Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Soil carbon credits in Kenya

Small-holder farmers in Kenya are involved in the first soil carbon project in Africa. The Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project iaims to improve food security, help address climate change, and improve the livelihoods of rural dwellers.
“The Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project is not only the first project that sells soil carbon credits in Africa, it is also paving the way for a new approach to carbon accounting methodologies,” says JoĆ«lle Chassard, Manager of the Carbon Finance Unit at the World Bank.
The Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement (ERPA),. adds the benefits of carbon finance to a sustainable agricultural land management project that increases the productivity of the Kenyan farmers and also sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Developed with the support of the World Bank, the project generates carbon credits which are sold to the Bank-administered BioCarbon Fund. The direct benefit to local communities is over US$350,000 with an initial payment of US$80,000 to be made in the first year, 2011.
The Project, implemented by the Swedish non-governmental organization Vi Agroforestry, is located on 45,000 hectares in the Nyanza Province and Western Province of Kenya. There, small-holder farmers and small-scale business entrepreneurs are trained in diverse cropland management techniques such as covering crops, crop rotation, compost management, and agro-forestry. These practices increase the yield of the land and generate additional sources of income for the farmers through the payment for environmental services in the form of carbon credits.
“The development of a new methodology for carbon sequestration in agriculture has great direct benefits for the farmers in Kenya and tremendous potential for scaling up.
The BioCarbon Fund purchases emission reductions from afforestation and reforestation projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), as well as from land-use sector projects outside the CDM. These include projects that increase carbon sequestration in soils through improved agriculture practices. The BioCarbon Fund develops methodologies and tools that are in the public domain

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