating carbon stocks within a PSP assessed as part of PSP assessment          72
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                             73
                    6.23      Calculating carbon stocks in live fire affected trees within a plot          73
                    6.24      Calculating carbon stocks in dead standing trees within a plot             74
                    6.25      Calculating carbon stocks in dead standing fire affected trees within a plot   74
                    6.26      Calculating carbon stocks in litter within a plot                                    75
                    6.27      Calculating carbon stocks in fallen dead wood within a plot                75
Subdivision 6.2.10       Calculating biomass in trees
                    6.28      Calculating biomass in live trees within a plot                                     76
                    6.29      Calculating biomass in live fire affected trees within a plot                  76
                    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  77
Subdivision 6.2.11       Calculating project emissions
                    6.32      Calculating project emissions                                                            77
                    6.33      Calculating fuel emissions for a stratum                                             79
                    6.34      Calculating emissions for fossil fuel types                                         79
Subdivision 6.2.12       Calculating emissions for fire affected strata
                    6.35      Calculating emissions for a fire affected stratum                                80
                    6.36      Calculating the standard error for fire emissions                                 82
Subdivision 6.2.13       Calculating probable limit of error
                    6.37      Calculating probable limit of error for carbon stock estimates             84
                    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 below-ground biomass                                                     85
                    6.41      Calculating above-ground biomass for biomass sample trees and test trees 86
                    6.42      Calculating below-ground biomass for biomass sample trees and test trees from a root:shoot biomass ratio                                                                                    86
                    6.43      Calculating the dry weight of biomass components for biomass sample trees and test trees  87
                    6.44      Calculating the variance of weighted residuals for biomass sample trees and test trees         87
                    6.45      Calculating the F-test statistic                                                            88
Division 6.3                 Data collection
                    6.46      Project emissions                                                                             90
                    6.47      Project removals                                                                               90
Part 7                           Monitoring, record-keeping and reporting requirements
Division 7.1                 General
                      7.1      Application                                                                                       91
Division 7.2                 Monitoring requirements
                      7.2      Project monitoring                                                                             91
Division 7.3                 Record-keeping requirements
                      7.3      Records that must be kept                                                                92
                      7.4      Stratum records                                                                                92
                      7.5      Project tree measures                                                                        92
                      7.6      Carbon stock calculations                                                                 92
                      7.7      Allometric functions                                                                          92
                      7.8      Sampling plans                                                                                 93
                      7.9      Quality assurance and control                                                            93
                    7.10      Fuel use                                                                                           93
Division 7.4                 Offsets report requirements
Subdivision 7.4.1         Information that must be included in the first offsets report
                    7.11      General                                                                                             93
                    7.12      Project information                                                                            93
                    7.13      Stratum description and status                                                          94
                    7.14      Baseline land use history and forest cover history for strata                94
                    7.15      Quality assurance and control                                                            95
Subdivision 7.4.2         Information that must be included in all offsets reports
                    7.16      General                                                                                             95
                    7.17      Project information                                                                            95
                    7.18      Strata location and area                                                                     95
                    7.19      Stratum description and status                                                          96
                    7.20      Carbon stocks for stratum                                                                 96
                    7.21      Carbon stocks for plots                                                                    97
                    7.22      Basis of allometric function applied to a stratum                                98
                    7.23      Application of allometric functions                                                     98
                    7.24      Sampling plans                                                                                 98
                    7.25      Growth disturbance events                                                                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—1.2) 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:
above-ground biomass means all material in a tree above the level of mineral earth and includes stem, crown, and attached dead material such as dead branches.
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 that 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 that are:
(a)    recorded from biomass sample trees; and
(b)   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 and that meets the requirements set out in section 5.29.
below-ground biomass means all material in a tree below the level of mineral earth and includes the tap root or lignotuber, and the lateral roots.
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.
belt plot means a plot that meets the requirements set out in subsection 5.7(11).
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 in which biomass sample plots are randomly located and from which 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.
block plantings means discrete patches of project trees established so the average minimum width of the patches is greater than 50 metres.
bulked sample means a sample of litter collected through combining 4 smaller samples into a single sample.
carbon dioxide equivalent means the carbon dioxide mass equivalent, calculated by multiplying the mass of elemental carbon by .
carbon fraction means the proportion, by mass, 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.
