SUMMARY: Deforestation results in 15% of annual greenhouse gas emissions globally, and often deforestation is the result of small farmers worldwide clearing native tree groves and adopting unsustainable agricultural practices. ECOTIERRA is a certified B corporation working to create a sustainable agricultural economy across the Andes cordillera, with plans to replicate their model in Cote d’Ivoire and Colombia. The company works as a matchmaker, connecting investors to coffee and cocoa cooperatives throughout Peru. The cooperatives partner with ECOTIERRA to develop a customized, bottom-up agroforestry design that suits their land and production needs, and in turn the cooperatives receive additional revenue from carbon offsets. While reforestation to offset carbon emissions constitutes a piece of the climate change mitigation puzzle, the increased yields and long-term sustainability of ECOTIERRA’s agroforestry projects are directly contributing to the economic, social, and environmental resilience of 12,000 families in Peru.

PROBLEM SPACE: “15% of yearly Greenhouse gas emissions are related to deforestationäó_and contrary to what we may think, itäó»s not a few big emitters that are responsible for these emissions but rather thousands of small farmers who have adopted migratory agriculture practices.

These acts are not malicious in nature, but rather a question of survival for these farmers and their family. With a continued decline in harvest yield, these small stakeholders need to increase their farming area in order to meet the family’s basic requirement.

To make matters worst, the lack of equipment required in the preparation of the land means that all too often slash and burn techniques are being deployed – offering a devastating effect on both the surrounding population and the environment.

Unless new solutions addressing the needs and requirements of the small farmers are offered, the situation can only worsened.

ECOTIERRA’s mission and Shade Coffee and Cocoa Reforestation Project initiative aims to reverse this alarming trend.”

SOLUTION: “ECOTIERRA’s SCCRP project addresses this issue of deforestation and aims to reverse the trend.

The introduction of sustainable agricultural practice in the form of a new agroforestry system based on shade grown crop will allow small stakeholders to convert their deforested and underperforming parcels into fairtrade organic certified growing parcels. A transition resulting in an increase in crop yield and higher quality crop, will help reach some of the projectäó»s key objectives äóñ namely increasing small stakeholder revenue and the reduction of deforestation. Just by themselves these benefits would qualify the project as a success, but they represent only a portion of the benefits derived.

Reduction in soil erosion, improvement in water quantity/quality, protection of the biodiversity are all environmental benefits resulting from the projectäó_and this while generating environmental assets in the form of carbon offsets.

Our reforestation project, certified under the VCS banner, generates high quality carbon offsets for the voluntary carbon market. These carbon credits not only offer a diversified income stream for the many stakeholders they also serve as a success indicator for investors and traceability tool for commodity buyers.

ECOTIERRA partners with coffee and cocoa cooperative to deliver to small producers the essential resources to achieve the transition to sustainable land use. Theses resources regroup the followings: access to funding, support in implementation, technical assistance, certifications, crop valorisation equipment and most importantly, road to market for their production.”