Capital assets and institutional constraints to implementation of greenhouse gas mitigation options in agriculture
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- Dulal, H.B., Brodnig, G. & Shah, K.U. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change (2011) 16: 1. doi:10.1007/s11027-010-9250-1
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Agriculture is one of the major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. It accounts for approximately 15% of the total global anthropogenic emissions of GHGs. Emissions could be twice as much if indirect emissions are also taken into the consideration. However, unlike other high emitting sectors such as transport or energy, agriculture is potentially a significant carbon “sink”. It has high technical potential as a carbon sink and if tapped, can substantially enhance global sequestration efforts. The technical potential, however, may not translate into actual GHG reduction because of the capital assets and institutional constraints faced by the smallholder farmers in the developing countries. In this paper we develop a capital assets based framework of physical, financial, social, human and natural barriers to agricultural carbon mitigation initiatives and through analysis of current initiatives, we set out policy based options to reduce each of these barriers. Fundamentally, barrier removal will entail designing agricultural carbon mitigation initiatives in collaboration with farmer communities, through strengthening local institutions, understanding land tenure and natural resource cultures, ensuring legitimacy and equity in payments and fast tracking training and information. We provide a framework that simultaneously aids the dual objectives of alleviating poverty in the poor farming communities of developing countries and lowering global greenhouse gas emissions.