CFI Mapping Guidelines means the guidelines of that name, as published from time to time, to be used for mapping project areas and strata within project areas, and available on the Department’s website.
circular plot means a plot that meets the requirements set out in subsection 5.7(10).
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 branches, 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 material means dead material that:
(a)    comes from a project tree;
(b)   remains attached to the tree;
(c)    is suspended above ground; and
(d)   includes hanging bark, dead branches, stems and leaves.
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.
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.
declaration date, for a project, means the date on which the declaration of the project as an eligible offsets project under section 27 of the Act takes effect.
Department means the Department that administers the Act.
disturbance affected stratum means a stratum that has been subject to a growth disturbance event, other than fire—see section 3.6.
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 an area of land covered by project forest at a specified time or during a specified reporting period.
fallen dead wood means dead woody stem or branch components, or both, that:
                     (a)   have a cross-sectional diameter of more than 2.5 centimetres;
                     (b)   come 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 Part 3.
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 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 the vegetation on the land includes trees that:
(a)      are 2 metres or more in height; and
(b)      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.
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 on the declaration date.
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.
lateral root means the woody material that extends laterally from a tree’s tap root or lignotuber, and that forms part of a tree’s below-ground structure.
litter means dead, project-tree derived material that:
(a)    occurs at ground level;
(b)   is less than 2.5 centimetres in diameter; and
(c)    may 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 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.
location tolerance means the maximum allowable variation between intended location coordinates and actual location coordinates, being no greater than 10 metres.
maintenance phase means a phase of activity in relation to a stratum, which occurs after the management phase and in which the cumulative carbon sequestration for the stratum is assumed to have attained its maximum level.
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 within the project area that was not established as a direct result of a project carried out under this Determination.
non-project tree means a tree within the project area 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 planting has the same meaning as in the Regulations.
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 project trees from seedlings or seed.
planting finish date means the date that planting of the stratum was completed being:
(a)    the date when the last seed was sown or seedling planted; or
(b)   180 days from the planting start date;
whichever occurs first.
planting start date means the date that planting started within a stratum.
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.
preparation 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 undertaken 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, from sources within the project greenhouse gas assessment boundary (see section 6.2).
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 from the atmosphere of greenhouse gases caused as a result of 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 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.
root:shoot ratio (R:S) means the ratio of below-ground biomass to above‑ground biomass.
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.
standard margin means a distance from the boundary of the site preparation or tree planting that defines the stratum boundary and is determined in accordance with section 3.3.
                         Note    Site preparation refers to the activities necessary to be undertaken prior to planting which may include weed control, soil cultivation, preparation burn, and ripping and mounding.
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 to refer to and identify a stratum in the project area.
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 the stem of a tree 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:
                     applicable carbon sequestration right
baseline
                     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 the following kinds of project:
                     (a)   the establishment of a permanent planting on or after 1 July 2007; or
                     (b)   a forestry project accredited under the Commonwealth Government’s Greenhouse FriendlyTM initiative; or
                     (c)   a permanent planting accredited under:
                                 (i)    the New South Wales Government’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme; or
                                (ii)    the Australian Capital Territory Government’s Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme; or
                     (d)   a permanent planting established before 1 July 2007 for which there is documentary evidence of a kind mentioned in subregulation 3.28(3) of the Regulations that demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Regulator, that the primary purpose of the planting was generation of carbon offsets.
 
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).
2.2           Location
                The project area must be located within Australia, including external territories.
2.3           Project land characteristics
         (1)   For at least 5 years before project commencement, the project area must have included:
                     (a)   land used for grazing or cropping; or
                     (b)   land that was fallow between grazing or cropping activities; or
                     (c)   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.
                         Note    The potential to attain the requirements in subsection (2) may be demonstrated by the species of trees to be planted, a description of the growth characteristics of the species and the anticipated crown cover across the stratum area when project trees are at maturity.
         (3)   In this section:
project commencement means the earliest date for which there is documentary evidence that demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Regulator, that planting has occurred in the project area.
                         Note    Under the Act a project declaration date cannot be earlier than 1 July 2010. A declaration date is the date on which the declaration of the project as an eligible offsets project under section 27 of the Act takes effect. Projects that have a project commencement before 1 July 2010 will have a project declaration date of 1 July 2010. 
2.4           Project mechanisms
         (1)   The project must establish and maintain a planting which is:
                     (a)   a permanent planting; and
                     (b)   planted with sufficient planting density so that the trees have the potential to achieve forest cover.
