Tag Archives: economics

BBC Article Response: Is Kenya’s Carbon Trading Platform the First?

It is good news to hear through the BBC that there are plans to launch an exchange in Kenya, however it must be noted that it is not the first of its kind on the continent.

However, the Africa Carbon Credit Exchange (ACCE)conceived its own trading platform here in Zambia in 2008. ACCE is currently working with the support of the Zambian government, USAID PROFIT and a number of international and national partners as well as a group of international consultants to develop a transparent and effective structure.

It should also be noted that these platforms will only succeed if there is a sufficient flow of carbon credits on the continent and this is where Africa is still falling behind. ACCE has addressed this by creating the Green Knowledge Institute (theGKI) and are working on a number of carbon projects as well as a DNA conference that will help push this forward.

Whilst all Africans should be proud that Kenya is being acknowledged for such important work, the article however failed to highlight how much preparation is required to promote carbon finance in Africa where it claims less than 10% of the world market.

ACCE/GKI is currently drafting a statement that will be sent to the BBC to this effect.

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A New Partnership with ZIPAR

Yesterday was a good day for ACCE/GKI as they signed an MOU with ZIPAR. ZIPAR stands for the Zambian Institute for Policy Analysis Research, their partnership will be of great value to GKI and ACCE since part of our work will be to research carbon finance and climate change in Zambia.  This kind of research is crucial since carbon projects are so new to this part of the world. 

We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.

Agroforestry Part III: Carbon Finance and Agroforestry

Growing trees is a long-term investment – trees require additional labour inputs for their establishment and maintenance, and it can take several years to see benefits to crop yields.  This delayed return on investment has been a major challenge in promoting the adoption of agroforestry.  However, if this gap could be bridged, it would benefit smallholder farmers through increased food security and resilience to climate change, as well as the global community through climate change mitigation from GHG (green house gas) sequestration.

 Carbon markets have the potential to build such a bridge. Climate change has made GHG emission sequestration into a valuable asset, one that farmers can create with the resources already available to them – land and labour, along with seeds.  Farmers could then realise the financial value of these carbon assets through carbon markets, providing them returns to cover their investment. But land-based emissions in both compliance and voluntary markets are burdened with complex rules and require ongoing monitoring, reporting and verification, incurring transaction costs that are prohibitive for individual smallholder farmers.

 The Africa Carbon Credit Exchange (ACCE) along with GKI will partner with businesses and NGOs that have broad access to smallholder farmers and leverage their infrastructure and extension networks to ensure sufficient scale and robust implementation.

 Carbon offsets based on tree intercropping represent a legitimate new financial asset for smallholder farmers, and once that increases yields – which means enhanced food security and reduced pressure on Zambia’s precious resources.