The voluntary carbon market standard Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) approved a methodology to measure soil carbon sequestration, the first in this field, which will allow low income agricultural producers in Kenya to adopt sustainable agricultural practices to improve their livelihoods, while earning carbon credits.
30 January 2012: An agroforestry project financed by the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund in western Kenya presented a methodology for soil carbon sequestration through sustainable agricultural land management, which was approved by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).
The methodology is expected to allow smallholder farmers in Kenya – and potentially worldwide – to adopt improved farming techniques, boost productivity and increase their resilience to climate change, while earning carbon credits. The methodology was developed by the World Bank for the Smallholder Agriculture Carbon Finance Project run by the non-governmental organization Vi Agroforestry, through a pilot project that involves over 60,000 smallholders who are farming 45,000 hectares of land. It is the first approved methodology for agricultural soil practices generating carbon credits.
The new methodology (VM0017) can be used to monitor and measure a range of project activities that increase carbon stocks in the agricultural landscape, such as mulching, cover crops, manure and plant waste management. The methodology may be used in a range of agro-ecological zones but is only applicable in cases where the soil organic carbon would remain constant or decrease in the absence of the project [World Bank Press Release]