Carbon sequestration potential and community livelihood benefits of selected on-farm indigenous tree species in Bitereko Sub-County, Bushenyi District
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Assessment of community preferences and uses of selected on-farm indigenous tree species for carbon sequestration was carried out in Bitereko Sub-county Bushenyi, district between the months of January and March 2008. The specific objectives were to assess the benefits of carbon sequestration project to community livelihoods and to determine the amount of carbon sequestered by selected on-farm indigenous tree species. Socio economic data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires. Inventory was carried out on planted indigenous trees on which diameter at breast height (dbh), height and crown diameter were measured. Ranking was also carried out on species preferred by farmers according to their uses. Allometric equations were used to calculate biomass and the amount of carbon sequestered by selected on farm indigenous tree species. A single factor ANOVA model was used to test for variation in the amount of carbon sequestered by the planted indigenous trees encountered on-farms. The most preferred indigenous tree species for carbon sequestration were multipurpose trees such as Fagaropsis angolensis, Cordia africana, Maesopsis eminii, Polyscias fulva and Vitex doniana, reported by 80%, 70%, 61%, 58% and 50% of the respondents respectively. The major uses for these species ranged from fuel wood, timber, poles, medicine and soil conservation. Over 80% of the carbon farmers reported that they benefited from carbon project by getting cash incomes from carbon project for tree management. The surplus money was used to build houses, pay school fees and cover medical bills. The total carbon sequestered for all the nine indigenous tree species encountered were 10,516.89 tCO2e/ha. Maesopsis eminii had the highest potential to sequester carbon and Markhamia platycalyx had the lowest potential to sequester carbon with each producing 3,509 tCO2e/ha and 74.59 tCO2e/ha respectively. Significant variations were exhibited in the potential of the selected on-farm indigenous tree species to sequester carbon (F8.954= 41.24558, P<0.05). There is need to promote on-farm indigenous tree species in major tree planting programmes as they can contribute significantly to carbon sequestration and improvement of community livelihoods.