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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Berry

Feasibility Study on Agricultural Land Management Carbon Projects

The study was commissioned by ACDI/VOCA to explore the feasibility of carbon projects based on improved agricultural and grassland management practices, including agroforestry, holistic grazing management, agrosilvopastoral systems, cover cropping, no/low till systems, and water management, among others.

Four aspects of feasibility were assessed: 1. Market Potential – describing current and potential future markets for carbon certificates generated from ALM projects; 2. Benefit Potential – identifying relevant methodologies for quantifying carbon benefits from ALM, as well as the potential biodiversity, social, and financial benefits of different intervention types; 3. Transaction Costs – comparing costs associated with monitoring, reporting and verification under different standards and methodologies and 4. Enabling Conditions – describing factors that contribute to the success of ALM projects such as carbon prices, aggregation, benefit sharing, monitoring approaches, and national context.

TLLG carried out the following activities: 1. Assessment of Market Opportunities: Review of opportunities for results-based finance from ALM projects under voluntary carbon markets, emerging mechanisms under the Paris Agreement, others such as Science-based Targets and corporate CSR programmes, and trends in carbon pricing; 2. Methodology Review: Review of all relevant ALM methodologies to determine their scope and applicability and summarise monitoring approaches; and comparison of transaction costs under three international carbon standards VCS, Gold Standard and Plan Vivo; 3. Projects Review: Review of project documents from around ALM projects to identify methodologies and monitoring approaches used, benefits (carbon, biodiversity, social, financial) expected and achieved, challenges encountered, and monitoring approaches used; and 4. Stakeholder Interviews: with: i) ALM project developers; ii) Potential funders; iii) Technical Experts and iv) Market experts. To discuss challenges and opportunities for ALM carbon project development. The results were summarised in a report presented to ACDI/VOCA.

Photo: Maize Cultivation, Tanzania © ACDI/VOCA


Period: Jan to May 2022


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