                         Note    The spatial configuration of a planting may be in belts or blocks provided the planting density has the potential to achieve forest cover.
         (2)   The project mechanism must be undertaken during the following 3 phases of the project:
                     (a)   establishment phase;
                     (b)   management phase; and
                     (c)   maintenance phase.
2.5           Identification of project area
                The boundaries of the project area must be delineated in accordance with the CFI Mapping Guidelines.
                         Note    Regulation 3.1 of the Regulations 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 CFI Mapping Guidelines.
Part 3              Delineating boundaries
3.1           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 in accordance with the CFI Mapping Guidelines and that comply with sections 3.2 and 3.3.
         (2)   The project proponent may define new strata that comply with sections 3.2 and 3.3 at any time.
         (3)   New strata may:
                     (a)   be excised from existing strata;
                     (b)   replace existing strata; or
                     (c)   cover land within the project area not previously included within stratum boundaries.
         (4)   The boundaries and area of a stratum must be defined in accordance with section 3.3.
         (5)   If the boundaries of a stratum are redefined, they must be redefined in accordance with the requirements set out in section 3.6.
3.2           Minimum requirement for a stratum
                A stratum must have been planted with one or more species of project trees.
                         Note    Project proponents may also define a stratum based on any of the following:
                                               –     project tree age;
–       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.
3.3           Delineating stratum boundaries
         (1)   This section sets out the processes for:
                     (a)   delineating the boundaries of a stratum included within the project area; and
                     (b)   deriving an estimate of the stratum area.
         (2)   A project proponent must delineate the boundaries of a stratum 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 and the stratum boundary:
                                 (i)    conducting an on-ground survey using a global positioning system;
                                (ii)    using ortho‑rectified aerial imagery in accordance with section 3.4; and
                     (b)   using a geographic information system to generate spatial data files to identify the limits of extant project forest area and the stratum boundary.
Extant project forest boundary
         (3)   The extant project forest boundary for a stratum is the polygon that is the outer limit of the stems of the project trees in the stratum.
Stratum boundary and stratum area
         (4)   A geographic information system must be used to apply a standard margin to the extant project forest boundary.
         (5)   The standard margin referred to in subsection (4) must be applied to the stratum for the life of the project, and must be set as:
                     (a)   the estimated radius of the crown of a fully mature project tree for the stratum; or
                     (b)   if the radius specified in paragraph (a) cannot be estimated, a default distance of 2 metres; or
                     (c)   the limits of any applicable carbon sequestration rights area if this is a lesser distance than the distances specified in paragraphs (a) and (b).
         (6)   The stratum boundary must not include land that:
                     (a)   lies outside the project area; or
                     (b)   is non-project forest.
         (7)   If application of the standard margin would result in the mapped geographic limits of the stratum:
                     (a)   overlapping the geographic limits of a second stratum—then the stratum boundary must be mapped to a point 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 stratum boundary must align with the boundary of the project area.
         (8)   For the purposes of calculating the stratum area, the boundary of the standard margin delineates the boundary of the stratum.
3.4           Ortho-rectified aerial imagery
                If ortho‑rectified aerial imagery is used to identify the limits of extant project forest area and stratum boundary:
                     (a)   the relevant land area must be digitised from the imagery;
                     (b)   the imagery must meet the accuracy requirements specified in the CFI Mapping Guidelines;
                     (c)   the pixel resolution must be no greater than 2.5 metres; and
                     (d)   the image must be of sufficient quality and resolution to allow the clear identification of the limits of project forest establishment activities.
3.5           Growth disturbances
         (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 reported in an offsets report (a growth disturbance).
                         Note    Examples include floods, fires, droughts, pest attacks, diseases, and natural disturbances that would be taken to cause a significant reversal under 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 section 3.6.
         (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 section 3.6; or
                     (b)   continue to treat the growth disturbance affected area as belonging to a single stratum.
         (5)   Infill planting may be undertaken if project trees die within the period ending:
                     (a)   12 months from the planting finish date for the stratum; or
                     (b)   at the time of submission of the first offsets report for the stratum;
                whichever occurs first.
         (6)   The death of the project trees is not a growth disturbance if infill planting is undertaken after the project trees have died.
         (7)   In this section:
                infill planting is a planting for the purpose of replacing project trees that have died within the period specified in subsection (5).
