A new SEWOH Lab study aims to contribute to emerging debates on soil carbon sequestration by investigating the conditions required to deliver multiple benefits for smallholder farmers. In the paper, the authors argue that there are many parallels with, and opportunities to learn from, the long-standing REDD+ mechanism. Their analysis draws on a literature review of scientific articles and reports assessing the past ten years of REDD+ implementation. With a focus on local land users, they address issues of local governance such as land tenure, legitimacy and participation, local support organisations, social inclusion, and non-carbon benefits.

This paper was produced as part of the SEWOH Lab. The SEWOH Lab (2020-2025) is an action-oriented research project that is part of the “ONE WORLD – no Hunger” initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Together with partners in Africa and India, the SEWOH Lab explores, applies, and evaluates the potential of digital innovation in three key areas: urban food systems; sustainable land management for soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration; and gendered access to natural resources.
Looking beyond climate change mitigation, our work on SOC is dedicated to identifying how such initiatives can enhance food security, livelihoods, biodiversity, and climate adaptation. We investigate the challenges involved in operationalising carbon sequestration projects, explore social and technical innovations that can enhance the benefits of such schemes for smallholder farmers, and look for ways to limit transaction costs.
Read the publication “How can smallholder farmers benefit from soil carbon initiatives? Lessons from REDD+” here.

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