The Cdm And Voluntary Carbon Markets Environmental Sciences Essay

Malawi is one of the universe ‘s 49 least developed states ( UN DESA 2012 ) . While important advancement has been made in recent old ages through giver undertakings, such as those of the EU, World Bank and UN ( ICEIDA 2012 ) , the force per unit area imposed by an of all time increasing population -15.38M and turning 2.8 % per twelvemonth ( World Bank 2012b ) – on its finite resource base, means marks for economic growing, nutrient security and attainment of the UN ‘s MDGs are falling short of demands ( UN 2010 ) .

With climate alteration in Malawi already doing inauspicious effects ( UNDP 2008 ) , and set to worsen these challenges over the following few decennaries ( World Bank 2012a ) , it should be noted that c.80 % of Malawians rely on natural resources for their supports. Deforestation and LULUCF issues constitute major subscribers to GHG emanations. Furthermore they impact the state ‘s declared aim of “ economic growing and development in a sustainable mode ” ( Government of Malawi 2012 ) , and are particularly relevant when one considers the importance of precipitation-fed agribusiness to the national economic system.

Forests afford those who depend on them a “ subsidy from nature ” of environmental merchandises, resources and services ( Anderson et al. 1991 ) . They provide of import C sinks, which can be enhanced to avoid GHG emanations.

While they ‘ve doubtless been the most debatable types of beginnings, the conformity market presently accepts 1 % of ‘afforestation and re-afforestation ‘ credits under the CDM ( BioCarbon Fund 2012 ) . However, the voluntary market is possibly been better suited to agriculture and forestry undertakings, despite certain digesting challenges ( Seeberg-Elverfeldt 2010 ) .

Carbon is non typically high on the docket of smallholder husbandmans. Access to carbon finance requires up-front investings in undertaking development ; monitoring and confirmation can be hard and expensive – particularly if packages of land are dispersed – while permanency ( fire, logging ) and escape ( emanations increased elsewhere ) ( Murray et al. 2002 ) are frequently hard to show and quantify.

However, through edifice better institutional capacity, raising consciousness, entree to fiscal resources and the quickly changing nature of C markets, there is a great chance to help local smallholders in alining forestry undertakings with the demands of planetary C markets.

Each voluntary criterion has its ain focal point. Carbon off-setting strategies in Africa can present C segregation, cut down the load on local wood ecosystems, every bit good as furnish smallholders with valuable grosss. Silviculture and agroforestry may offer win-win solutions if programmes can be adapted to the demands of small-scale husbandmans, and contribute to Malawi ‘s wider development ends.

Extenuation in the forestry sector could potentially lend 1.3 to 4.2 GtCO2e per twelvemonth at costs below $ 100/tCO2e in ( Nabours & A ; Masera 2007 ) , while beginnings from forestry undertakings, typically purchased by private companies, averaged $ 9.2/tCO2 in 2011, up from $ 4.6 in 2010 ( Forest Trends 2012 ) .

Literature Review

While no peer-reviewed stuff exists specifically on indispensable oils concerns in relation to the creative activity of C credits, a important figure of documents have been published associating forest C undertakings to the supports of smallholders and rural peoples – both through the Clean Development Mechanism ( CDM ) , every bit good as through assorted voluntary market criterions.

The literature begins with some wide statements sing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, born amidst viing positions. Some argue that the focal point was about entirely on industrialized states, with the US disposal playing for the acceptance of economic instruments ( Grubb 2003 ) . Opinions typically highlight the pros and cons of the C market construct, the criterions that emerged, and whether they truly present the benefits they claim.

In 2001, at the really beginning of the CDM – as highlighted by economic experts from CIFOR and Forest Trends ( non-profits taking research on tropical woods and those depending on woods ecosystems ) ( Smith & A ; Scherr 2002 ) – proficient and political issues dominated the docket. Social issues were mostly of secondary importance to policymakers as the nuts and bolts of the mechanism were being defined, tweaked and rejigged.

Smith and Scherr argue that societal issues are, nevertheless, really of import, peculiarly in the context of developing states, and that the CDM “ offered an unprecedented chance to present capital flows into economically impoverished forest parts ( Smith & A ; Scherr 2002 ) . ” It is true, however, that it is within the authorization of the CDM to ease sustainable development ( Boyd et al. 2006 ) .

A scope of articles over those first few old ages ( Angelsen & A ; Wunder 2003 ) ( Smith & A ; Scherr 2003 ) ( Sunderlin et al. 2005 ) debated whether improved term of office rights and the outgrowth of PES systems and pure C markets, would be pro-poor – relieving poorness and cut downing societal hazards. In Malawi and Mozambique, surveies have shown reasonably nem con that much more has to be done to guarantee communities do n’t withdraw from stewardship ( Mayers et Al. 2006 ) , by vouching ownership rights and duty mechanisms.

Some have asked why so few forestry CDM undertakings have been done ( Thomas et al. 2010 ) , reasoning reform is necessary. Nevertheless, little has changed. Almost a decennary subsequently many-sided administrations such as the FAO are still speaking about their “ hopes ” for forest-dependant people to mount out of poorness in exchange for the environmental services they provide ( Seeberg-Elverfeldt 2010 ) . One thing is clear: forest administration is cardinal.

