Saturday, 22 March 2008

CDM: good intention for tech transfer blighted by brokers?

According to the Africa Science News Service, Kenya’s civil society organizations (CSOs) are up in arms against brokers who have invaded the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol and are offering as little as US$20 per surviving 1,000 trees that are meant to sequestrate carbon. The brokers, mostly from the west, are busy seeking the support of local non-governmental organisations to help them sell the idea to farmers. Dr Dominic Walubengo, head of the Forest Action Network (FAN), is however adamant that the Kenyan CSOs will not sacrifice Kenyans farmers, telling Africa Science News Service that local NGOs are united in their position against these brokers. He added that, though carbon credit is a good idea at the international level, the intervention of brokers has the effect of denying benefits to farmers.

The article explains a little more about CDMs and their low rate of take-up:
"The CDM is supervised by the CDM Executive Board (CDM EB) and is under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties (COP/MOP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

One of the intentions in the creation of the CDM was to bolster Africa through technology transfer, community-level development benefits, enhanced private-sector investment and market development. Given the huge need for resources to support sustainable development plans in the region, and the seemingly large potential for CDM activities there, one might expect Africa to be a very active participant in the CDM.

However, the reality is the extreme opposite. Projects in Africa that had successfully journeyed through the formal procedures for developing and registering a CDM project numbered four by December 2005.

There were over 200 projects in various stages of development by this time, of which only a handful were in Africa.

Today, Africa has only 214 CDM projects most of which are either in South Africa or in the Northern parts of the continent".

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