Smallholder Agroforestry Systems For Carbon Storage uri icon

abstract

  • Many smallholder agroforestry systems in Southeast Asia are species-rich and tree-rich systems that produce non-wood and wood products for both home use and market sale. Due to their high biomass, these systems may contain large carbon (C) stocks. While the agroforestry systems of individual farmers are of limited size, on a per area basis smallholder systems accumulate significant amounts of C, equaling the amount of C stored in some secondary forests over similar time periods. Their ability to simultaneously address smallholdersâ?? livelihood needs and store large amounts of C makes smallholder agroforestry systems viable project prototype under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, which has the dual objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to sustainable development. Smallholder agroforestry systems promoted through a CDM project must be economically viable independent of C payments. Although often smallholder systems are environmentally and socio-economically viable, to enhance productivity and profitability smallholder-focused CDM projects should provide farmers with technical and marketing assistance. To assure success, project sites should meet a set of preconditions, including: areas of underutilized low-biomass landuse systems that are available for rehabilitation; smallholders interested in tree farming; accessible markets for tree products; a supportive local government and sufficient infrastructure; and a transparent and equitable relationship between project partners. Questions of leakage and additionally should not be problematic and can be addressed through the project design and establishment of quantifiable and equitable baseline data. However, smallholder-focused CDM projects would have high transaction costs. The subsequent challenge is thus to develop mechanisms that reduce these costs: (a) the costs associated with information (e.g., technology, markets) more accessible to multiple clients; (b) facilitating and enforcing smallholder agreements and (c) designing feasible monitoring systems
  • Most smallholder agroforestry systems in Southeast Asia are tree- and species-rich systems producing non-wood and wood products for both home use and market sale. Due to their high biomass, these systems contain large carbon (C) stocks. While the systems of individual farmers are of limited size, on a per area basis smallholder systems accumulate significant amounts of C, equaling the amount of C stored in some secondary forests of similar age. Their ability to simultaneously address smallholdersâ?? livelihood needs and store large amounts of C makes smallholder systems viable project types under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, with its dual objective of emissions reduction and sustainable development. Smallholder systems have not developed in areas where enabling conditions do not exist. A CDM project that facilitates a minimum threshold of enabling conditions that make smallholder agroforestation possible should qualify for C credits. To secure smallholder confidence, the agroforestry systems promoted through a CDM project must be socially and economically viable independent of C payments. To assure system productivity and profitability, projects should provide farmers with technical and marketing assistance. Additionally, project sites should meet the following preconditions: areas of underutilized low-biomass landuse systems available for rehabilitation; smallholders interested in tree farming; accessible markets for tree products; supportive local governments; sufficient infrastructure; and transparent and equitable relationships between project partners. Questions of leakage and additionality should not be problematic and can be addressed through the project design, establishment of quantifiable baseline data and facilitating enabling conditions. However, smallholder-focused CDM projects would have high transaction costs. The subsequent challenge is thus to develop mechanisms that reduce the costs of: (a) making information (e.g., technology, markets) more accessible to multiple clients; (b) facilitating and enforcing smallholder agreements and (c) designing feasible monitoring systems

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007
  • 2007