3.6           Revision of stratum affected by growth disturbance
         (1)   Subject to sections 3.7 to 3.9, if the whole of the stratum is affected by a growth disturbance, the stratum must be 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.
         (2)   If only a part of the stratum is affected by the growth disturbance, then 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 the requirements for a stratum set out in section 3.2; and
                     (b)   is labelled:
                                 (i)    if the disturbance was fire—a fire affected stratum; or
                                (ii)    otherwise—a disturbance affected stratum.
3.7           Requirements for disturbance affected stratum
                If a disturbance affected stratum is created, then for the purposes of calculating carbon stock change 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.
3.8           Requirements for fire affected stratum
                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 change 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.
3.9           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 the requirements for delineating stratum boundaries set out in section 3.3.
         (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 which includes the revised stratum area must be conducted in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.2 no earlier than 6 months before the submission of the next offsets report; and
                     (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 Subdivisions 5.1.5 and 5.1.6.
         (3)   Where a stratum area is reduced to zero through redefining stratum boundaries in accordance with section 3.1 or 3.6, 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 7.4.
 
Part 4              Project operation
         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 may be removed at any time during the life of the project;
                     (b)   if removal of the non-project trees is otherwise required or authorised by law, they may be removed in accordance with the relevant law; or
                     (c)   if, at commencement, non-project trees subject to removal:
                                 (i)    cover a total land area that represents less than 5% of the stratum area, as measured by crown cover;
                                (ii)    are not 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 6 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.
                         Note    The Regulations allow for biomass from project trees to be removed in the following circumstances:
-    to remove debris for fire management; or
-    to remove firewood, fruits, nuts, seeds, or material used for fencing or as craft materials, if those things are not removed for sale; or
-    in accordance with traditional indigenous practices or native title rights; or
-    for thinning for ecological purposes.
4.2           Preparation burns
                Subject to section 4.1, one preparation burn may be applied to each stratum at either commencement or between commencement and planting.
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 a 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 a 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;
                     (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 12a 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;  or
                     (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)   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)   a description of the plots, including whether they are to be circular or belt plots;
                     (e)   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;
                                (ii)    the ex post analysis 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;
                      (f)   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;
                     (g)   the number of grid intersections that occur wholly within the stratum boundary, as specified in section 5.7;
                     (h)   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; and
                               (iii)    the location of plots as established by actual location coordinates;
                      (i)   the intended location coordinates specified in subparagraph (2)(h)(ii) and the actual location coordinates of plots specified in subparagraph (2)(h)(iii);
                      (j)   details of any variation between the spatial coordinates specified in paragraph (i); and
                     (k)   if the variation specified in paragraph (j) 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)   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)   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 in order to:
                     (a)   establish a grid overlay on a recent map of the stratum developed in accordance with Part 3; and
                     (b)   specify selected points of intersection from the grid overlay referred to 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 random angle value between 0 and 89 degrees must be generated; 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);
                     (g)   the anchor point referred to in paragraph (f) must be obtained by randomly selecting an easting and a northing coordinate within the ranges of easting and northing coordinates for the stratum;
                     (h)   the easting and northing coordinates referred to in paragraph (g) must be from the current version of the Map Grid of Australia 1994 (MGA94);
                                        Note     The Map Grid of Australia 1994 (MGA94) is available at: http://www.ga.gov.au/earth-monitoring/geodesy/geodetic-datums/GDA.html
                      (i)   if a commercially available software product is used to undertake the process specified in paragraph 2(a), the requirements at paragraphs (f) to (h) do not apply if the software:
                                 (i)    locates the grid independently of user input; and
                                (ii)    provides the coordinates of all grid intersections within the stratum; and
                      (j)   if a commercially available software product is used as part of the process specified in paragraph 2(a), the name and version of the software must be documented in a sampling plan and all associated electronic files must be retained on record.
         (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.
         (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)   The project proponent must establish circular plots in block plantings and belt plots in belt plantings in accordance with subsections (10) and (11).
       (10)   The project proponent must establish the circular plots specified in subsection (9) so that the actual location coordinates define the centre of the plot and the boundary is defined by a radius.
       (11)   The belt plots specified in subsection (9) must be established according to the following requirements:
                     (a)   the centre line must pass through the actual location coordinates and must be perpendicular to the orientation of the belt at that point;
                     (b)   plot width must be measured along the centre line between the stratum boundaries;
                     (c)   plot length must be calculated as the target plot size divided by plot width; and
                     (d)   the lines defining the length of the belt plot must be parallel to the centre line.