I believe it ‘s sensible to presume, as some do ( Smith & A ; Scherr 2003 ) , that trade-offs prevail, whereby large-scale plantations and stiff wood protection lead to carbon undertakings that win financially, yet increase societal jobs. Those undertakings most benefitting communities are frequently burdened with higher relation development costs and are less effectual at presenting finance to those who need it.

Another side of the statement states that “ we must non allow a forest full of trees fool us into believing all is good, ” ( Redford 1992 ) . These voices are surely on to something. Promoting C forestry with monoculture plantations, such as eucalypts typically favours short growing rhythms, and could give rise to issues around H2O and biodiversity loss ( Carbon Market Watch 2012 ) . Interestingly, when looking at the C footmarks of big collectors of forestry C undertakings, such as Green Research in Tanzania, forest bases in rotary motion are “ counted ” as if to the full grown ( Parigiani et al. 2011 ) . In world the C stored in the shredded lumber may take to leakage.

Further analysis of such concern theoretical accounts shows unfavorable judgment from a figure of watchdog and other administrations ( Timber Watch 2012 ) ( Refseth 2010 ) , although their credibleness ca n’t be ascertained from these beginnings. However, they earnestly challenge the pro-poor benefits claimed on the company web site, and justify farther probe. Care besides needs to be taken when community resource direction is promoted to guarantee new power battles do n’t emerge ( Zulu 2008 ) .

It is clear that several spreads exist in the peer-reviewed literature. For this ground, it may be necessary to depend more to a great extent on international administration studies, authorities studies and regional stuffs.

In respect to accessing dependable informations on forest C undertakings, multiple beginnings are available for cross-referencing ( See terminal ) . Of peculiar relevancy is the Forest Trends ‘ study ( Forest Trends 2012 ) , which is widely praised. The study found 18 Mha accessing some signifier of C finance across 40 states in 2012.


This undertaking seeks to research the possibilities for C forestry undertakings to be developed and executed out by a small-scale Malawian plantation. It aims to place the fiscal, regulative, practical and societal barriers to future undertaking execution, which must be overcome to guarantee conformity with international C recognition criterions. It will seek to place the nature of the co-benefits of indispensable oil production every bit good as the wider pro-poor and community benefits of the CPL plantation.

Research inquiries:

Which, if any, are the most appropriate C market criterions for developing afforestation C segregation undertakings in Malawi?

What range is at that place for associating plantation forestry undertakings to cut downing deforestation rates in northern Malawi?

What is the feasibleness of standardizing small-scale forestry undertakings to ease entree to C finance through bing or future programmes of activities ( PoAs ) ?


The first measure will be to carry on a thorough hunt of bing C forestry undertakings, which display similar features to those potentially offered at CPL. Undertakings which have failed to go through from enrollment through to creative activity of C credits will be merely every bit utile as those which have succeeded ; therefore assisting place any stumbling blocks.

The 2nd measure will be to carry on a comprehensive analysis of the 5,700 hour angle site, placing bing species types, age, silviculture patterns and rotary motion rhythms every bit good as any documented community benefits stemming from bing undertakings. I will take to find which, if any, of the CDM and voluntary criterions are best suited to the features and practical capacities of the CPL plantation.

Of peculiar relevancy will be showing additionality, i.e. that the undertaking would be rendered impracticable without recognition creative activity, bearing in head the commercial nature of the bing indispensable oils concern. It is besides of import to measure the current capacity to follow with criterions ‘ demands in respect to monitoring, coverage and confirmation ( MRV ) of projected C segregation.

It may be advantageous to look into and impute current deforestation rates in the local part through personal interviews with local and/or national forestry functionaries, landholders, community leaders and other cardinal stakeholders, to understand the exact nature of demands being placed on local wood ecosystems.

Last, I will look into the features of bing plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as those developed by Green Resources, to find whether there is any possibility of standardizing forestry C undertakings, so as to ease progressive entree to carbon creative activity undertakings by smallholders.

Key literature/data sources/references:

Journal articles and studies:

Anderson, A.B. , May, P.H. & A ; Balick, M.J. , 1991. The Subsidy from Nature xxv + 233. , New York & A ; Oxford: Columbia University Press.

Angelsen, A. & A ; Wunder, S. , 2003. Researching the Forest – Poverty Linkaˆ? : Cardinal Concepts, Issues and Research Implications. CIFOR Occasional Paper No. 40, ( 40 ) .

BioCarbon Fund, 2012. Penetrations from Afforestation and Reforestation Clean Development Mechanism Projects, Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Boyd, E. , Gutierrez, M. & A ; Chang, M. , 2006. Small-scale forest C undertakings: Adapting CDM to low-income communities. Global Environmental Change, 17 ( 2 ) , pp.250-259.

Carbon Market Watch, 2012. Forestry/Land-use undertakings in the CDM. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed March 10, 2013 ] .

