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Project expansion to Somoto, Nicaragua

To accommodate for the growing demand for our community based offsets, this coming year Taking Root is expanding our project boundary to include the neighbouring municipality of Somoto. Located to the north of our current project area, Somoto is very similar to San Juan de Limay in terms of climate and culture.This expansion means we will soon have a project in multiple locations. This requires us to conduct a new carbon baseline, recruit new farmers, establish a team of community technicians and create new jobs. Our existing Limay team will do much of the training of the new Somoto team, building their capacity to successfully run the project in this new location.

We are thrilled with this new development as it demonstrates our project’s success, and helps us further reach our goal of reforesting more areas and working with more farmers.

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What is required to expand the project?

As we expand our project boundary to meet the growing demand for our carbon offsets, there is a lot of preparation and work to be done.

This is the second project expansion, and each time we must conduct a new biomass survey of the added area. A biomass survey involves analyzing recent satellite images of the area to map out the different land cover and land uses (agriculture, cattle ranching, forest, or unused land, for example). This also involves sending a team of technicians to measure the aboveground biomass of each of the different land uses so we can estimate how much carbon is already present in the landscape. This biomass survey produces high quality estimates of the carbon baseline for this new project boundary, helping us gage how much carbon we will be adding to the landscape through our project.

Four pairs of technicians are currently conducting these surveys using GIS (Graphical Imaging Systems), which generates hundreds of randomly selected points throughout the landscape. Over the next three to four months, these four teams will go to these points and establish sampling plots of 60 by 60 meters. There they will measure all the trees within that area.

Additionally, another team of technicians has been recruiting farmers within this new region to participate in the project. As of the end of November, all the farmers needed for the coming year have already been recruited, which is a remarkable feat.

With this project expansion, the staff and organizers of the project are able to leverage existing experience and knowledge from Limay. Additionally, we are able to bring Limay farmers and technicians to present to new farmers in Somoto, which has significantly increased the appreciation and approval of the project.

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