Research Workshop: Unlocking Carbon Markets and Non-Market Approaches for Climate-Resilient Agriculture: The Role of CGIAR

  • Date
  • Time
    04:30 pm > 06:00 pm UTC+03:00
  • Location
    United Nations, Conference Room 6, Nairobi, Kenya

Thematic Areas: Climate Action, Resilient Landscape, Institutional Innovations, Scaling Innovations

Unlocking carbon market and non-market approaches for climate-resilient agriculture is essential for sustainable development. These strategies can enhance agricultural productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support farmers’ adaptation to climate change, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability in vulnerable regions.

In 2021, the carbon market reached US$ 84 billion, more than 90% of transactions took place in the regulated market, and most of the credits generated were concentrated in avoided deforestation projects (World Bank, 2022). Globally, carbon projects in agriculture are still incipient, despite reaching higher values in transacted credits – the sales value of credits generated by carbon removal are approximately 2-4 times greater than that of credits generated by avoided emissions (World Bank, 2022). Still, compliance carbon markets for agriculture are also rare globally and many questions remain as how voluntary carbon markets could scale across this sector.

Issues with scaling of voluntary carbon markets in agriculture include (1) the complexity of agriculture’s emissions profile, which includes emissions from livestock, feed, fertilizer, fuel and energy inputs, as well as emissions or removals from soil carbon stock changes and above-ground biomass, (2) the lack of cost-effective and robust monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), (3) determination of baselines and additionality, (4) permanence, (5) leakage, especially in agricultural trade, (6) organizational integrity, by providing transparency, accurate reporting and no double counting, (7) high upfront finance to cover initial farmer investments and baseline measurement, (8) low carbon credit prices, (9) project-level interventions rather than policy, and (10) buyers’ preferences for carbon credits from sectors other than agriculture. On the other hand, if these barriers are overcome, carbon markets could be crucial to rapidly scaling agriculture sustainable intensification. 

Alternatively, non-market approaches for climate-resilient agriculture could also provide strategies and interventions that promote sustainability and resilience in agriculture without relying on market mechanisms or financial transactions. Under Article 6.8 of the Paris

Agreement it refers to collaborative actions and cooperative mechanisms among countries that aim to achieve climate goals outside of market-based mechanisms like carbon trading. In agriculture, non-market approaches focus on sustainable practices, policy measures, and cooperative actions that do not involve the exchange of carbon credits or financial transactions related to emissions reductions.

In this context, the CGIAR could play a critical role in increasing development actions and carbon finance in agriculture using market and non-market approaches by engaging in these spaces with its knowledge, technologies, and expertise. 

Objective of the session: Increase the engagement and participation of the CGIAR in carbon markets and non-market approaches (under Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement) in agriculture, evaluate barriers and solutions for developing successful approaches using CGIAR science, identify the distinct roles of CGIAR in both arenas, and discuss how to position the organization as a reliable partner to inform governments, investors and companies. 


  • Welcome and Introduction (5 minutes) – Ciniro Costa Junior (Alliance)
  • Speed talks:
  • Using CGIAR-related forages for carbon markets: learnings from LATAM. Jacobo Arango (IRRI) (7 minutes)
  • Scaling carbon markets in rice production: learnings from Southeast Asia. Ole Sanders (IRRI) (7 minutes)
  • Blended finance mechanisms: learnings from CGIAR ImpactSF. Godefroy Grosjean (CGIAR Impact SF) (7 minutes)
  • Innovative Non-Market Approaches for Sustainable Agriculture. Augusto Castro (Alliance) (10 minutes)
  • Group discussion: Two breakout groups: 1) Carbon markets and 2) non-market approaches and CGIAR strategic engagement. Facilitator: Katie Nelson (IRRI) (~50 minutes)
  • Closing Remarks: Eliza Villarino (Alliance) (5 minutes)

Expected Outcomes:

  • Enhanced understanding of CGIAR’s potential roles in both voluntary carbon markets and non-market approaches.
  • A clear set of action items for CGIAR’s engagement in both areas.
  • Identification of complementary strategies to support CGIAR’s Mega Programs.


  • Ciniro Costa Jr, Alliance
  • Eliza Villarino, Alliance
  • Augusto Castro, Alliance
  • Ole Sanders, IRRI
  • Katie Nelson, IRRI
  • Godefroy Grosjean, CGIAR ImpactSF
  • Jacobo Arango, Alliance