NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Cambodian Farmland Carbon (CAFACA) Project [NDF C3 D5]

A plant nursery. Photo: Kari Hämekoski
A plant nursery. Photo: Kari Hämekoski
Photo: Kari Hämekoski
The project will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by introducing a carbon sequestration scheme, which rewards Cambodian small-holder farmers when they carry out climate-smart farming.

Cambodian Farmland Carbon (CAFACA) Project
Ref: NDF C3 D5

Nordic Partner: Nordic Foundation for Development and Ecology (NORDECO)
Local Partner: Cambodia Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC)
Other Partners: N/A
Total Project Cost: EUR 539.026
NCF Financing: EUR 383.386
Agreement Signed: 11 March 2013
Project Classification: Mitigation/Adaptation
Duration:  30 Months

Project Objective

The objective of the project was to improve the living conditions of small-scale farmers and at the same time increase the carbon sequestered in the farming landscape. The project has created a sustainable low-cost carbon trading business that will allow farmers to improve their livelihoods through the trading of sequestered carbon.


The project has mitigated greenhouse gas emissions by introducing a carbon sequestration scheme, which rewards Cambodian small-holder farmers when they carry out climate-smart farming. The project has disseminated practical approaches to climate-resilient agriculture, including creative low-cost ways to organise tree planting in the farming landscape. The project established a business (Cambodia Farmland Carbon – CAFACA), which connects to the existing farmers’ associations and support them to increase their incomes from carbon sequestration. The project thus links farmers associations to the voluntary carbon finance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) markets in an innovative and cost-effective way. In addition, the project develops eco-agro tourism in rural Cambodia in connection with the climate-smart farming. The project will provide small-holder farmers with income opportunities and improved financial security, while generating environmental benefits. The benefits are not restricted to mitigation - additional adaptation benefits are expected through decreased erosion.

The main results of the project include:

  • Over 300,000 trees have been planted, and have sequestered ca. 8,600 tonnes of CO2 during the implementation period.
  • 1,500 households have adopted climate-resilient and effective farming practices and increased their income due to tree tending and carbon trading.
  • 250 km roads and irrigation infrastructures protected against erosion by planted trees.
  • Development and establishment of a self-sustaining business entity.
  • Improvement of local livelihoods via selling fruits and other tree-products, such as compost and non-timer tree products and use of trees for medicine.


Relevance for Climate Change

The project is relevant for both mitigation and adaptation. The project has demonstrated how the mitigation potential in sustainable agriculture can be realised through the development of low-cost linkages between the farmers and the buyers in voluntary carbon and CSR markets. The tree planting has sequestered some 8,600 tonnes of CO2 during project implementation.

The relevance in terms of adaptation is related to the climate adaptive functions of trees in the farming landscape, the introduced climate-resilient agricultural practices and the increased climate change awareness of the farmers.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The innovativeness lies in the combination of working with established farmers associations, facilitating carbon sequestration in the farming landscape, linking it to the international voluntary carbon and CSR markets and thereby building a sustainable low-cost business with significant development benefits for small-scale farmers. A marketing company (TroFaCo) has been established also in Denmark linked to the project.

The clever use and development of an existing institutional framework allows for low transactions cost per unit of carbon, which is not usually the case when working with small-scale farmers. Moreover, the MRV system is credible while being low-cost. It provides geo-referenced pictures and text for each project location, directly on a map on a homepage accessible for customers as well as the general public. Replication and scaling-up has been actively supported through workshops and learning exercises. There are hundreds of farmers associations in Cambodia, and even more in other tropical countries that could be incorporated into the developed business model with significant potential for replication.

More information

Final Report - Cambodia Farmland Carbon/CAFACA, Cambodia