In order for projects to continue to provide benefits to communities and smallholders, the Plan Vivo Foundation provides projects with Plan Vivo Certifices (PVCs), which can then be sold by the project. A PVC represents the long-term sequestration or mitigation of one tonne of CO2e by a Plan Vivo-certified project. However, PVCs go beyond conventional carbon benefits by providing a multitude of additional benefits.




1. Going beyond carbon

Plan Vivo Certificates represent more than just combatting climate change. Each PVC purchased represents a contribution to a variety of social and environmental benefits, including:

  • Biodiversity conservation through expansion and strengthening of protected areas and native species
  • Poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods through sustainable agriculture and micro-enterprises
  • Restoration of degraded and degrading ecosystems
  • Adaptation of natural and managed ecosystems to climate change (watershed protection, soil stabilisation, regulation of regional micro-climates).


2. Fairly traded carbon

Unlike other Standards, Plan Vivo guarantees fair benefit sharing bewteen participants and project coordinators, with at least 60% of the money from every PVC bought going directly to the participants. Since Plan Vivo-certified projects work with poor rural communities who need support to manage their land more sustainably, this puts money into the pockets of poor farmers and community groups like farmers cooperatives, women’s groups and community trust funds – helping communities develop and providing incentives for them to stick with their land management plans – their ‘plan vivos’.


3. International recognition

Several Plan Vivo-certified projects have won prestigious international awards, including three winners of the UN Equator Prize. Furthermore, with over 20 years of experience, Plan Vivo projects and the Plan Vivo system are at the forefront of academic research due to their innovations and experience.


4. Making carbon finance work harder

Plan Vivo projects work with communities who face challenging environmental issues and hardship, who would otherwise lack the financial, technical and organisational ability to shift to more-sustainable land-use and social practices. By purchasing PVCs, a buyer not only helps remove CO2e from the atmosphere, but also promotes a shift to long-term sustainable land-use by communities, which would result in significant environmental and social benefits for generations to come.


5. Tried and tested

Operating since 1994, Plan Vivo is a tried and tested system based around the idea of empowering people to manage their resources. Risk management is built into every stage:

  • Community-led planning of activities, based on local needs and capabilities
  • Staged implementation and performance-based payments linked to successful monitoring
  • Diverse portfolios of areas and multiple species
  • Buffers of unsold carbon maintained to cover risk of losses (risk pooled between projects)
  • Independent certification and continued oversight

Projects are subject to annual reviews and third-party verification to ensure continued conformance to the Plan Vivo Standard. Plan Vivo Certificates are recorded and tracked through the independent Markit Environmental Registry.