November 14, 2019
Deforestation is one of the major contributors to climate change. About 50% of the weight of a tree is carbon, and when the trees are cut down that carbon is then released into the atmosphere. CommuniTree is one of our most innovative and advanced forest projects working to prevent deforestation. For it’s work, the project has won the Rainforest Alliance Eco-Index Award.
The project is based in northern Nicaragua where farmers are offered payment for carefully planted and well-kept trees on their land. The project uses different native species of plants and trees and varied cultivation methods to increase biodiversity and their crop yield. For example, coffee bushes are planted together with smaller crops to provide shade and protection against soil erosion. For the farmers in the project, the trees provide protection from extreme weather by increasing soil water retention, preventing landslides and providing shade for animals, crops and over 1000 families living in the area. Over 650,000 tonnes of CO2e have so far been sequestered thanks to the project and it continues to grow every year. CommuniTree’s model for tree planting has been a success and project staff have consulted the government of Nicaragua and other authorities on their methods which are used to to support other smallholders.
Each hectare of the project can be linked to a landowner and visualized in Google Earth, providing powerful communicative value for investors. The project is certified by Plan Vivo, the internationally known standard for forestry and land-use projects. The project gets a lot of attention abroad. In 2018, CommuniTree presented their work at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency in Rome, and the same year the founder of the project received the Meritorious Service Cross award.
CommuniTree, which has its local office in Limay in northwestern Nicaragua, has hired locally to manage and monitor the project. In a short time it has become the largest employer in the region. In addition, advanced IT solutions that include GPS and PDAs with cameras and customized software provide more accurate monitoring results.
For Arvid Nordquist, which has offset its coffee range in coffee growing countries since 2011, CommuniTree Carbon and tree planting is a natural project choice. They derive a large part of their coffee from Nicaragua and thus the carbon offsetting becomes an investment that, through a better local environment and a better situation for small farmers, directly benefits their own coffee.