Company tries to weather carbon market downturn

25 June 2014

In 2007, the international community announced a bold new plan to preserve tropical forests with the creation of a mechanism that enabled people living on the land to earn a living from the land.

Called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) the idea was to encourage developing countries to protect natural resources from resource exploitation in addition to promoting biodiversity and conservation by creating a market for carbon offset credits. At the time, REDD+ was hailed as a breakthrough for subsistence communities being thrust headlong into the 21st century.

Doing well by doing good

Receiving money for not chopping down trees - that was the deal - and the independent Afro-Columbian community of the Choco-Darien region in Colombia took it.

They were helped by Anthrotect, a California company, co-founded by social entrepreneurs Brodie Ferguson and Emily Roynestad living in Colombia and California respectively. The 13,465-hectare REDD+ project called the COCOMASUR Conservation Corridor launched in 2010 was among the first of its kind to permit the sale of carbon credits from a community-owned forest.

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