The Full Lands Integration Tool (FLINT) is moja global’s flagship software. FLINT is a modular and highly flexible open-source software technology designed to meet the needs of governments, the private sector and other users in measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) – or forecasting – greenhouse gas emissions and removals from forestry, agriculture and other land uses (AFOLU).
Simply put, FLINT allows you to quickly establish an operational
MRV system that can respond to your policy, planning and reporting needs.
FLINT provides a framework for countries, and other users, to develop their systems, data, products, and capacity in a progressive manner. It allows you to start with simple implementations, and then move toward continuous improvement as capacity is built and new and better data becomes available.
How FLINT works
FLINT works by bringing together multiple streams of data. FLINT combines remote sensing, models and ground data and produces outputs in a wide range of formats, including maps, tables and reports. It is designed to be the engine of an operational MRV system for the AFOLU sector that can respond to policy and planning needs. FLINT is consistent with the IPCC guidelines. Technical specifications >
FLINT can work with any data. The choice depends on available data and reporting needs. Many MRV systems can only work with particular data. FLINT however is flexible. Even if no data is available at country level, publicly available global data can be often used to run a first estimate. Although in this instance the quality will be low, these results are available immediately and will provide an indicative result and a framework for improvement.
FLINT can achieve your desired accuracy and outputs by combining different streams of data with models and improving these inputs over time. A regular cycle of improvement cycles every six months brings the system rapidly up to the required level of accuracy rapidly and to allow for payments for results, internationally traded credits or NDC transparency requirements.
FLINT uses scientific models to estimate fluxes of GHGs between pools. There are several models available for each type of GHG flux e.g. Tier 1 formulas or emission factors and more sophisticated Tier 3 models for forest growth or soil carbon dynamics. The user can start with a simple model for all land uses and can then switch to more accurate models for the most important land cover types when better data becomes available. More importantly, these models allow FLINT to make projections of GHG fluxes. The model only needs to receive the activity data to run its calculations formulae whether those describe that is in the past or in the future.
FLINT is using the same models for making projections as for monitoring implementation progress. This ensures that the approach used for planning is the same as the one used for reporting, so the results are consistent and time series are seamless at the transition from reporting to projections. In many other cases the tool used for planning is different from the tool used for reporting and it is hard to identify whether the discrepancy between the two is due to implementation or to measurement errors.
FLINT can apply accurate models for project areas that have extensive data, while it can apply less demanding models for the rest of the countries. This ensures that achievements reached by projects are not lost when they are included into national accounts. Most countries are currently using systems that are not spatially explicit like FLINT. In these systems, land cover types are aggregated and the specific achievements of a project area are reduced to the average emission applied to that land cover type or they cannot be identified at all within the national accounts.
There are many advantages to using an open source system. It allows countries to adjust the software to their needs, and it also allows for international collaboration and close communication between developers and users (they might actually be one and the same). Open source has proven to be more secure, more reliable, and more innovative. But in an MRV context, there is another huge advantage to open source: If FLINT is used by the reporting entity, then FLINT can also be used by the verification entity so it is much easier to verify the reported results.
FLINT is capable of combining models for GHG fluxes with other models like restoration potential, biodiversity, economics and other non-carbon benefits. These capabilities can be improved over time through collaboration between scientists, economists, environmentalists and IT engineers.
FLINT is an open source platform under active development by contributors from all over the world. The code is available on GitHub and can be downloaded. Training material and tutorials already exist and more training materials are being developed.
There are several ways you can contribute to moja global. Apart from contributing code to repositories, moja global also offers opportunities to contribute to non-code related tasks such as the development of training materials, delivering training and capacity development.
Moja global facilitates collaboration on the development of open source tools. These tools can be downloaded and used by anybody in line with the license agreement. Typically, users download the FLINT framework and combine it with a set of modules that meet their needs. Modules are available in moja global repositories or new modules can be developed by users.
Most moja global tools, including FLINT, are released under the MPL 2.0 license. This license allows the commercial use of FLINT. So users who want to use FLINT for commercial purposes are free to do so.
FLINT allows users
to establish an operational MRV system that can respond to specific policy, planning and reporting needs.
Examples of FLINT in action
FLINT is in action around the world. A number of countries are in different stages of their FLINT journey, with momentum continuing to grow.
System for Land-based Emissions Estimation
The FLINT was developed in Kenya as part of the program called System for Land-based Emissions Estimation in Kenya (SLEEK). SLEEK was a Government wide program. The system has been improved in several cycles, including the development of a tool that can generate results in internationally agreed reporting formats and the development of an enteric fermentation model.
Chile’s National Forestry Corporation collaboration
Chile’s National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), in collaboration with the Canadian Forest Service and the Mullion Group, is running a pilot project using a FLINT-based system in the Los Rios Region in southern Chile. CONAF is interested to test how available spatially explicit data can be integrated in a transparent and consistent manner.
Generic Carbon Budget Model
The Canadian Forest Service is one of the most active contributors to moja global. The Generic Carbon Budget Model (GCBM) uses Canadian Forest Service (CFS) science modules on top of the FLINT platform. GCBM has been applied in various projects and at various scales by National and Provincial governments in Canada and in the rest of the world.The Generic Carbon Budget Model (GCBM) , Canadian Carbon Budget Model science modules on top of the FLINT platform) has been applied in various projects and at various scales by National and Provincial governments. There is also a keen interest of various companies to start using GCBM.
Indonesian National Carbon Accounting System
The Research Department of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, with the support from the Australian Government and the Mullion Group, has tested the use of FLINT to enhance the Indonesian National Carbon Accounting System (INCAS).