Village communities in Western Kenya alongside ones in Niger, Nigeria and China could become the key to unlocking the multi-billion dollar carbon markets for millions of farmers, foresters and conservationists across the developing world.
Catchments in and around Lake Victoria have been chosen as a test-bed for calculating how much carbon can be stored in trees and soils when the land is managed in a sustainable, climate-friendly ways.
The initiative, known as the Carbon Benefits Project, was launched today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Agroforestry Centre, along with a range of other key partners. The project is being funded by the Global Environment Facility.
This technique, known as carbon sequestration, is a win-win strategy, both economically and environmentally. As part of the UN Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries can pay to offset carbon emissions by funding such sequestration schemes in the developing world. These countries, in turn, benefit from the investment and from the more sustainable agricultural projects that it engenders.