Rice plantation with the forest in the distanceThe Plan Vivo Foundation provides a framework and support network for community-led payments for ecosystem services (PES) programmes. By engaging rural communities in sustainable land-use activities, including avoided deforestation, reforestation, afforestation and agroforestry, with an emphasis on restoring and protecting native forest and reintroducing native species in degraded areas, Plan Vivo supports the resilience of rural livelihoods and terrestrial ecosystems.


    • Supporting community-based natural resource management projects in developing and implementing participatory land-use plans and equitable benefit-sharing.
    • Securing land tenure rights for rural communities.
    • Protecting native forest and reducing deforestation, conserving habitat for fauna and flora, strengthening the climate services and the resilience of local ecosystems.
    • Channelling finance to vulnerable communities threatened by climate change, diversifying incomes and contributing to poverty alleviation.

The Plan Vivo Standard is the longest-standing voluntary carbon standard, dating back to the pilot project Scolel’te in 1997. Since then, the Plan Vivo system has continued to evolve and today counts with 15 registered projects and over 30 pipeline projects spanning Africa, Asia and Latin America. Efforts by over 17,000 participating smallholders and 500 community groups have resulted in emissions reductions of over 2.9 million tonnes of CO2.

Partners of the Plan Vivo Foundation include the University of Edinburgh, IIED, Bioclimate, ESPA (Ecosystems to Support Poverty Alleviation), Calouste Gulbenkian, Pur Projet, the Margaret Hayman Foundation, IPI (International Platform for Insetting), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Clinton Foundation, AMBIO, Taking Root, ECOTRUST, and other local project coordinators.

Project Network Brochure

Download the newest version of Plan Vivo's Project Portfolio

Current Partnership Opportunities

Measuring and Valuing Co-Benefits of Community-led Land-use Projects

Measuring and Valuing Co-Benefits of Community-led Land-use Projects: Plan Vivo is currently working on developing a cost-effective methodology to measure projects’ benefits beyond carbon, specifically socio-economic and biodiversity impacts. Even though sustainable land-use projects are mostly designed to deliver a multitude of positive outcomes in addition to climate benefits, projects often face barriers in measuring and communicating the full spectrum of project outcomes and impacts due to lacking resources, capacity or communication skills. With the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a unique opportunity has opened up to align contributions and reporting between different actors, thus enabling governments, projects and corporates to ‘speak the same language’. As such, Plan Vivo wants to support its projects in demonstrating the total environmental and social impact and their contributions towards achieving the SDGs, such as poverty alleviation, improved food security, access to sustainable energy and providing opportunities for economic growth. Plan Vivo has partnered with IIED to examine which SDGs Plan Vivo projects contribute to directly and is in the process of developing a framework for projects to develop and improve their monitoring and reporting capacities. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.

Strengthening Local Capacity in Indonesia

Strengthening Local Capacity in Indonesia: Plan Vivo pipeline projects in Indonesia have expanded to over ten projects which will be run by local and international NGOs, potentially coordinated as a PES consortium. Local interest by local and small organisations is growing to certify community forestry projects under the Plan Vivo Standard. In 2014, Plan Vivo co-hosted a 3-day workshop in Bali to respond to this increasing interest. Three projects coordinated by Fauna and Flora International (Durian Rambun, Jambi; Central Lombok District, Lombok; Laman Satong, West Kalimantan) and Bujang Raba commmunity project in Sumatra coordinated by local NGO WARSI are pending registration in 2016. Experience with Indonesian pipeline projects has shown that implementing Plan Vivo projects can contribute tremendously to land tenure achievements, avoided deforestation and peat degradation, conservation, and sustainable livelihoods. Moreover,the Indonesian government has recently announced an ambitious target of protecting 12.7 million ha of community forest. However, there are limited plans to deliver scalable solutions. As such, these projects could benefit from local Plan Vivo presence to support community-led projects to overcome certain barriers that slow Indonesian projects from moving through the Plan Vivo pipeline to registration: Providing technical consultancy and translation services, and advice on how to access global environmental markets.

