Agreed in September 2015 by the UN, each goal has specific targets set for the next 15 years. The previous incarnation of these were called the Millennium Development Goals.
And our own projects are designed to address and support these aims. Here we explain each of the Sustainable Development Goals and how our projects are helping to achieve them.
Alleviating the poverty of local people is a key aim for all our projects.
Over 58% of the people who live within our Guatemalan Caribbean project area are classified as ‘poor’ or ‘extremely poor’, and maternal mortality rates are higher here than anywhere else in the country.
The project’s landscape-scale work is strategically designed to create genuine, sustainable livelihood opportunities for local people through agroforestry and eco-tourism.
Reducing hunger is intrinsically linked to alleviating poverty. All our projects focus on improving the economic circumstances of local people, which in turn improves their ability to feed themselves and their families.
A good example of this is our Cordillera Azul project in Peru which works closely with local communities to generate development plans for sustainable livelihoods.
Health case is a frequent area of focus for our partners on the ground, although our projects generally don’t directly provide health care. The financial support we provide through the sale of forest carbon assets helps them to continue their amazing and invaluable work.
Through one of our projects in the Guatemalan Caribbean, our NGO partner on the ground, Fundaeco, is improving access to healthcare for underserved groups (such as non-Spanish speaking indigenous women) through establishing healthcare posts and mobile units with nurses to improve coverage for people living in remote areas, providing interpreters and transport to improve access to services, and running education on women’s health especially reproductive health and family planning.
Through the sale of our forest carbon assets we are helping partners advance their work in providing education, although our projects don’t often focus directly on providing on this area.
At our Cordillera Azul project, CIMA, our NGO partner on the ground, works with local communities on development plans which include improving access to schools.
Gender equality and empowerment are key values in all our projects. We track the percentage of women in jobs created and supported by the project, productive activities within communities, and management roles in community engagement organizations.
Across all of our projects, our targets for job creation for women generally range from 15-30% depending on the project and its circumstances.
Maintaining forests helps to preserve their water filtration ability, and this is critical for rural communities. The Cordillera Azul National Park is the source of 45 watersheds that feed two of the Amazon’s major tributaries, and our project is helping to protect 20,000 ha of wetland ecosystems.
In addition, CIMA, our NGO partner on the ground, conducts a range of activities which include improved access to sanitation.
Our projects generally concentrate on forest conservation, but sometimes they provide indirect support for access to energy by improving locals’ economic circumstances.
Improving livelihoods by catalysing sustainable development through improved work and economic prospects for residents is key to all our work.
We know that 65% of the original forest cover in the Guatemalan Caribbean project area, a biodiversity hotspot, had been lost to cattle ranching, banana and palm oil plantations, and subsistence agriculture.
Our interventions, in partnership with local NGO Fundaeco, are providing alternative livelihoods for 3,250 families in 1,071 ha of sustainable agroforestry systems producing non-timber forest products such as xate, rambutan, lychee, and cardamom.
Revenues to local stakeholders from non-carbon goods and services, including the above products along with eco-tourism, are expected to be over $20 million.
Our projects provide agricultural technical assistance, access to market initiatives, and support for producer cooperatives and other marketing partnerships.
For example, a cocoa producer’s cooperative is established in the Tambopata-Bahuaja project in Peru to facilitate technical assistance, post-harvest infrastructure, and a route to market. The goal is to ensure a long-term supply with a price premium for high-quality cocoa.
Poverty alleviation, the development of sustainable livelihoods, and support for community engagement and participatory decision-making processes all help to decrease inequalities.
In Cordillera Azul, Peru, CIMA, our NGO partner on the ground, works with farmers’ cocoa and coffee cooperatives to implement sustainable agriculture and land-use activities, as well as with communities to strengthen local institutions.
Most of our work is intricately tied to increasing community sustainability through alternative livelihoods which support economic self-sufficiency without the need for deforestation.
The remote nature of the Tambopata-Bahuaja project in Peru causes the exclusion of locals from the formal economy, and the nearby Inter-Oceanic Road brings constant encroachment and illegal logging to the area.
To help counteract this, AIDER, our NGO partner on the ground, works to create sustainable livelihoods for local communities by restoring degraded land for cocoa cultivation.
Sustainable production of commodities is a key part of all our projects. We work with local people to develop sustainable agriculture and agroforestry systems. Such sustainable livelihoods foster a new relationship between local people and their environment – conserving the forest at the same time as helping to raise them out of poverty.
The Tambopata project in Peru focuses on restoring 4,000 ha of degraded lands through the cultivation of native, fine and aromatic cocoa by working with over 1,100 farmers. A local cocoa producers’ cooperative has been formed to provide technical assistance, infrastructure for post-harvest management, quality control and route to market for the cocoa. This enterprise will be self-sustaining and independent – a sustainable long-term livelihood for local farmers and their families.
The foundation of all our work is addressing climate change by preventing deforestation. Each of our projects generate forest carbon assets at a range of scales, that are verified and validated to the Verified Carbon Standard.
The Cordillera Azul project is expected to counteract 20.5 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2019 in Peru. That’s equivalent to taking six coal-fired power plants offline, or the energy needed to power 2.1 million homes for a whole year.
Generally, our projects do not directly address fisheries or marine resources, but indirectly they can support general sustainable use of the resources of an area. Preserving forests, wetlands, and watersheds also improves general ecological integrity, including water quality, which helps maintain the health of marine ecosystems and species.
Fundaeco, our NGO partner for the Guatemalan Caribbean project, has a workstream involving implementing fish restoration zones in the coast with the aim of ending unsustainable fishing.
Our projects preserve forests and their biodiversity, protecting high conservation value (HCV) species and ecosystems. These are usually in places that are major biodiversity hotspots which contain high proportions of species that are either endangered, only found locally (‘endemic’), or both.
The Tambopata-Bahuaja project in Peru protects the critical habitat of 30 HCV species, such as the giant armadillo, blue macaw, jaguar, and giant river otter. Guatemala’s Caribbean forests hold almost 50% of the entire country’s biodiversity, and our project helps to protect 8,400 ha of critical habitat for 30 HCV species here too.
A key component of our projects is ensuring participatory decision-making and helping local institutions at the community level.
CIMA, our Peruvian NGO partner on the ground, prioritizes working with local enterprises in the Cordillera Azul area and by 2021 it aims to create 24. It also works to strengthen local institutions, such as honey producers’ organizations.
Partnerships are key to the development and successful implementation of all our projects. We work with local NGOs and government agencies to ensure transparency, effectiveness, and the mobilization of all available and potential resources.
Carbon financing for the Tambopata-Bahuaja project funds a partnership between AIDER, our NGO partner on the ground, and SERNAMP (the national parks and protected areas agency of Peru) to patrol the protected areas.
We are working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through our forest conservation projects. We believe trees are worth more alive than dead – as they deliver a wide range of benefits for people and the planet.
We work to help scale private sector and consumer investment to protect trees and place a true value on the benefits we get from forests.
We invite you to join us.