Voices from the field – carbon markets and rural poverty as seen from Madagascar and Mali

Jules Siedenburg, Sandra Brown, Stephan Hoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The carbon market is touted as offering developing countries major new opportunities to achieve sustainable development while simultaneously helping the global community to combat climate change. The prospect is that implementing carbon offset projects and programmes can generate tradable carbon credits while simultaneously delivering development benefits to participating communities. In least developed countries, however, this promise remains largely unfulfilled. Work is underway to bridge this gap via measures like streamlining project development and providing capacity building in target countries, yet progress remains slow. Based on focus group discussions, the paper conveys comments about this prospect and constraints to its realization from seasoned rural development practitioners in Madagascar and Mali who have shown interest in carbon project development. Their perspective is critical yet constructive, and could help guide reforms of existing carbon market instruments and the design of new climate finance mechanisms. It also provides a valuable contribution to ongoing debates regarding the potential significance of the carbon market for poor farmers. The consensus among these practitioners is that the promise of this market for these farmers is real, but the current market structure largely scuppers this potential. They call for urgent reform of market access modalities, so this opportunity can be captured
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-25
JournalClimate and Development
Issue number1
Early online date11 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • carbon market
  • climate finance
  • barriers to access
  • market reform
  • practitioners
  • rural development
  • small-scale farmers
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • voice

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