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Africa Carbon Forum: Opportunities for Carbon Offset Projects in Africa are Increasing

6 July 2011: The 2011 Africa Carbon Forum, a regional trade fair and knowledge sharing platform for carbon investments, has ended with experts highlighting the increasing opportunities for carbon offset projects in the region, including Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects and voluntary projects.

The Forum, which took place from 4-6 July 2011, in Marrakesh, Morocco, is held under the Nairobi Framework, an initiative launched in 2006 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to help developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, to increase their participation in the CDM. The Africa Carbon Forum was organized by the Nairobi Framework partners, which are the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat and the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).

The Forum included presentations on issues of interest to the CDM in Africa, including: improving investment climate while enabling CDM market uptake; enhancing regional distribution of the CDM; and scaling up and extending the CDM reach to cities through the CDM Programme of Activities (PoA). The Forum also included matchmaking sessions to enable potential CDM project participants and developers to showcase their projects to interested parties, including investors and carbon buyers, as well as a CDM project surgery to provide “on‐the‐spot” advice for project developers. Speaking at the Forum, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres highlighted the prospects for the continent, noting that “The opportunities in Africa are increasing." She expressed the belief that "the growing interest in CDM projects will help turn the tide and contribute to firmly positioning Africa's opportunities for the carbon market landscape beyond 2012.”

According to the Forum's organizers, the most promising development, which holds particular benefits for Africa, is the growth in the CDM Programme of Activities (PoA) or programmatic CDM approach. Another principal focus of attention at the 2011 Forum was reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), together with the development of the concept of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), under discussion at the UNFCCC negotiations. [UN Press Release] [UNEP News Release] [Forum Website]