Can carbon sequestration markets benefit low-income producers in semi-arid Africa? Potentials and challenges
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This article describes the framework for carbon sequestration markets provided by the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM permits countries that are exceeding their permissible carbon emissions to buy carbon offsets from afforestation and reforestation projects. Agricultural soils may also be eligible to provide carbon offsets through an expansion of CDM and through the development of carbon markets outside what the Kyoto Protocol establishes. Although Carbon markets seem to be beneficial for both buyers and sellers, establishing a functional carbon market requires that first the necessary technical, institutional, and financial capacity be in place. Without this stability and resource base, the prospects of improving rural incomes through carbon sequestration may be overshadowed by risks and failed structures.
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