Construction of land-use change matrix and estimation of greenhouse gas inventory focusing on settlements in South Korea

Sol E. Choi, Segi Hong, Cholho Song, Jiwon Kim, Whijin Kim, Ram Ha, Woo Kyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Five ministries are involved in estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory in the South Korean land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) sectors. However, these ministries have not established a consistent land classification standard between land-use categories. Therefore, the GHG inventory is estimated at the approach 1 level with no spatial clarity between land-use categories. Moreover, the settlements category is not estimated because activity data and the spatial scope are lacking. This study proposed a methodology for constructing a land-use change (LUC) matrix in the LULUCF sector for improving approach level and estimating the GHG inventory in the settlements. Result: We examined 10 sets of spatiotemporal data in South Korea to construct a LUC matrix. To maintain consistency in the spatial land classification, we constructed a LUC matrix using cadastral maps, which provide useful data for consistent land-use classification in South Korea. The LUC matrix was divided into remaining and land-converted settlements between 2005 and 2019 with estimated areas of 878,393.17 and 203,260.42 ha, respectively. CO2 emissions, according to Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change’s Guideline Tier 1, were estimated at 18.94 MtCO2 for 15 years, with an annual CO2 emission of 1.26 MtCO2 yr−1. CO2 emission by land conversion type was found to be the largest at 16.93 MtCO2 in the case of forest converted to settlements. In addition, the area with the largest CO2 emission density was Sejong-si at 7.59 tCO2/ha. Conclusion: Based on reviewing available spatial data in South Korea, it is possible to improve Approach 3, which is more advanced than previous Approach 1 in the settlement category. In addition, the national GHG inventory also can be estimated by our constructed LUC matrix and activity data in this study. Under the many discussions about developing the Approach system, this study can provide in-detail information on developing LUC in South Korea in the settlement category as well as suggesting a methodology for constructing the LUC matrix for countries with similar problems to South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalCarbon Balance and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) grant funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (22UMRG-C158200-03).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Greenhouse gas inventory
  • Land use
  • Land use change
  • Land-use change matrix
  • Settlements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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