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Stringer L.C.,University of Leeds | Dougill A.J.,University of Leeds | Thomas A.D.,Manchester Metropolitan University | Spracklen D.V.,University of Leeds | And 17 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2012

Changes in land use and management practices to store and sequester carbon are becoming integral to global efforts that both address climate change and alleviate poverty. Knowledge and evidence gaps nevertheless abound. This paper analyses the most pressing deficiencies in understanding carbon storage in both soils and above ground biomass and the related social and economic challenges associated with carbon sequestration projects. Focusing on the semi-arid and dry sub-humid systems of sub-Saharan Africa which are inhabited by many of the world's poor, we identify important interdisciplinary opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed, in order for the poor to benefit from carbon storage, through both climate finance streams and the collateral ecosystem service benefits delivered by carbon-friendly land management. We emphasise that multi-stakeholder working across scales from the local to the regional is necessary to ensure that scientific advances can inform policy and practice to deliver carbon, ecosystem service and poverty alleviation benefits. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Beedy T.L.,World Agroforestry Center Southern Africa | Ajayi O.C.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Sileshi G.W.,World Agroforestry Center Southern Africa | Kundhlande G.,World Agroforestry Center Southern Africa | And 2 more authors.
Field Actions Science Report | Year: 2012

Malawi is a land-locked country in southern Africa. Three-fourths of Malawi's 13 million people rely on smallholder agriculture for their livelihoods. Increasing population, accelerating deforestation, poor soil and water management, and increasing poverty and land degradation directly impact the food security and human health of millions of Malawians. Cropping systems which combine cereal crops, agroforestry and small doses of inorganic fertilizers produce food-crop yields greater than inorganic fertilizers alone on degraded soils, as well as recuperating soil nutrients over a period of years. These agroforestry practices improve the livelihoods of farm families, lower risks associated with fertilizer price increases and drought and at the same time improve biodiversity and nutrient and water cycling in the agro-ecosystem. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has a long history of agroforestry research and development in Malawi dating back to the 1980s. In 2007-2011, ICRAF implemented the Malawi Agroforestry Food Security Project (AFSP) through financial support from Irish Aid. ICRAF's task in AFSP was to build a strong partnership to reach 200,000 farming families in 11 districts. The purpose of AFSP was to combine tested agroforestry practices, effective partnership and informed policies to increase food security and income, and improve livelihood opportunities for rural communities in Malawi, through accelerated adoption of fertilizer trees, fruit trees, fodder trees and fuel-wood trees. To accomplish these purposes, ICRAF provided the farming communities with planting material (tree seeds and seedlings), and the knowledge of how to care for them and effectively combine them with food crops. The beneficiaries of the project saw increases in household food security and nutrition. However, difficulties were encountered in transporting tree seeds and seedlings across eleven districts in a timely fashion, and in managing the flow of reporting and disbursements of funding among such a large group of collaborators. Several solutions were implemented which improved performance in these areas, and which allowed the group to reach very near the targeted number of participants, and to plan for a second phase of the project. © Author(s) 2012.

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