Brief description of SWIDAPES
The objective of the Slum Women’s Initiative for Development through Agroforestry Payment for Ecosystem Services (SWIDAPES) is to provide agroforestry emission certification to female smallholder farmers and strengthen their land rights. The outcome of the SWIDAPES project will support reforestation and afforestation efforts of the Slum Women’s Initiative for Development (SWID) initiative in making smallholder farmers resilient to climate change and combating food insecurity. The lack of access to resources and climate smart agriculture technology by women in rural areas of Uganda is prevalence and would result in unsustainable land use management and low self- or social insurance which contravenes the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SWIDAPES project can help achieve some of the SDGs objectives of tackling climate change, food security and gender equity.
There is a need to safe-guard the vulnerable smallholder farmers, especially women, from the adverse effect of climate change and gender inequitable land and property practices through community based nongovernmental organization such as the SWID. SWID empowers rural women through sustainable agriculture trainings and access to resources, thus, provide them with self- or social insurance. For instance SWID uses agroforestry as a Climate-Smart agriculture strategy in building female smallholder farmers resilient to climate change, improve soil nutrients, control erosion and secure land rights. This agroforestry also captures and stores carbon thereby providing environmental- or ecosystem services to the society. It is therefore vital to certify the environmental- or ecosystem service that female smallholder farmers provide to the society through a carbon project with a monitoring, reporting and verification process. This carbon certification can then be traded on the emission market leading to the so-called payment for ecosystem services (PES) that accrue to smallholder farmers. Smallholder farmers can earn PES as additional on-farm revenue, depending on crediting period, for up to max. 30 years. This economic empowerment and self- or social insurance enables poor smallholder farmer, especially women, make choices and take charge of their agribusiness in a sustainable manner.
The SWIDAPES certification of agroforestry is to ensure that the climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts of SWID in limiting human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels are achieved in a transparent and efficient manner. The climate regulation ecosystem services that agroforestry supplies could be remunerated with PES to incentivize the ecosystem services providers (smallholder farmers). Practices that incentivize providers of environmental- or ecosystem services rather than the use of command and control (CAC) regulation have been observed to lead to the success of environmental conservation. Furthermore, the binding contractual term of agroforestry carbon certification could help stabilize the land tenure rights of rural women in rural Uganda.
The cost of agroforestry emission reduction certification for a micro-scale project i.e. <5,000 tons CO2 per year using sector relevant standards e.g. VCS, GS or CCB ranges between USD 200,000 and USD 500,000. The economic benefits that accrue to participating female smallholder farmers over a period of 14 to 30 year are estimated at between USD5 and USD10 per tons of CO2 per year. Aside the fact that the revenue from environmental- or ecosystem services is stable, there are other revenue that can be generated from the sales of agroforestry produce. The overall benefits (incl. non-monetary) of agroforestry to smallholder farmers are expected to exceed the transaction cost of agroforestry (planting and certification).
This agroforestry carbon project shall include the conceptualization of a project idea note (PIN) for the SWID agroforestry activities. This PIN lays the foundation for the project design document (PDD) which is the formal documentation that has to be produced for the approval of the projects after numerous multi-stakeholder consultations. The PDD is reviewed by the designated national authorities (DNA) on behalf of the host country and the external auditors known as the designated operation entity (DOE) to ensure compliance of the methodologies and baselines with approved standards e.g. verified carbon standards. The presentation of the validation and verification reports as well as the certification of statements results in the registration of the project with the registry which then issues the carbon credits for agroforestry emission reduction.
The duration of the SWIDAPES project is for a total of 3 years. The first year shall involve extensive multi-stakeholder consultations as well as conducting baseline evaluation of the SWID initiative on agroforestry. In the second year, the SWIDAPES project would be producing the PIN and validation of the PDD. The first and second year of the SWIDAPES project are referred to as the preparation phase. The third year is the project start of the SWIDAPES project and the implementation phase where monitoring and verification is conducted and emission reduction certification is concluded.
The coordination and implementation of the SWIDAPES project by the SWID staffs given their limited capability and Knowledge regarding emission reduction certification may be challenging. Thus, the SWIDAPES project shall be managed by the organization (SWID) through the appointment of a consultant to head the project coordination in close collaboration with experienced carbon projects team. The inputs and coordination of the entities is vital in producing a comprehensive and reliable documentation for agroforestry emission reduction certification.
The SWIDAPES project is expected to give female smallholder farmers access to emission market which otherwise would not have been possible. However, this access to this market requires a number of steps and procedures. The initial outcome would be a consultation round with different stakeholders and consensus to support a successful access to emission market. The next stage would be the drafting of the required documents to describe, justify and validate carbon certification. Finally comes the issuing of the carbon certificates. The revenue generated from the sales of carbon certification on the emission trading market from agroforestry activities shall improve on-farm income and consumption smoothing. Thus the SWID initiative is not only expected to make the smallholder farmers sustainable but also profitable.