Cost-efficient carbon capture
Tree-planting is the most cost-efficient form of carbon capture currently available to the world. Therefore, we make use our many years of forestry- and development expertise to help plant as many trees as possible.
Climate action through community engagement
We provide action in collaboration with strong communities in tropical countries. The communities take great care of the trees and the trees, in turn, provide a source of income and food. This is is the greatest strength of our model; mutually beneficial partnerships.
Using technology for transparent and tangible documentation
Recent developments in database, drone, and GPS technology has made it possible to provide incredibly tangible documentation. Maps, pictures, and videos from our tree planting projects make the impact of our supporters clearly visible. This minimises the need for expensive consultants, reports, and administrative personnel, which ensures a larger sum of money for the people most deserving; the communities actually planting the trees and living with the effects of global warming.
One of the reasons for creating TROFACO, was the fact that lion’s share of the benefits of climate compensation schemes were ending up in the hands of consultants and administrators. We believe tropical communities, who pollute the least, but are most heavily affected by climate change, should be the main beneficiaries of any climate change mitigation efforts. Ensuring benefits for these communities can be difficult, but it is hard-wired into the DNA of TROFACO.
All of our work is based on partnerships with strong, passionate, and trustworthy organisations. These organisations help us identify communities with land to plant trees, organise the plantings, and provide us with pictures and updates from the planting sites. We spend a lot of our time identifying and carefully vetting each of these organisations in order to make sure they are capable and reliable. Once we have established a working relationship, we trust them with daily operations in their respective areas. As they have many years of experience organising projects and strong ties to community leaders, they are by far the best suited to handle operations. Most importantly, we trust them to make sure all of the money goes to the right people.
With the help of our partners, we can start doing the real work; tree-planting projects. Our partners identify a robust, well-functioning community with room to plant trees. Once we have met the community and settled on a place to plant trees, we start getting seedlings ready. For this, we use local nurseries in order to create jobs for people in the area. During the next rainy season, plant the trees using the help of community members. After they are planted, they need to be cared for, weeded out, and watered. Both the planting and tending is of course financed by us, giving work to the local people.
Trees as a steady source of income
As the trees grow, they will provide an additional source of income. Many of the trees we plant are fruit trees, such as mango or jackfruit, which provide food that would otherwise be bought at the market. In most cases, the local communities are even able to sell the fruits, as the trees produce a lot. Additionally, as these communities know the local plants so well, they will often plant trees that can be used for medicine, saving them money and trips to the local markets.
Once the trees have grown for twenty years, the community has total autonomy over the trees. Most often they will sell some of the trees for timber. These trees can be immensely valuable, with one tree being worth upwards of 10.000 dollars. This timber will be used for houses and furniture, providing semi-permanent CO2 capture. Of course, these trees will be replanted afterwards. For a community in a rural, tropical village, these trees are a life-changing investment for future generations.
There are two main challenges to documenting tree planting projects: cost and credibility. In order for any documentation to be credible, it needs to be detailed and traceable, but getting detailed and traceable documentation is often costly! Luckily for us, technological advancements have made it possible to have both. Using the a custom made database, GPS- and drone technology, we are have developed a credible yet scalable method of documentation that enables us to provide all the documentation our customers need, right at their fingertips.
The cornerstone of our documentation model, is linking each planting project to an exact location using various positioning systems. First and foremost, this allows anyone to look up the location on Google Earth and see if the documentation photos match the satellite images. Secondly, most photos have GPS coordinates in their metadata which enables us to show that the documentation is in fact from this planting project. Lastly, by using increasingly sophisticated positioning technology, we are able to visualise our results. By continuously developing our use of this cornerstone technology, we aim to keep making our documentation as iron clad as possible, so you as a customer can feel secure in knowing that your support is making a change.
Drone technology has evolved fast during recent years, changing the limits of what was possible in a lot of areas, but specifically for one important to our documentation model; aerial photography. At TROFACO, we aim to make the results of your support immediately accesible. Photos from the ground are good as you can see the trees close up, but seeing them from 100 meters in the air shows your impact a lot better. Below you have an example from ANCOTRANS’ plantings in Kachiira Hills, Uganda. All of the tiny dots are newly planted trees, and as the drone descends, you gain a new perspective of the scale of the planting area when you realize that some of those tiny dots are actually people!
THIRD PARTY VERIFICATION
With the help of Ida Theilade from the Section for Global Development at the University of Copenhagen, we have found a model for third party verification. Ida and her team are specialists in global development, and as such they are well equipped to inspect and verify our tree planting projects. For each verification visit, a team will go to the area and spend roughly a week visiting the sites and talking to the communities. Their verification approach is a holistic one, with both the economic and ecological aspects taken into account. All third party verification is reported directly our clients in order to keep them as impartial as possible. The team lead by Ida Theilade is merely an option we suggest our clients, but we always welcome other forms of third party verification, such as a visit from a team of accountants or external consultants.