This blog post is about Taking Root, which is a non-profit organization that is very dear to us. We had the privilege of being invited down to Nicaragua to experience what they do first hand and were thoroughly blown away.
Taking Root works with small Nicaraguan farmers to:
- Mitigate climate change
- Improve livelihoods
- Restore ecosystems
It is ambitious, to say the least, to set your sights on those issues, but the project has been so well thought through and executed that their lofty goals seem well within reach.
It sort of works like this…
Specific species of trees are planted on a farmer’s plot in a specific way. There are some fast growing, lower-value species and some slow-growing, high-value species. Each tree is expected to capture a certain amount of carbon from the atmosphere and this carbon is sold on the global market in the form of carbon credits. The money from those carbon credit sales are given to the farmers in the off season, when they aren’t producing as much and the extra income is very helpful.
The fast growing trees shoot up to create some shade. Among other things, this helps suppress the weeds. At a certain point they can be selectively harvested. This less valuable wood can be used at home or sold in the local market providing the farmer with a little bit of savings or income.
After several decades, the slower growing high-value species can be selectively harvested and sold for a large income boost. Meanwhile, the trees have been planted and managed in a way that they will regenerate naturally, so no planting will ever have to happen again!
Carbon is sequestered, money is made, and forest habitat is restored. Trees, the gift that keeps on giving.