Ethical carbon offsetting. Guidelines and lessons from smallholder and community carbon projects
Smallholder and community carbon projects have shown they can deliver local benefits and promote climate resilience. Their emphasis on co-benefits provides an advantage when it comes to selling in voluntary carbon markets, as they appeal to companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) agendas. They also provide effective platforms for implementing and accounting for several Sustainable Development Goals - such as food security and ending poverty - along existing value chains for commodities such as timber or coffee. But they are also more expensive to implement, and many operate in remote areas, with scattered and small properties, and/or in areas with social conflict. Before deciding on whether to enter or not in these markets, project developers must have a clear, viable business model with realistic targets and benefit sharing strategies, and a clear communication and marketing plan.