Forest Trends, 2012. Leveraging the Landscape: State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2012, Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //


Grubb, M. , 2003. The Economics of the Kyoto Protocol. World Economics, 4 ( 3 ) , pp.143-189. Available at:

ICEIDA, 2012. Malawi, Country Strategy Paper 2012 – 2016, Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Marie goeppert mayers, A.J. et al. , 2006. Forest Governance and Social Justiceaˆ? : Practical Tacticss from a Learning Group Approach in Africa. International Forestry Review, 8 ( 2 ) , pp.201-210. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Murray, B.C. et al. , 2002. Estimating Escape From Forest Carbon Sequestration Programs. RTI Working Paper 02_06, ( May ) .

Nabours, G. & A ; Masera, O. , 2007. Chapter 9: Forestry. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 Climate Change 2007: Extenuation.

Parigiani, J. et al. , 2011. The Carbon Footprint of an East African Forestry Enterprise. Journal of Sustainable Development, 4 ( 3 ) , pp.152-162.

Redford, K.H. , 1992. The Empty Forest. BioScience, 42 ( 6 ) , pp.412-422.

Refseth, T.H.D. , 2010. Norse Carbon Plantations in Tanzaniaaˆ? : Towards Sustainable Developmentaˆ? ? Brage UMB. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // NBN: no-bibsys_brage_15397.

Seeberg-Elverfeldt, C. , 2010. Food and agriculture organization: Carbon Finance Possibilities for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Projects in a Smallholder Context – Environment and Natural Resources Management Working Paper, Natural Resources Management and Environment Department, FAO.

Smith, J. & A ; Scherr, S.J. , 2003. Capturing the Value of Forest Carbon for Local Livelihoods. World Development, 31 ( 12 ) , pp.2143-2160.

Smith, J. & A ; Scherr, S.J. , 2002. Forest Carbon and Local Livelihoods: Appraisal of Opportunities and Policy Recommendations. CIFOR Occasional Paper No. 37, ( 37 ) .

Sunderlin, W.D. et al. , 2005. Supports, woods, and preservation in developing states: An Overview. World Development, 33 ( 9 ) , pp.1383-1402.

Thomas, S. et al. , 2010. Why are at that place so few afforestation and re-afforestation Clean Development Mechanism undertakings? Land Use Policy, 27 ( 3 ) , pp.880-887.

Timber Watch, 2012. CDM Carbon Sink Tree Plantations: A instance survey in Tanzania, Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // Tanzania CDM plantations study low RESs ( 1 ) .pdf.

UN, 2010. Malawi Country Assessment Report, Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // CA Final.pdf.

UN DESA, 2012. LDC Information. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //

UNDP, 2008. Human Development Report 2007 / 2008 National Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change Impactsaˆ? : A Case Study of Malawi By Everhart Nangoma,

World Bank, 2012a. Climate Change Knowledge Portal – Malawi. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // page=country_future_climate & A ; ThisRegion=Africa & A ; ThisCcode=MWI.

World Bank, 2012b. Country Data. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Zulu, L.E.O.C. , 2008. Community Forest Management in Southern Malawiaˆ? : Solution or Part of the Problemaˆ? ? Society Natural Resources, 21 ( 8 ) , pp.687-703.

Carbon market / state & A ; undertaking informations:

UN Malawi: hypertext transfer protocol: //

UNFCCC web site:

Leveraging the landscape – province of the forest C markets 2012: hypertext transfer protocol: // publicationID=3242

VCS web site: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Plan Vivo register: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Plan Vivo counsel manual: hypertext transfer protocol: //

CBBA Standard: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Forest Carbon Portal: hypertext transfer protocol: //

CIFOR Global database of REDD+ and other forest undertakings: hypertext transfer protocol: //


This a priori list will be developed and formalized with my host administration, every bit shortly as I ‘ve had the chance to talk to them personally:

Government of Malawi ( GoM ) , Regional and National Forestry Depts.

GoM: Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development

GoM: Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management

Local landholders, community leaders, stakeholders

Representatives from FAO and assorted Carbon Standards, e.g. Plan Vivo

Academic Staff from Edinburgh University

Financial/risk/ethical issues:

Travel, adjustment and life costs = c. ?1600. I ‘ve been awarded a full scholarship by Making Most of Your Masters.

The host administration, CPL, is rather clear about the demands of the research, organised through NGO Challenges Worldwide. Logisticss, adjustment and undertaking range will be finalized prior to going.

There is a hazard that interviewees are unwilling to run into or unwrap necessary information, but this appears little given the proactive nature of the undertaking confederates, and promised entree to resources.

When working in distant countries of Africa there are some non undistinguished physical hazards refering to unanticipated events: larceny, force, unwellness or disease, e.g. Malaria. I have made agreements for comprehensive insurance, inoculations and will understate these hazards through careful planning.

Despite English being widely spoken, owing to the cultural differences, I will endeavor to larn every bit much as possible about local imposts, civilizations and the Chitumbuka linguistic communication prior to going. I have attended cultural categories in readying for this.

Dissertation Work Plan