Exploring the meso-level of agricultural carbon finance projects
Moore, Keith M.
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Agricultural carbon schemes are intended to mitigate climate change and provide carbon revenues while facilitating sustainable development. This is accomplished through practices which simultaneously increase yields, improve resilience, and store carbon, such as agroforestry, reduced tillage, and grasslands management. Proper monitoring, reporting, and verification of these activities enable the generation and sale of carbon credits. However, this requires linking smallholder farmers at the micro-level with carbon credit buyers operating at the macro-level. These vastly distinct scales are bridged by intermediaries operating at the meso-level, which influence, incentivize, monitor, and aggregate production decisions made by smallholders. Multiple levels of intermediaries may be involved, often including external initiating agencies, such as non-governmental organizations, as well as local-level units, such as farmer groups or local governance associations. Here, we frame evaluation of agricultural carbon schemes with this three-tiered approach, and describe parameters for appraising participation and power, as well as assessing financial feasibility, verifications and market linkages. This is applied to two case studies: the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project and The Sofala Community Carbon Project.
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