Enhancing carbon stocks and reducing CO2 emissions in agriculture and natural resource management projects

Agriculture production in different regions is facing complex challenges such as the impact of climate variability and change, land degradation, increased competition for water, increasing labor and input costs, and loss of carbon stocks in agricultural lands. While there is adequate literature and information on these issues, the impact on crop production due to loss of carbon stock and how to enhance crop production through increased carbon stocks have been ignored in most analyses. However, sustainable agriculture, low-carbon farming, and climate-smart agriculture initiatives that incorporate conservation agriculture, soil nutrient management, agroforestry, etc., promote enhancement of carbon stocks as a cobenefit. This guideline deals with how to enhance carbon stocks in general in all land-based projects and its specific relationship with agriculture productivity. It outlines specific steps and procedures that need to be followed by project proponents and managers of land-based projects to enhance carbon stocks synergistically with increasing crop productivity.