Trees for Global Benefit – Uganda
This project incentivizes small-scale farmers to manage their resources sustainably in exchange for
access to markets. The Trees for
Global Benefit scheme pays farmers for tree-planting and pools carbon credits for sale on the
voluntary market. The model benefits livelihoods and the environment while making sustainable
practices more profitable.Oooh!
- More than 2,500 farming households from 5 different districts supported
- More than 3,000 hectares being sustainably managed
- 650,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission reduction credits issued
Deforestation in Uganda affects biodiversity and watersheds, driving species toward extinction.
Additionally it reduces the quality and quantity of freshwater in rivers. It also contributes to climate
change, which is already felt by smallholder farmers. Although the carbon market is one of the few options
that could help pay for reforestation work. Barriers like an inability to achieve marketable scale are
preventing smallholder farmer participation.
Trees for Global Benefit gets small-scale landholder farmers in Uganda to adopt climate-smart agriculture
through a cooperative carbon offsetting program. In the scheme, farmers register and estimate the amount of
carbon to be generated from their altered farming activities, along with specifying terms and conditions.
Credits are then aggregated and sold on the voluntary carbon market using the Plan Vivo
system. Income from the sale of carbon credits provides the financial capital required to sustain the
modified land-use practices.
Farmers grow mixed/native woodlots and fruit orchards, receiving payment after planting at least half of
the required number of trees. The project also assists farmers gain access to credit from commercial
nurseries, which they can use until they receive their first payment. The households generating the credits
retain the carbon rights and receive the majority of income from their sale.
Helping the planet
Planting trees enhances water retention, stabilizes soil and controls erosion. Increasing tree cover
protects watersheds by buffering rivers and streams from potential disturbance. Community forestry shores
up wildlife corridors and provide connectivity between protected areas. At the same time, planting native
tree species contributes to their conservation. The project also alleviates pressure on forest resources in
national parks and reserves.
Farmers now have higher incomes, and are able to invest in other sustainable ways of making money. These
include production of honey, medicinal extracts, oils, fruit, and fodder. Farmers can use the carbon sale
agreement as collateral on loans, also helping them to grow their businesses. The project has even helped
one extremely poor community gain a land title, enabling it to participate in the scheme. Nitrogen-fixing
trees enrich farmland, making it more productive. Combined with the cultivation of orchards, this
contributes to food security.
The project, which started with 33 farmers, now involves more than 2,500 farming households –
indicating a clear ability to increase in scale. Differing farming systems are able to tailor their
activities through use of technical specifications. The program’s aggregation of carbon credits helps
it achieve a marketable scale and sustain demand. The project has also piloted the use of a revolving fund
that could help it continue to grow.
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