World Agroforestry Centre Releases Policy Briefs on Biocarbon for Mitigation and Poverty Reduction in Africa

© COPYRIGHTFOTO26 May 2009: A new international agreement on climate change should take into account the key role African agriculture can play in reducing emissions and increasing carbon stocks across the whole continent, according to two policy briefs released by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

The first brief, titled “The Case for Investing in Africa's Biocarbon Potential,” shows that the potential for reducing emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land uses (AFLOU) in Africa is significantly higher than in other regions. It argues that a mechanism towards reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) should include agriculture, as this would not only contribute to global mitigation efforts, but could also result in significant local benefits in poverty reduction. The brief recommends that: African ministers develop a common position endorsing reduced emissions from AFLOU as a major element of their climate strategies; climate negotiators agree on an AFLOU work plan as part of a post-2012 climate regime; AFLOU emission reductions be integrated into international carbon markets; and developed countries invest in research and capacity to support biocarbon initiatives.

The second brief, titled “Africa's Biocarbon Interests – Perspectives for a New Climate Change Deal,” describes the desired outcomes of the negotiations in Copenhagen, including: a REDD+ mechanism and decisive actions towards reducing emissions and increasing carbon stocks in the broader domain of agriculture, forestry and other land uses; making these actions consistent with nationally appropriate mitigation actions and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities; a decision on fast track negotiations on AFLOU; recognition of sub-national or landscape approaches to REDD-AFLOU; and a framework for admission of biocarbon credits in international carbon markets. [ICRAF Press Release] [Policy Brief - Africa's Biocarbon Potential] [Policy Brief – Africa's Biocarbon Interests]