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Taking Root Project Updates

Taking Root Earns the Rainforest Alliance Verified Mark for its Community and Environment Benefits

rav We are happy to announce that Rainforest Alliance has just provided independent verification of Taking Root’s full compliance with the Plan Vivo Standards. This is great news for Taking Root – it tells the marketplace that it can trust Taking Root’s program and its carbon offsets.

Last fall, Rainforest Alliance conducted an extensive independent audit of Taking Root’s CommuniTree Carbon Program in Nicaragua. The Auditors were asked to evaluate whether the program was in compliance with the strict Plan Vivo Standards for environmental and social sustainability, and to determine whether its carbon sequestration data was accurate and credible. The Audit was conducted this spring, and the results released in May.

Above: Taking Root Executive Director Kahlil Baker discusses the CommuniTree Program with Klaus Geiger, Carbon Auditor for Rainforest Alliance.

Above: Taking Root Executive Director Kahlil Baker discusses the CommuniTree Program with Klaus Geiger, Carbon Auditor for Rainforest Alliance.

Despite difficult droughts over the last couple of years, Taking Root’s CommuniTree Carbon Program has actually sequestered more carbon than initially projected. This is largely the result of our continuous monitoring protocols and philosophy of adaptive management where plantations are continuously adjusted based on real-time data.

Rainforest Alliance auditor Klaus Geiger commented on Taking Root’s monitoring technology stating that:

One of the things that impressed me the most with Taking Root was their innovative use of custom-built technology – usually reserved for large forestry operations – to bring professional forest management practices to individual smallholders’ farms.

This certification – and Geiger’s comments about the monitoring technology – follows recent news that Taking Root’s monitoring and evaluation program won an international award.

The Rainforest Alliance audit group evaluates forestry operations all over the world, and the entire Rainforest Alliance organization has a reputation for being uncompromising. Praise from the Rainforest Alliance must be well earned, which makes the comments from auditor Freddy Ramirez especially meaningful:

It was a great pleasure seeing a team so dedicated to the cause and with so many women on the team. You have done an excellent job and the level of respect towards the farmers that you serve was greatly noted. Your work serves as a success story at both the local and national level.

Above: Rainforest Alliance auditor Freddy Ramirez and Taking Root’s Chief of Operations, Elvin Castellon, inspect the growth of a 2011 plantation.

Above: Rainforest Alliance auditor Freddy Ramirez and Taking Root’s Chief of Operations, Elvin Castellon, inspect the growth of a 2011 plantation.

At Taking Root, knowledge that our plantations can withstand unpredictable weather events such as drought gives us the added confidence that – with the right program and the right technology – carbon sequestration through small-scale reforestation can make a measurable difference, even in the face of dramatic changes in local climate conditions.

The innovations Taking Root is testing in Nicaragua have implications far beyond the current CommuniTree program – we are developing and testing our model and technology to have worldwide implications. With the Rainforest Alliance Verification, this model just passed a very important test.

To learn more about the Rainforest Alliance and their work with carbon projects visit: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/business/climate/validation-verification/standards



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