SAO PAULO Jan 21 A project bringing together
thousands of small farmers in western Kenya has become the first
to earn carbon credits using a new sustainable farming
accounting system, the World Bank said on Tuesday.
According to the bank - whose BioCarbon Fund is financing
the initiative - the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project issued
24,788 credits under the Verified Carbon Standard last week.
It is the first such issuance under the new carbon
accounting system for low-carbon agriculture approved in 2011.
The success of the initiative in Kenya could give a boost to
other programs in the world seeking to cut greenhouse gas
emissions from farming. Agriculture acocunts for about 14
percent of global emissions, according to the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change.
Heat-trapping gases from agriculture and livestock reached
4.69 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2010, the most recent
data available, according to the U.S.-based Worldwatch
Institute, an environmental think tank based in Washington. That
was 13 percent above 1990 levels.
The World Bank's BioCarbon Fund will buy some of the credits
earned by the Kenyan project, investing $600,000 by 2017. The
bank did not give details on the price per credit.
The project in Kenya includes a wide range of low-carbon
farming techniques that increase organic matter in the soil and
the amount of carbon sequestrated, or held in the ground and out
of the atmosphere.
About 45,000 hectares (110 acres) of farmland have been
involved in the project so far, said the institutions working
Swedish NGO Vi Agroforestry is responsible for the
implementation of the program. The French Development Agency and
the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, based in
Switzerland, are also supprting the project.
(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)