Climate change

Evaluating carbon markets as a pathway to establishing climate resilient coffee agroforestry systems in Papua New Guinea

A coffee plant with coffee beans.
Project code
AUD 436,253
Research program manager
Dr Veronica Doerr
Project leader
Dr Steven Crimp
Commissioned organisation
Australian National University
APR 2024
JUN 2025
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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​​This small research activity will provide critical baseline information to identify best practice adoption approaches for carbon farming and resilient farm management practices for smallholder coffee farmers in Papua New Guinea.

Coffee is the second largest agricultural export for Papua New Guinea. It is the predominant cash crop in the highlands region, and the industry provides income to a little under half of the national rural population. However, the industry faces a range of challenges, including declining production levels and quality, volatile global market prices, poor market access, and a decline in extension services. Climate change presents a further challenge to coffee farmers and coffee production.  

In the context of global efforts to address climate change, carbon markets are emerging as an opportunity for coffee farmers in the Global South. There are 2 main ways that smallholder coffee farmers in PNG can engage in carbon markets: to sell coffee that has been certified as carbon neutral and to produce and sell carbon credits created through on-farm sequestration of carbon. These schemes also offer the potential for farmers to earn additional income. Farm management practices that increase resilience to climate change may also play a significant role in promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly coffee cultivation practices. 

The proposed research will provide important evidence to determine if voluntary carbon markets and carbon-neutral product certification are cost-effective options for smallholder coffee farmers. The information gained in this activity will support research to be undertaken in the ACIAR research project ‘Using carbon markets to drive multiple benefits for Papua New Guinea coffee farmers’ (CLIM/2022/109).

Map of Papua New Guinea
Key partners
Australian National University
Coffee Industry Corporation
Curtin University
NSW Department of Primary Industries
University of Goroka