The CommuniTree Carbon Program uses reforestation to create long-term income opportunities for farmers in the Central America who are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.


Benefits that CommuniTree provides



Start date 2010
Coordinator Taking Root
Activities Afforestation/Reforestation
Participants 855 smallholder families
PVCs issued to-date 894,170



The detail

This is achieved by encouraging smallholder farming families to reforest the under-utilized parts of their farms in exchange for direct payments over time as the trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

To ensure that these benefits are long-lived, the program is specifically designed so that the forest plantations provide ongoing livelihood benefits to participating smallholder farmers in the following ways:

Participants receive direct payments for ecosystem services (PES) over a 10- year period, which amount to 60% of the carbon credit sale price. As the densely planted trees start to crowd each other out, they are selectively harvested to allow the plantation as a whole to continue to grow, thus optimising long-run carbon sequestration while providing sustainably produced merchantable timber.

Participants’ livelihoods are better adapted to climate change because trees are more resilient to droughts and flooding than traditional agricultural crops so their livelihoods are partially hedged against the risk of extreme weather events caused by climate change. Moreover, forest plantations are additional to agricultural activities and the income that they provide is designed to be counter-cyclical to the agricultural season, thus helping to distribute livelihood activities to the times of the year when they are the most needed.


Meet the Farmers



The documents




See all documents





SDG details

See how the project provides benefits beyond carbon and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainable Development Goal How the project contributes
  • 60% of PES income directly received by communities.
  • Local income diversification through sale of sustainable forest products to international markets providing a long-term alternative to reliance on agricultural crops.
  • Source of local employment in tree nurseries, planting and monitoring activities.
  • Pioneering the development of a green charcoal reactor using wood waste from community forest plantations as an alternative to unsustainable environmentally damaging traditional methods of charcoal production.
  • Increased forest cover protects local and regional watersheds, strengthening community resilience and adaptive capacity to droughts and flooding.
  • 55 Community Development and Education Workshops conducted to date, informing project participants on climate change issues, local environmental laws and providing training on natural resource management.
  • Over 3.5 million native trees planted to date.
  • Addresses drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Supports biodiversity conservation by the provision of new wildlife habitat.
  • Development of the Smallholder Carbon Project Information Management System (SCPIMS) software to assist projects in forest monitoring and management.