The Plan Vivo Proposal Towards the Sustainable Development Goals
What are the SDGs?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 interlinked global goals, targets and indicators ranging from poverty alleviation, improving food security and global health, to combating climate change, were adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The SDGs are an ambitious framework to guide global efforts in tackling the big issues of our time, with an agenda to reach the global goals by 2030. Contrary to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which delivered a blueprint for the world’s development institutions, the SDGs are a broader set of targets that require the engagement and cooperation from all levels of society, including governments, the private sector and civil society.
What do the SDGs mean for the private sector?
Efforts to achieve the SDGs will heavily rely on the private sector in providing the willingness, technology, finance and the know-how to implement and finance solutions. This gives companies an opportunity to align their corporate social responsibility (CSR) with a global agenda and therefore enhance its value by sharing a common purpose. Moreover, by working towards the global goals, the private sector is able to improve stakeholder relationships across supply chains.
What do the SDGs mean for Plan Vivo and its partners?
The Plan Vivo Standard is based on ethical principles intended to deliver long-term climate, livelihoods and biodiversity benefits. The Standard offers a robust and pragmatic framework to help communities and smallholder projects transition towards sustainable land use and forest management and gain access to performance-based payments, e.g. through the voluntary carbon market. By focusing on participatory design, long-term sustainability and land tenure, Plan Vivo projects enable smallholders to become stewards of their natural resources and ecosystems.
Activities implemented by projects vary according to the needs to smallholders and communities and depend on country-specific contexts. Across the board, Plan Vivo projects are inherently designed to deliver a broad range of non-carbon benefits resulting in resilient communities and ecosystems. Consequently, the Plan Vivo system has been contributing significantly towards achieving the SDGs within local contexts. In order to report impact on a global scale, the Sustainable Development Goals provide a natural backbone for projects reporting on their co-benefits.
SDG 17: International Partnerships is very much at the heart of the Plan Vivo system, underpinning the importance of partnerships between grassroots organisations, international NGOs and carbon investors across the globe.
Taking the SDG agenda forward
Projects are designed to contribute to 5 core SDGs due to the ethical principles laid out in the Plan Vivo Standard. By contributing to the core SDGs, Plan Vivo projects are committed to a Pathway to Impact, delivering long-term impacts in terms of poverty alleviation, food security, economic growth, climate action and biodiversity protection.
Pathway to Impact
SDG 1: No Poverty
By tackling the multi-dimensions of poverty through short-term income increase (direct cash transfers through performance-based payments) and the building of human and natural capital, Plan Vivo projects are able to contribute to making local livelihoods less vulnerable to shocks. Many PV projects are actively involved in setting up micro-enterprises resulting in positive livelihood impacts, such as strengthening small-scale timber industries, bee-keeping or agroforestry that includes cash crops. Moreover, many PV projects disperse income through community funds used on in-kind benefits improving community infrastructure.
SDG 2: Food Security
All projects ensure that activities of individual projects are balanced with the needs of smallholder farmers and/or communities depending on subsistence agriculture. By using agroforestry systems, farmers are able to increase soil fertility and agricultural production, thereby boosting produce availability for household consumption or commercial agriculture. Moreover, Plan Vivo’s agroforestry projects are able to spread risk for smallholders by using different types of tree species that cater for timber, fruit, doffer and shade for intercropping.
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Project coordinators who oversee the participation of smallholders and communities are able to create jobs and opportunities that contribute to overall capacity-building and the transfer of skills on a local scale. The necessity for community monitoring creates jobs for forest technicians, many of them women or young people. Moreover, locals are able to find seasonal jobs in the planting season, which in turn promotes the collection of seeds and local tree nurseries. Often, forest carbon projects introduce new technologies and skills which are then transferred to project participants, including electronic equipment or computer literacy.
SDG 13: Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change
Reforestation, afforestation, agroforestry and the protection and management of forests mitigate climate change threats and impacts. By using scientifically rigorous peer-reviews and third party validation and verification, it is ensured that Plan Vivo projects’ carbon models are robust and conservative.
SDG 15: Protect Biodiversity and Ecosystems
The sustainable principles underpinning Plan Vivo management plans seek to have an impact on the wider local environment and other ecosystem services. Tree planting and agroforestry systems lead to increased soil fertility, water retention and better regulation of microclimates. Moreover, many projects incorporate the monitoring of protected species into their carbon monitoring frameworks. The Plan Vivo system only uses native and naturalised tree species, therefore helping to rehabilitate degraded landscapes.
Other indirect co-benefits that Plan Vivo projects contribute to indirectly include Improved Health, Gender Equality, Sustainable Energy and Improving Marine Ecosystems.
For more information on project-specific contributions to the SDGs, please check out projects in our project network.
A summary of Plan Vivo’s stance on the Sustainable Development Goals can be found here.