Developing a Certification Framework for Insetting

Developing a certification framework for Insetting: Plan Vivo is collaborating with PurProjet on further developing the International Platform on Insetting (IPI), with the aim of supporting businesses and corporates to support community-led projects within their own supply chains (e.g. coffee or cocoa growers) whilst reducing their carbon footprints. With the generous support by Calouste Gulbenkian, Plan Vivo and PurProjet have been able to further their research into Insetting. Building on this work, Plan Vivo and PurProject are now looking to develop a certification framework and potential partners for piloting this approach to reducing carbon emissions.

Improving the Marketing and Sales Capacities of Projects

Improving the Marketing and Sales Capacities of Projects: In order to gain access to a wider variety of buyers, Plan Vivo aims to empower its projects to overcome some of the barriers that hinder community-based projects in remote locations and developing countries to engage successfully with global environmental markets. Hence, Plan Vivo is looking for partners to offer marketing and sales support to local organisations wishing to raise their profile and to improve their communication skills to garner greater donor and corporate support, allowing them to access sustainable models of finance and scale up project operations.

To find out more about the Plan Vivo story, please watch the video below.

Recent Partnerships

CCAFS/University of Edinburgh

CCAFS/University of Edinburgh: The Smallholder Agriculture and Monitoring Baseline Assessment (SHAMBA) was developed together with the University of Edinburgh, supported by CCAFS. The aim of the tool is to develop a carbon accounting approach that is easily accessible to non-specialists and is applicable across a broad range of environmental conditions and land use interventions. SHAMBA is currently piloting its methodology with Plan Vivo projects Scolel’te and Trees for Global Benefits.

Calouste Gulbenkian

Insetting is an emerging technique which provides a mechanism for businesses to strengthen supply chains, support communities, enhance ecosystems and mitigate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions at the same time. Thanks to the support by Calouste Gulbenkian, Plan Vivo has been able to advance its research into insetting, funding an event to publicise results and findings. Plan Vivo has partnered with PurProject to further research into this subject by launching the International Platform on Insetting (IPI).


ESPA: Plan Vivo has partnered with ESPA (Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation) to examine the key factors impacting the success of PES projects and to facilitate monitoring for smallholders and communities. The project “Streamlining Monitoring in Smallholder and Community PES Projects (SMS-PES)“ has held a conference in Kampala, Uganda to provide a platform for PES projects in Uganda, Nicaragua, Mexico and Indonesia to share experiences regarding common challenges and potential solutions. In 2017, the project’s findings were summarised in the paper Rethinking Monitoring in Smallholder Carbon Payments for Ecosystem Service Schemes: Devolve Monitoring, Understand Accuracy and Identify Co-Benefits.

Margaret Hayman

Margaret Hayman Foundation: The Margaret Hayman Foundation has supported the Plan Vivo Foundations in strengthening its communication skills and marketing outputs. With the help of Margaret Hayman, Plan Vivo has developed a new website and produced marketing materials, such as 2015 project brochure.
Project Portfolio

The Waterloo Foundation
The Waterloo Foundation: The project ‘Building pro-poor, community-based forest conservation tools’ was supported by the Waterloo Foundation which resulted in the publications of various policy briefs, institutional development and the support of the 2013 stakeholder meeting.
The University of Edinburgh
 The University of Edinburgh – one of the leading research institutions in the UK, the Plan Vivo Foundation has had a longstanding collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. Plan Vivo and the University are currently exploring how to use SHAMBA for the benefits of existing and pipeline projects.

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is one of the world’s most influential international development and environment policy research organisations. IIED contributes to many international policy frameworks including the IPCC, the UN conventions on climate change and biological diversity. Plan Vivo and IIED have collaborated on several research projects including co-benefits and ‘Guidelines and lessons from smallholder and community carbon projects’.
 BioClimate focuses on rural communities, BioClimate seeks to address the needs of local populations through new approaches to natural resource management and enterprise development. The organisation has provided Plan Vivo with unparalleled technical support for many years.
Pur Projet
 PurProjet, a collective structure that helps companies incorporate climate issues into their business and supply chain mainly through the regeneration and preservation of ecosystems (agroforestry, reforestation and forest conservation). Pur Projet and Plan Vivo are collaborating on the exciting new concept of Insetting
Uganda Carbon Bureau
 Uganda Carbon Bureau provides support to project developers, carbon credit buyers, development agencies, financiers and the public with all the aspects of project funding and carbon asset development in the voluntary and compliance carbon markets. Among other things, the Bureau and Plan Vivo jointly attended the Carbon Expo in Barcelona in May 2015.