Agroforestry and the Carbon Market in the Tropics

  • Alain Atangana
  • Damase Khasa
  • Scott Chang
  • Ann Degrande


To slow the increase of the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, initiatives such as the United Nations REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Programme have been taken. The UN-REDD programme supports REDD+ (i.e., conservation and sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of C stocks, on top of REDD) readiness efforts in the design and implementation of national programs and in national REDD+ action through common approaches and interventions. The REDD+ policies propose to financially compensate countries that improve forest conservation and management to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG; i.e., carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)) emissions and mitigate against climate change. The REDD+ initiative has recently evolved to REDD++ (i.e., low carbon (C) emission or low C footprint land use systems through eco-agricultural practices on top of REDD+). Eco-agricultural practices, which aim at producing more food while conserving wild biodiversity, include agroforestry systems such as perennial tree-crop systems, windbreaks, and live fences. Agroforestry systems also store C and may qualify as an afforestation practice as is defined in the Kyoto Protocol, and could be included in the C market under the REDD+ scheme. The Kyoto protocol that deals with environmental issues, especially climate change, is heavily based on clean development mechanism (CDM) as a strategy to mitigate atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. The inclusion of agroforestry in CDM is hampered by the lack of standardized methods to estimate C stocks, as well as land tenure issues in the tropics, especially in Africa. Another challenge for the inclusion of agroforestry to CDM is the payment for environmental (or ecosystem) services (PES) option that should be implemented in C contracts. This chapter discusses the opportunities for including agroforestry in C markets, as well as the difficulties and PES options linked to it.


Agroforestry System Clean Development Mechanism Kyoto Protocol Land Tenure Forest Degradation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Atangana
    • 1
    • 2
  • Damase Khasa
    • 3
  • Scott Chang
    • 1
  • Ann Degrande
    • 4
  1. 1.Renewable ResourcesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Integrative and Systems BiologyUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  3. 3.Forest and Wood SciencesUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  4. 4.West and Central Africa Regional ProgramWorld Agroforestry CentreYaoundeCameroon

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