It Takes a Village to Cool the Planet
By Kelpie Wilson
t r u t h o u t
Friday 15 December 2006
Last week's New Scientist magazine carried an article with this disturbing headline: "Africa Barred From Carbon Trading." Advocates for African farmers were claiming that European Union policies on carbon credits amounted to a carbon trade embargo on Africa.
Louis Verchon of the World Agroforestry Centre said that if the EU would implement a new scheme to credit farmers who capture carbon on their land, "millions of dollars in carbon credits could begin flowing to the world's rural poor."
The World Agroforestry Centre, in conjunction with researchers from Michigan State University, has developed a method using satellite imagery and infrared sensing that measures carbon storage in African farmland. The Centre has completed a pilot program in western Kenya and is ready to encourage poor farmers to plant trees as soon as it can qualify for carbon credits under the Kyoto protocol.