Plan Vivo is innovative in its nature and has attracted researchers from around the globe who have explored matters around Plan Vivo-certified projects, emission reduction estimation tools, and the wider Plan Vivo concept. This page provides a library of some of the academic articles and papers that resulted from such research.

Publication year

Summary and connection with Plan Vivo

Full reference and link


A transdisciplinary quantitative analysis of the environmental and social drivers of tree biomass accumulation across 639 smallholder farms restoring native tree species. The study draws on findings from the Scolel’te and Trees for Global Benefits projects.

Wells, G., Fisher, J., Jindal, R., & Ryan, C. (2020). Social as much as environmental: the drivers of tree biomass in smallholder forest landscape restoration programmes. Environmental Research Letters.


Explores the ways in which community groups could use Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) to run a seagrass conservation project. Draws on experiences from the Mikoko Pamoja project.


Exploring the benefits and challenges of rainforest carbon projects, using the Hiniduma Bio-Link project as a case study.

Senadheera, D. L., Wahala, W. M. P. S. B., & Weragoda, S. (2019). Livelihood and ecosystem benefits of carbon credits through rainforests: A case study of Hiniduma Bio-link, Sri Lanka. Ecosystem Services, 37, 100933.


A thesis that investigates the socio-ecological impact of the Arbolivia project on farmers and their farms.

Reijnierse, R. (2019). Commercial Reforestation as a Tool to Build Socio-Ecological Resilience in Smallholder Farms in the Bolivian Lowlands: A Transition Away from Slash and Burn. MSc Thesis, Wageningen University and Research Centre.


Explores Community Forest Enterprises in Tanzania and uses the REDD+ in the Yaeda Valley project as a key example.

Trupin, R., T. Morgan-Brown, H. Doulton & F. Nelson. (2018). Making Community Forest Enterprises Deliver for Livelihoods and Conservation in Tanzania. Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group release


Seeks to understand dynamics and processes around the 'neoliberalisation of nature' by exploring marketisation processes on the ground, using the Mikoko Pamoja project as a case study.


Explores smallholder monitoring methods for PES schemes. Argues for the importance of local participation, and that greater methodological complexity is not necessarily better, amongst other conclusions.

Wells, G., Fisher, J. A., Porras, I., Staddon, S., & Ryan, C. (2017). Rethinking monitoring in smallholder carbon payments for ecosystem service schemes: devolve monitoring, understand accuracy and identify co-benefits. Ecological Economics, 139, 115-127.


Uses the Mikoko Pamoja project as a key case study when discussing how blue carbon projects can be successful.

Wylie, L., Sutton-Grier, A. E., & Moore, A. (2016). Keys to successful blue carbon projects: lessons learned from global case studies. Marine Policy, 65, 76-84.


Using the Scolel’te project to understand the benefits and challenges of using participatory mapping to gain participant buy-in in payments for ecosystem services (PES) projects.

Otto, J. (2016). Participation constrained: Generating buy-in and rationalizing carbon forestry labor through participatory mapping in Southern Mexico. Geoforum, 76, 28-37.


Uses economic valuation approaches to combine socio-economic data, projections of forest cover based on quantitative risk mapping and storyline scenario building exercises to articulate the economic consequences of plausible alternative future scenarios for the mangrove forests of the South Kenya coast. Draws on the Mikoko Pamoja project.


Exploring lessons that can be learned from the Khasi Hills REDD+ project for national REDD+ systems in Asia and the Paris Agreement.

Poffenberger, M. (2015). Restoring and conserving Khasi forests: A community-based REDD strategy from northeast India. Forests, 6(12), 4477-4494.


Explores how Blue Carbon Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) projects could help save mangroves, using the Mikoko Pamoja project as a case study.


Discusses lessons from community-based payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes by examining Plan Vivo projects across sub-Saharan Africa.

Dougill, A. J., Stringer, L. C., Leventon, J., Riddell, M., Rueff, H., Spracklen, D. V., & Butt, E. (2012). Lessons from community-based payment for ecosystem service schemes: from forests to rangelands. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 367(1606), 3178-3190.


A thesis exploring the governance structure and the dynamic relationships between participants and coordinating organisation in the Scolel’te project, and what this suggests about failures of the CDM in Mexico.

Rodriguez, A. A. (2012). Building Networks in the Climate Change Convention: Co-ordination failure in the Establishment of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Mexico. The University of Manchester (United Kingdom).


