Global carbon markets: Opportunities for sub-Saharan Africa in agriculture and forestry uri icon

abstract

  • Developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), remain marginalized in global carbon markets despite significant mitigation opportunities in agriculture and forestry. The economic potential for mitigation through agriculture in the African region is estimated at 17 per cent of the total global mitigation potential for the sector. Similarly, Africa's forestry potential is 23 per cent of the global total for the sector. To unleash the huge potential for mitigation in SSA, carbon markets should be expanded to include projects related to agriculture, forestry and other land uses (AFOLU). Given the important synergies between agricultural mitigation and adaptation, and the difficulties in reaching out to smallholder farmers and herders, as well as the increasing poverty and hunger in the region, this article suggests that not only should carbon markets be expanded to include more AFOLU project types, but carbon markets should also increase benefits directed at smallholder farmers. Domestic policies in SSA should also be reformed to increase the profitability of environmentally sustainable practices that generate income for small producers and create investment flows for rural communities. This review paper provides an overview of global carbon markets, focusing on opportunities for carbon trading in agriculture in SSA. Major constraints to the participation of SSA in global carbon markets are discussed, and options for integrating the region into global carbon markets are proposed.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010
  • 2010