For New Mandala readers keen to learn more about carbon trading and its relationship to logging in Burma, the Australian government’s National Carbon Accounting System website provides a wealth of detailed information. It can, among other things, give you an idea of how carbon accounting calculations can be made, based largely on analysing “land-based sources and sinks”. It shows how some governments are beginning to conceive their place in the global carbon economy. This Australian system, with its national-level modeling, is some years in front of what I imagine is possible for Burma. I don’t think that such detailed modeling has even yet been attempted for the Burmese case.

Who will be the first to try?

This could be a really exciting project for an environmental economist or ecologist looking for a new challenge. Actually trying to quantify the implications (both local and global) of, say, “avoided deforestation” in Burma would be a huge task. If we want to really understand how a country like Burma fits in the global scheme then something like the Australian carbon accounting framework might need to be implemented. Is anybody prepared to take up that challenge? Is this the point at which the idea of paying for “avoided deforestation” in Burma completely, and finally, runs out of steam?

Thanks to Pat for pointing out this important resource and for encouraging me to highlight Australian efforts to provide better tools for carbon accounting.