Assesses the non-biological benefits of shade-growing coffee in Mexico through the Scolel’te project.

Toledo, V. M., & Moguel, P. (2012). Coffee and sustainability: the multiple values of traditional shaded coffee. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 36(3), 353-377.


A review of African smallholder carbon projects to understand what lessons can be shared for future projects. The Trees for Global Benefits project is used as a case study.

Shames, S., Wollenberg, E. K., Buck, L. E., Kristjanson, P. M., Masiga, M., & Biryahwaho, B. (2012). Institutional innovations in African smallholder carbon projects.


Resolving conflict between ecosystem protection and land use of locals and their protected areas in Mexico, and the potential role of policy in this. It uses the Scolel’te project as a case study.

Cortina-Villar, S., Plascencia-Vargas, H., Vaca, R., Schroth, G., Zepeda, Y., Soto-Pinto, L., & Nahed-Toral, J. (2012). Resolving the conflict between ecosystem protection and land use in protected areas of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, Mexico. Environment


Discusses the challenges and opportunities for carbon management in Malawi and Zambia, using the Trees of Hope project as a case study for Malawi.

Stringer, L. C., Dougill, A. J., Mkwambisi, D. D., Dyer, J. C., Kalaba, F. K., & Mngoli, M. (2012). Challenges and opportunities for carbon management in Malawi and Zambia. Carbon Management, 3(2), 159-173.


Comparison of carbon standards for REDD+ certification that ensures net GHG benefits, poverty alleviation, sustainable management of forests and biodiversity conservation.

Merger, E., Dutschke, M., & Verchot, L. (2011). Options for REDD+ voluntary certification to ensure net GHG benefits, poverty alleviation, sustainable management of forests and biodiversity conservation. Forests, 2(2), 550-577.


Research into the impact of the Scolel’te project on land-use and land-rights.

Osborne, T. M. (2011). Carbon forestry and agrarian change: access and land control in a Mexican rainforest. Journal of Peasant Studies, 38(4), 859-883.


Discussing the role of pro-poor forest carbon projects in post-kyoto climate action, using the Scolel’te project as an example.

Paladino, S. (2011). Tracking the Fault Lines of P ro‐P oor Carbon Forestry. Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment, 33(2), 117-132.


The influence of the Scolel’te project on local policy and the creation of the Chiapas Program for Ecosystem Services Compensation (PECSE) scheme.

Ruiz-De-Oña-Plaza, C., Soto-Pinto, L., Paladino, S., Morales, F., & Esquivel, E. (2011). Constructing public policy in a participatory manner: from local carbon sequestration projects to network governance in Chiapas, Mexico. In Carbon sequestration poten


A UNEP report that demonstrates the economic value of mangrove forest services in Kenya, using the Mikoko Pamoja project as an illustration.


Discusses the extent to which agroforestry provides environmental benefits near forest boundaries, using the Scolel’te project as a case study.

Schroth, G., da Mota, M. D. S. S., Hills, T., Soto-Pinto, L., Wijayanto, I., Arief, C. W., & Zepeda, Y. (2011). Linking carbon, biodiversity and livelihoods near forest margins: the role of agroforestry. In Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agroforestry S


Assessing the carbon capture potential of various sinks in Agoroforestry and Non-agroforestry systems of the Scolel’te project.

Soto-Pinto, L., Anzueto, M., Mendoza, J., Ferrer, G. J., & de Jong, B. (2010). Carbon sequestration through agroforestry in indigenous communities of Chiapas, Mexico. Agroforestry Systems, 78(1), 39.


An assessment of the socio-economic benefits that the Trees for Global Benefits project can have, and its ability to address rural poverty.

Carter, S. (2009). Socio-economic benefits in Plan Vivo projects: trees for global benefits, Uganda. Plan Vivo Foundation and ECOTRUST.


Discusses Plan Vivo and the voluntary carbon market, before explaining its potential for watershed improvement projects.

Orrego, J. (2005). The Plan Vivo experience with carbon service provision and the potential lessons for watershed service projects. International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK and ECCM, Edinburgh, UK.


Estimating the cost of carbon sequestration in Mexico, using the Scolel’te project as a case study.

Del Rio, P., & Bennett, J. (2003). Estimating the costs of atmospheric carbon reductions in Mexico.