Please note that the public consultation for the FARM-TRACE approved approach has now closed. 


FARM-TRACE public consultation

Plan Vivo is putting forward FARM-TRACE for public consultation. FARM-TRACE is a monitoring and reporting approach purpose built for smallholder reforestation projects which uses mobile and remote sensing technology to make it affordable and simple to measure, report and communicate impacts.


Why do we need monitoring and reporting innovation?

Smallholder reforestation is indispensable in the fight against climate change. Plan Vivo helps projects unlock funding based on their ability to demonstrate successful reforestation outcomes.   However, measuring and reporting changes in forest cover and the carbon it sequesters robustly across thousands of farms typical of smallholder reforestation programs can be prohibitively expensive and requires scarce expertise.

At Plan Vivo, we are constantly looking for cutting edge solutions to break down the barriers for projects to achieve Plan Vivo certification and unlock financing to make smallholder reforestation possible at scale.



FARM-TRACE is a mobile and web platform created by Taking Root, a Canadian not-for-profit and the co-ordinator of the smallholder Communitree project, the largest reforestation initiative in Nicaragua. By combining mobile, satellite and machine learning data, FARM-TRACE makes it simple and affordable to measure and report highly localized reforestation outcomes through just the use of a smartphone. FARM-TRACE automates reporting for:

  1. Carbon sequestered in live forest biomass through in-field forest inventories using its mobile application
  2. Carbon sequestered in live forest biomass through remote sensing data and localized machine learning algorithms
  3. Forest cover through remote sensing data and localized machine learning algorithms
  4. Change in forest cover and the carbon sequesters over time (i.e. the difference in measurements between two time periods) using remote sensing data and localized machine learning algorithms

FARM-TRACE is currently under review to become an Approved Approach for Automated Forest Cover & Carbon Quantification under the Plan Vivo Standard.


What is an approved approach?

An Approved Approach is a methodology or tool that is used in the quantification of climate benefits of Plan Vivo projects. Once approved, any project applying for Plan Vivo certification will be able to use FARM-TRACE for automated forest cover and carbon quantification, provided they meet the applicability criteria.


The role of public consultation

All newly-submitted Approved Approaches must undergo a rigorous assessment process to ensure that they represent robust and conservative estimates of carbon removals/reductions. The approach is put forward to public consultation to give the opportunity for the broader public to comment and provide feedback.

As part of the public consultation for FARM-TRACE, we invite you to provide feedback to the Plan Vivo Secretariat on the platform and its approach. Feedback received during the consultation period will be incorporated into the review of FARM-TRACE, and taken into account when determining whether it should become a Plan Vivo Approved Approach.

The draft Approved Approach is provided on this page (below) and the webinar was held on the tool at 15:30 BST on 22nd October. The webinar consisted of an:

  • Introduction to Plan Vivo,
  • Explanation of how FARM-TRACE ties in with Plan Vivo, and where it is up to in the review process,
  • Introduction to FARM-TRACE, including what it is and how it works,
  • Live demonstration of the FARM-TRACE tool, and
  • Q&A section




FARM-TRACE Approved Approach draft for public consultation