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Assessing institutional and governance partnerships for climate-compatible development in sub-Saharan Africa

Project Reference: RSAF-0010

CCD aims to minimise harm caused by climate change impacts whilst maximising human development opportunities presented by a low-emissions more resilient future. Climate finance and the voluntary carbon market can provide a valuable economic opportunity for developing countries. By harnessing these opportunities, countries can mitigate climate change and potentially deliver significant wins for adaptation and poverty reduction through CCD. While carbon payments have been found to contribute to rural incomes, trade-offs with other ecosystem services and livelihood impacts and outcomes require careful consideration. Recent research reflecting on the lessons learnt from sustainable land management and community-based conservation initiatives stresses the importance of building on existing institutional and governance structures and processes. The role of private sector companies and NGOs in developing new opportunities and multi-stakeholder partnerships through international carbon credit schemes has also been identified as important. However there is a lack of studies and evidence assessing the role of different partnership structures in complex dynamic governance situations.

This research project aimed to assess institutional and governance partnerships for climate compatible-development (CCD) in sub-Saharan Africa. The research focussed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Led by the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, and involving co-investigators based in each of the countries, it sought to:

  • Identify and analyse successful CCD models and institutional and governance partnership activities involving different combinations of stakeholders in complex and dynamic governance and political economy contexts in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Share lessons in delivering adaptation, mitigation and poverty alleviation benefits to communities through CCD, by drawing on experiences from a range of sectors, including forestry, energy and wildlife.

This research contributed to the study of these issues by providing local- and country-scale analysis, focusing on areas of pressing poverty needs, carbon storage potential and a range of complex and dynamic governance situations across a suite of countries, with a view to sharing lessons across the southern Africa region.

Outputs and Resources

Unlocking partnerships to inform climate compatible development

Good Practice Guidelines for Partnerships and Community Engagement

Two academic paper:

Download the research project case study here

For further information please contact Lindsay Stringer:, or click here.

Project website:

Lead: Lindsay Stringer (project lead) (University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment), Andy Dougill (co-Investigator), Jen Dyer (Post-doctoral Research Assistant)

Project Partners: Stephen Syampungani (Copperbelt University, Zambia), Gabriel Kalaba (University of Lumbumbashi, DRC), Vupenyu Dzingirai (University of Zimbabwe) and Mario Falcao (Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique)

CDKN Funding: £202,000

Regions/Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Type: Research project, CDKN Innovation Fund

The photograph is courtesy of the University of Leeds. In the photograph is the Paramount Chief of Musokatanda and his wife; Philip Powell and Gladys Kashimoto (Ecolivelihoods); Lindsay Stringer (PI), Andy Dougill (co-I) and Jen Dyer (post-doc).  The other people are African Minerals staff members.

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