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Climate Action Plan Brochure - Climate Action Plan


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									Climate Action Plan
Climate change and global poverty are perhaps the two most important challenges that we face, and there
is increasing recognition that we have a responsibility to be part of the solution. The ArBolivia Project
provides a compelling opportunity to demonstrate this responsibility and make a real difference.

Through the purchase of ecosystem services, you can support a whole new model of enterprise that
combats poverty, empowers communities and tackles the root cause of deforestation, which is accepted as
a major cause of climate change. Apart from actually reducing the amount of carbon emissions we
produce, one of the most valuable methods of combating climate change is to convert carbon dioxide into
oxygen and carbon in the form of trees.

There are a number of “plant a tree” schemes operating in the UK and elsewhere. However we can
demonstrate that the purchase of ecosystem services from the Arbolivia Project offers significantly greater
value for money, not only in terms of carbon sequestered, but also with regard to biodiversity gains and
economic value to the farmers. Every 2,000 trees grown results in the following benefits:

       565 tonnes carbon sequestered (equivalent to the average UK person’s carbon footprint over 23
       More than 1 acre of wildlife corridor created
       1 peasant farmer and family receive an additional source of income that can treble their income
        over the lifetime of the trees
       500 carbon credits retired

We invite you to be part of this solution by paying for the growing of native hardwood trees.
How Does The Plan Work?
You decide how much you would like to pay for ecosystem services.
This might be a set figure from a CSR or philanthropy budget, or you may wish to purchase ecosystem
services in place of carbon offsetting. We can help companies to calculate their carbon footprint. For
individuals, we recommend basing calculations on the average per capita carbon footprint for a UK
individual which is around 12.2 tonnes per annum.

You purchase ecosystem services
You specify how much you would like to pay and we allocate specified trees to your account. You complete
a form and make payment.

You receive certification
You receive a certificate verifying your purchase and specifying the ecosystem services that you have
purchased as below.

What Do I get?
You will receive the following:

       GPS co-ordinates of the trees for which ecosystem services have been purchased allowing you to
        view the location on Google Earth
       Certification of the amount of carbon sequestered by the trees
       Details of the smallholders and their families on whose land the trees are planted
       Information on the species of trees planted
       An opportunity to visit the farmers
       Updates on the project
Why Should I Take out a Plan?
Your financial contribution is a clear and very tangible demonstration of your environmental and social
commitment. Once you have taken all the steps you can to reduce your carbon footprint (planting trees is
in no way a substitute for actually reducing your carbon footprint), this is one of the very best ways of
moving toward carbon neutrality. Not only can you use your money to absorb as much carbon as you use,
but there are significant biodiversity and social benefits.

                                         Environmental Benefits of The Project

                                            High rates of carbon capture through reforestation in the
                                            Avoidance of further deforestation
                                            Enhanced biodiversity
                                            Nature conservation
                                            Protection of stocks of native seed
                                            More sustainable agricultural practices
                                            Intercropping to produce food as well as timber
                                            Carbon capture through intercropping
                                            Low impact on soil, water systems and micro-climate
                                            Enhanced soil water retention leading to reduced flooding
                                            Erosion control

Social returns of The Project

       Prospective trebling of incomes on forested land of participating smallholders
       Increased incomes from non-forested land through increased yields
       Increased incomes from fair trade accreditation and collective bargaining
       Employment of up to 200 people in the nurseries (during high season)
       Establishment of microenterprises including seed farms, nurseries and maintenance contractors
       Capacity building through forestry committees, marketing support and technical assistance
       Education and practical training in farm and forestry management
       Contribution to gender / ethnic equality
Isn’t it better to support UK Tree Planting?
Although planting broadleaf trees in the UK is to be welcomed, planting trees in the Arbolivia Project
compares very favourably on cost, carbon sequestration, social benefits and biodiversity gains. For
example, the cost of planting a native oak tree in the UK through the Woodland Trust is £15.00. An English
oak tree will in its lifetime photosynthesise and store one tonne of CO2 and a mature oak can live to an
average of one hundred years. By comparison a typical tropical species can store 1 tonne of carbon in just
20 years. Even when we allow for thinning of forestry parcels over a 20 year cycle the average is still 282kg
per tree - and at a cost of just £5.00 per tree. In the ArBolivia project, native rainforest trees are
predominantly grown for commercial timber, which means that they will at some stage be cut down again.
This does mean that they will stop absorbing CO2 but it does not mean that the wood products they
produce will stop storing carbon for decades to come. This means that, pound for pound, planting a tree in
Bolivia is around 4 times more effective at offsetting carbon emissions than planting a tree in the UK.

Furthermore, in 2009 there were 2 endangered bird species and 14 endangered plant species in the UK,
compared with 31 and 72 respectively in Bolivia. This means that enhancing biodiversity is at least as
important in Bolivia as it is in the UK, if not more so.

Not only this, but the difference that the project makes to smallholder incomes in Bolivia is truly significant,
and through this project farmers have far less incentive to engage in further deforestation, so that the
overall carbon benefit is higher still.

