ECHOcommunity Conversations

Income from carbon credits for small land holders

I recently read that the Institute for International Finance projects that the voluntary market for carbon credits could grow to as much as $100 billion by 2050. There is a budding carbon market in California and elsewhere. Carbon offset aggregators are providing linkage between major funding sources like Microsoft to American farmers for carbon friendly ag practices. Carbon markets are no longer a theory.

An idea is something like “fair trade” carbon credits, developing a system that gets rewards for carbon credits to villages and small landholders. This is only an idea, but I’m wondering if anyone has done this or begun to explore the possibilities. It might be more complicated than putting a man on Mars, with governments jostling for a “share” of the bounty and land ownership/control issues, but it could also be an extremely powerful tool in achieving the U.N. Strategic Development Goals and a way to integrate the Great Commandment to love our neighbor with the Great Commission to make disciples. It probably would not work everywhere, but it might work some places that have stable governments. Has anyone done something like this and/or does anyone think this idea is worth exploring?

Eric Toensmeier addressed this in an article written for ECHO Development Notes a few years ago. In particular, see the section on “Funding Opportunities”

I am a missionary in South Sudan and would eagerly use Carbon Credit funding for initiatives here if people want to send them here. Writing grants for the carbon credit money is time-consuming but will welcome anyone to write for the grants and I will provide concept notes. We are the least developed country in the world. That said, I have never understood the rationale for carbon credits, carbon footprint, food miles, or any of these ideas and it is a mystery to me why people can’t see that they are rather unproductive ideas. And it is not because I am unfamiliar with all of these concepts but that they really don’t make sense when satellite studies show the earth is greening significantly in the last 30 years. I am not saying that there are no places that the situation is getting worse. But there is very little “excellence” among the world community at targeting with appropriate strategies the areas that are getting worse. And part of it is because the world community has little understanding of the causes of the problems (the average citizen who listens to the biased media… if it can look like saving the planet or if it shocks people it sells). Let’s look at the causes of some of the problems we are experiencing. (1) A big problem is the Tragedy of the Commons… Communally or tribally held land will almost always be abused since people take what they can get without incentives to grow its productivity. As population increases in these areas and there is not an increase in moral fiber among the communities in regard to stewardship the result will be disastrous. Socialist countries experience the same problem. 2) Population increasescan result in smaller land plots. Without discipleship in stewardship and people in those communities focusing on maximizing the blessing to others the smaller plots can result in a greater subsistence or income gap… That is not too much of a problem if biblical stewardship principles and best management practices are in place then productivity can always keep ahead (outpace) of population growth pressures and when the excellence gap is filled it can put population pressure way behind as a problem. (3) When accountability and advocacy is not extraordinary in following scriptural principles then insecurity can wreak havoc on a society, first internal oppression and then eventually likely exteral oppression from outside the country. The time is soon coming when a weakened West will no longer hold the “colonists” at bay.and corruption will be even more rife. 5) There is very poor understanding of how to best apply the tremendous plethora of productive and service functions that can be found in agroforestry and intercropping of leguminous trees and plants, in relay cropping, in using human urine as fertilizer, in Zai pit planting, trained dogs for improving security, particularly for keeping grazing animals out of gardens/crops, living fences, and yes as evil as some people think they are… herbicides, fungicides/bacteria-strep products, insecticides,rodenticides,… they are appropriate tools the farmer has to insure his farm is most productive. 6) Many highland area farmers are using DAP without lime or wood ash which is a major no-no and the soils become so acid that they produce little. I would advice people to pay little attention to carbon credits, carbon footprint or food miles or anything of that sort which is a distraction from what we really need to focus on to bless the poor farmer with information he/she can use to better their lives. Income per hour from extraordinary excellence in record keeping of high-income cropping practices and market driven cropping practices are paramount and yet we let all these other issues distract us from what we should be teaching the farmers so they can flourish and be prosperous and out of their prosperity bless others in fulfilling the Great Commission of discipline the world.

I am working for a company which offers multiple different Carbon Credit standards/verification programs, I am quite familiar on how to “produce” carbon credits and what is involved. I am more than happy to give an educational webinar on carbon credits to share knowledge and give information on possible new ways of funding mission trips.

Let me know if you are interested, it would be my pleasure educating everybody who is interested in carbon credits and explain what is involved in producing carbon credits and what is possible.

I am very interested in learning more. I think the previous responder may be as well. I don’t have a team at present so it is only me with regards to a webinar. I may be able to find others who are interested. I’d love to join any webinar that you have. Thank You!

my company offers free webinars under I would recommend the webinar for “Unlocking the hidden value in the soil on July21st”. I am more than happy to put something together outside of my company to share knowledge.