Emission Factors, PSPs & FORMNET-B

Emission Factors, PSPs & FORMNET-B

What is an Emission Factor?

An Emission Factor (EF) is an estimation of the amount of Greenhouse Gas emissions that a certain human activity releases into the atmosphere. For REDD+, it is understanding how much emissions a certain land use (including the activities that come from that land use), particularly forested lands, either emits or removes from the atmosphere. Emission Factors, in conjunction with Activity Data (AD), plays a vital role in the Forest Reference Emissions Level (FREL) and Greenhouse Gas Inventory emissions estimations.

Permanent Sampling Plots

A Permanent Sampling Plot (PSP) is a demarcated sampling area within forested lands (can also be established in other land use types and ecosystems), where vital data is collected on the forest type that the PSP is established in. As an important aspect of Sustainable Forest Management, the Belize Forest Department use PSPs to monitor changes in forests, where standard measurements are made to allow comparisons over time. The data that is gathered from PSPs, can be used to estimate country-specific emission factors for each forest type where a PSP is established.


The Forest Monitoring Network of Belize (FORMNET-B) is a systematized group of PSPs that was established in 1992, as a part of the Forest Planning and Management Project. Initially, only 30 PSPs were established under the FPMP, but in recent years, the Belize Forest Department revived the network under their Sustainable Forest Management Program where more establishments were made. FORMNET-B is an efficient standardized monitoring of Belize’s forests, where country-specific data on tree growth, mortality and the overall health of these forests are assessed. FORMNET-B plays a vital role in providing country-specific emission factors for the FREL and GHG inventory.