Carbon Offsetting by tree planting

The planting of trees is recognised as one of the most effective ways of offsetting carbon emissions. It not only locks away carbon for many years through sustainable programmes, but also provides health and wellbeing in developing countries. Numerous global studies have identified forest management as a cost-effective option for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

In developing countries trees provide a host of benefits including food, soil stability by fighting water and wind erosion, habitat and forage for animals, wood for housing and construction and sustainable fuel.

At Carbon Strategy we match our planting in developing countries with an equal number of UK trees, through our Tree Twinning initiative.

Offsetting carbon emissions through Plan Vivo

Plan Vivo is a UK Charity with the following stated aims:
• Relieving poverty in developing countries through engaging rural communities in sustainable land-use projects.
• Promoting environmental protection and improvement through biodiversity conservation and the restoration, protection and management of terrestrial ecosystems.
• Advancing education and building local capacity through the transfer of knowledge, skills and resources to developing countries.

Since their first project in Mexico (funded by the UK’s International Development Department) in 1994, Plan Vivo has developed standards and transparent systems to deliver carbon offsets by working with rural communities in developing countries whose projects would not happen without their involvement.
Consequently tree planting through Plan Vivo ensures that the projects comply with the conditions of the Kyoto Protocol’s “Clean Development Mechanism”.

How does it work in practice?

Beneficiaries are required to draw up their management plans which can cover afforestation, reforestation, agroforestry, forest conservation and/or restoration.
Beneficiaries can be individual smallholders or groups (for example a community forest). Each project must be new and "additional" (i.e. it could not proceed without carbon financing) whilst showing clearly the consequences if the project did not happen.

Plan Vivo project Mexico

Plan Vivo projects... delivered in partnerships

A key Plan Vivo project is the “Trees for Global Benefits Programme” in the Beshenyi Province of Uganda.
The responsible partner that provides the day-to-day project management is Ecotrust.

Ecotrust. The Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda.

Ecotrust was established in Uganda in 1999, focusing on biodiversity and conservation to improve livelihoods and investing in people to care for the environment.
Core values centre on accountability and transparency, value for stakeholders, personal and corporate integrity and teamwork. Ecotrust uses the tried and tested systems and standards laid down by Plan Vivo to manage this project.
The Beshenyi province, lies in the east of Uganda, and is occupied by a largely rural population of around 750,000
that depends on an agricultural economy, relying largely on coffee and banana crops and the production of dairy products. The project encourages a participatory process, drawing in small landholder farmers and community land associations who are mobilised to invest in the production of non-food crops, for example, timber, fuel ,wood, medicinal extracts, fodder and bee-keeping.
The project is measured against stated technical specifications for its carbon potential, and payments are always based on performance against these criteria, after third party verification by the Rainforest Alliance.

Wood carrying Uganda

 

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