                                        Note     The stratum boundary extends out from outer limits of tree planting on either side of the belts by a distance equal to the standard margin.
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 data collected from one of the following:
                     (a)   a full inventory or PSP assessment previously conducted in the stratum or in other analogous strata;
                     (b)   a pilot inventory conducted within an analogous stratum and in which at least 5 TSPs are established and assessed; or
                     (c)   a pilot inventory conducted within the stratum in which:
                                 (i)    a full inventory is being undertaken; and
                                (ii)    at least 5 plots were established and assessed.
         (5)   Data from TSPs assessed as part of a pilot inventory specified in paragraph (4)(b) must be used for the purposes of only Equations 29a and 29b and must not be further included in the calculation of carbon stocks.
         (6)   Where a pilot inventory specified in paragraph (4)(c) uses the same sampling process as the full inventory and the data from both inventories is from the same stratum, the data collected from the pilot inventory may be used further in the calculation of carbon stocks for that stratum.
         (7)   The intended location coordinates for all plots must be uploaded into a global positioning system.
         (8)   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.
         (9)   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.
       (10)   If intended location coordinates lie close to stratum boundaries, plots must be established in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.7.
Definitions
       (11)   In this section:
pilot inventory means the collection and assessment of data in relation to project trees primarily for calculating the number of plots required to achieve a specified probable limit of error.
5.11        Plot shape
                Plots may be established in one of the following shapes:
                     (a)   circular for block plantings; or
                     (b)   rectangular for belt plantings.
                         Note    Section 5.7 sets out the general requirements for establishing plots.
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)   a point on the centre line of a belt 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 permanently marked with a survey mark that is fire and flood resistant and in a way that allows for the identification of plots during plot visits within 5 years of establishing the survey mark.
         (4)   To allow the accurate re-establishment of a plot boundary, the survey mark for a belt plot may be:
                     (a)   placed at the actual location coordinates determined in accordance with section 5.7; or
                     (b)   moved along the centre line to the centre of the belt plot.
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(9) applies, the variation between the coordinates specified in subsection (3) must be no greater than the location tolerance.
                         Note    Subsection 5.10(9) 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(9) applies, if the difference between the intended location coordinates and the actual location coordinates for a plot is greater than the location tolerance, 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(7) to 5.10(10) and subsections (2) to (4) of this section must be repeated until the location tolerance 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, the plot must be recorded as having zero carbon stocks.
         (3)   The information specified in subsection (2) must be included in the following calculations:
                     (a)   Equations 9a, 9b, 11a and 11b; and
                     (b)   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.
         (4)   Non-project trees must not be assessed or included in any carbon stock calculations for the project.
         (5)   If the project proponent chooses to account for carbon contained in litter and fallen dead wood, the carbon stocks must be assessed in accordance with sections 5.44 and 5.45.
5.16        Ex post analysis of plots
         (1)   Where a 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 use Equation 28 to calculate the probable limit of error specified in subsection (1).
         (3)   If the target probable limit of error specified in subsection (1) is achieved, closing carbon stocks for the stratum must 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 subsections (4) to (6) or 5.10(9) apply, if the intended location coordinates are within the stratum boundary, a plot must be established 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(9) 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.
         (4)   If part of the boundary of a plot falls outside the stratum boundary, the location of the centre for the plot must be determined.
         (5)   If the location of the centre of the plot specified in subsection (4) falls outside the stratum boundary, then no plot is to be assessed at that location.
         (6)   If the location of the centre of the plot specified in subsection (4) falls inside the stratum boundary, then the plot is to be assessed.
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)   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.
         (4)   A tree that is located within the plot but outside the stratum boundary must not be included in the assessment of plot carbon stocks.
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 following specified sections:
                     (a)   litter—section 5.44; and
                     (b)   fallen dead wood—section 5.45.
         (3)   Plot carbon stocks must be calculated using Equations 12a to 18, where the plot area value (Ap) is equivalent to the target plot size as specified in subsection 5.21(3) 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 be applied only 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)   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)   Below-ground biomass components of the biomass sample trees specified in subsection (2) must either:
                     (a)   have been sampled in accordance with Subdivision 5.1.10; or
                     (b)   be calculated by the application of a default root:shoot ratio in accordance with sections 6.40 to 6.42.
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