Challenges and opportunities in linking carbon sequestration, dryland livelihoods and ecosystem service provision

Produced as part of the Adaptation to climate change and human development CCCEP research programme theme

Abstract of Working Paper 81

Changes in land use and management practices to store and sequester carbon are becoming integral to global efforts to address climate change, yet knowledge and evidence gaps abound.

This paper analyses the most pressing deficiencies in understanding carbon storage in both soils and above ground biomass, focusing on the semi-arid and dry sub-humid systems of sub-Saharan Africa inhabited by many of the world’s poor.

We identify important interdisciplinary opportunities and challenges for researchers, policy makers and practitioners to work together in order for the poor to benefit from carbon storage in dryland systems, through both climate finance streams and collateral ecosystem service benefits delivered by carbon-friendly land management.

We propose new integrated monitoring approaches that offer considerable scope for developing the new knowledge, methods and tools required for enabling pro-poor, climate- and ecosystem service-smart development.

Collaborative multi-stakeholder working across scales from the local to the regional is stressed in outlining routes to ensure that scientific advances can inform policy and practice to deliver carbon, ecosystem service and poverty alleviation benefits.