Between 2012-2014, ECOTRUST and VI-agroforestry took part in a Participatory Action Research Study conducted by Eco-Agriculture partners on how to increase/build local institutional capacity for small holder carbon projects in four key areas i.e
(1) Implementing and managing sustainable agricultural land management activities (SALMs);
(2) Monitoring the carbon sequestering activities
(3) Managing the carbon payment;
(4) Contributing to farmer and community development which could increase long-term development benefits, reduce project costs, and help scale up initiatives.
The PAR methods gave a platform to project managers to share experiences, develop a clear understanding of the challenges they face, jointly develop research questions, collaboratively develop solutions and track the effort of these impacts. The research team collaboratively identified three areas of action that they hypothesized would help to develop local institutional capacities in the four key areas. These included:
(1) Building the capacities of community-based intermediaries (CBIs) to train on SALM practices, recruit farmers, and mobilize resources.
(2) Building local partnerships to support carbon project management by engaging with local government and partnering with non-governmental actors.
(3) Supporting a more active role played by women in the project and increasing their benefits.
Each project then implemented customized actions over a period of two years guided by these three themes. This brief by EcoAgriculture partners shows the outcomes, lessons learned and recommendations from this study.