Crowdfunding Carbon Credits for a Grassroots Deforestation Intervention

stand-for-treesWe’re losing forests at a staggering rate, with a forest area the size of New York City disappearing every two days, and because of that deforestation, we’re slowly losing one of our greatest allies in the fight against climate change. But we can help change that by backing a unique crowdfunding campaign, which lets us Stand For Trees by purchasing carbon credits that support local forest communities in preserving their forests.

The trees and forests of the world are essential to human life, even if you don’t live anywhere near them, as they function as the lungs of our planet, cycling carbon dioxide into life-giving oxygen 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, and absorbing atmospheric carbon all the while. But that’s not all forests do, not by a long shot, as trees and forest ecosystems also play a huge role in providing safe harbor for endangered species, protecting groundwater, and serving as biodiversity hotspots.

If that pace of deforestation continues unabated, by the end of this century there could be no tropical forests left on Earth, according to Code REDD, and if that were to happen, it would severely impact life on this planet. And even today, deforestation accounts for about 15% of the annual global greenhouse emissions (more than the entire transportation industry), so reducing that rate can go a long way toward mitigating the effects of climate change.

One approach to mitigating deforestation is to plant more trees, which any of us could do in our local ecosystem, but which is not nearly so easy to do in the regions where thriving forests can have the most positive effects, such as the tropics.

Another, more effective, approach to reducing deforestation is to preserve existing forests from logging or agriculture, which is also not so easy to do in-person. However, now you can support forest preservation effectively with just a few clicks and for the cost of your lunch, thanks to the recently launched Stand For Trees campaign.

“Now, for the first time, the Stand For Trees model allows individuals to be part of the solution by harnessing the power of technology and social media so we can all support local communities who are implementing REDD+ practices on the ground in tropical forest countries. When you Stand For Trees, you stand for investing in communities who are pursuing new economic opportunities — creating the economy of tomorrow where trees are more valuable standing than cut down.”

The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program, which aims to “empower people, preserve forests, protect wildlife, and reduce emissions,” will be supported through Stand For Trees, by allowing individuals to purchase certificates for verified carbon credits, each of which prevents one tonne of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

“Stand For Trees Certificates are high-quality verified carbon credits based on the proven REDD+ model, and meet rigorous standards set by the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance, a partnership of leading NGOs that includes CARE, The Nature Conservancy, and The Rainforest Alliance. The credits are registered on the world’s largest environmental registry services provider, Markit, and meet Code REDD’s peer-reviewed international Code of Conduct.”

At the Stand For Trees website, individuals can choose to buy a certificate that supports a specific forest community, each of which is illustrated with facts and photos, as well as the impacts, of the project. Customers can also choose to allow Stand For Trees to choose which project to apply the certificate to, and can purchase bulk certificates as well, at the rate of $10 per tonne.

“Stand For Trees can be a game-changer by harnessing the power of crowd-funding to protect forests, the air we breathe, and the climate that sustains us. It offers a clear and affordable way to make a real difference.” – actor Edward Norton, the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity

Find out more about how you can Stand For Trees.

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!