"When individuals join in a cooperative venture, the power generated far exceeds what they could have accomplished acting individually." -R. Buckminster Fuller
CommuniTree is a simple but practical, well-executed approach to tackling three interlinked problems: deforestation, climate change, and poverty. The project ingenuously connects the dots around CO2 reduction and the generation of sustainable, local economies through a multi-faceted reforestation program. The sale of carbon credits and sustainable wood products serve as financial mechanisms to support widespread reforestation by small, stakeholder farmers in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change in Nicaragua.
“Deforestation and the need for reforestation is ultimately a socioeconomic problem. People are clearing forests all over the world to make room for new agricultural activities, or new ways of earning a livelihood. When people try to address deforestation by simply planting new trees, they lack a holistic view of the problem. The multi-faceted approach to the problem is our single largest innovation. Why are people engaging in land use changes that result in deforestation? Because they need to earn a better livelihood - so we address this by linking reforestation with earning an income.” -Kahlil Baker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Taking Root
The economic incentive system of CommuniTree is critical in securing long-term buy-in and sustaining the attention of smallholder farmers who have little room for misallocation of time. This solution is sensitive to local needs yet tied to the global mechanism of carbon credit sales. Because of the immense acreage of degraded agricultural lands around the world, this approach has the potential to be emulated widely and to contribute greatly to global carbon sequestration, as well as to habitat restoration and poverty alleviation.