The Arbolivia Project
The Amazon Rainforest is almost unquestionably one of the most valuable and important single habitats on
our planet making a vital contribution in maintaining the balance of oxygen in our atmosphere and
providing unrivalled biodiversity 1. Over the last few decades, however, the western fringes of the Amazon
have been the scene of some of the most aggressive deforestation in the world2. Driven by desperation,
migrants have moved down from the Andes and have now been granted official title to land within the
perimeter of the rainforest, enabling them to exploit the valuable timber and establish smallholdings to eke
out a living from the land3.

After decades of adopting poor
agricultural practices and without the
capital to invest in a viable
alternative, smallholders are still
forced to continue their "slash and
burn" methods in order to maintain
their meagre existence. To compound
the problem one of their main
traditional crops is coca, which whilst
being a legal substance for domestic
consumption, poses a significant risk
of enticing desperate smallholders
into the illegal drugs trade. Without
an alternative, these problems will

The ArBolivia Project was established to tackle these multiple problems, following a pilot project in 1995 of
the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the European Union and the Belgian
government together with the regional government in Bolivia. After 6 years of monitoring and research
ArBolivia successfully registered the project as a Carbon Development Mechanism , selling the credits for
the years 2008 – 2012 to the Belgian government (following the failure of Copenhagen the Bolivian
government no longer supports the CDM convention and as a result ArBolivia is now focussing on selling
ecosystem services, in line with national policy). 1500 hectares of trees have now been planted, with a
target of 5,000 hectares. These comprise small, isolated parcels owned by roughly 2000 smallholders who
belong to farmer co-operatives. A further 1,200 hectares will be planted purely for conservation.
Technical assistance is provided to the farmers so that they can derive a better income from their land as a
whole and can also manage this in a more ecologically sustainable manner. Intercropping is encouraged so
that farmers can cultivate both food crops and timber on the same plot of land, whilst predominantly
native species of trees are used in a patchwork of different tree types. Instead of planting one non-
indigenous tree type in a concentrated area, over 18 different species have been planted on widely
dispersed small plots of land. This results in huge biodiversity gains, and together with the focus on putting
farmers’ interests at the heart of the project, make Arbolivia a very special forestry project that stands out
from other ‘sustainable’ forestry schemes (see below for further details).

Most importantly, this new model of community-based forestry shares the net proceeds of the timber
equally between investors in the project and farmers, thereby giving farmers sufficient economic incentive
to both reforest part of their land and to remove the need to clear further areas of prime tropical
rainforest. A series of research documents and evaluation tools relating to the project is available at:

What Makes The Project ‘Special’
The commercial forestry enterprise undertaken by the ArBolivia project is very different from more
conventional forestry plantations, even those that are termed ‘sustainable’:

        The forested land is not owned by the project manager. Each forestry parcel is owned by an
        individual smallholder. As at 1st October 2010 the forested areas consist of 2789 separate
        “sectores” (an area defined by a specific species and planting date) spread across a wide area.

       This geographic distribution and isolation of individual parcels means that any incidence of fire,
        disease or insect attack is confined and will have little or no impact on other forestry parcels,
        providing highly effective natural, risk management.

       Enhanced biodiversity - Farmers can choose from 18 native tree species as well as teak, which is not
        indigenous but is a globally popular timber species that has adapted well locally. Having a range of
        indigenous tree species on widely dispersed plots contrasts starkly with the norm of monoculture
        plantations where “identikit” trees stretch monotonously in to the horizon. This diversity is not only
    good for the environment but it means that smallholders are able to select species to match the
    exact conditions of their land, ensuring that survival rates and yields are optimised.

   The high levels of technical expertise and management demanded by this model serve to reduce
    significantly the risk of disease or poor growth

   Some of the species are faster growing but the most valuable timber is from trees which may take
    35 – 40 years to mature. This is much longer than most commercial forestry enterprises will
    entertain so the ability to generate revenues from environmental services whilst the trees are
    growing is extremely valuable.

   Equal share in timber revenues for poor farmers - Profits are shared between local farmers and
    investors. The average current annual earnings of participating smallholders are only around
    $2,300 and the livelihood of local farmers is central to the vision and operation of the project. By
    participating in the project smallholders can expect to treble their earnings on their forested land
    over the 40 year project term. Smallholders are also benefitting from both financial and practical
    assistance to increase efficiency and the yields on their remaining land through agro-forestry (e.g.
    cocoa and citrus fruits) and through collective bargaining and fair trade accreditation

   Improved Agricultural Management - Arbolivia works with smallholders to improve agricultural
    management practices, thereby reducing deforestation and improving smallholder incomes.

   Education and Capacity Building - Many additional social benefits are provided though a
    programme of education and capacity building, which makes use of existing social structures such
    as community committees, farmers co-operatives and other NGOs working in the area. For
    example, training on fire risks and control is an important additional weapon against “slash and
    burn” farming methods. The Society also wants to promote the integrated approach of the project
    on websites, publications and presentations for schools, local organisations and business clubs.
       Avoided deforestation – the project addresses the root causes of deforestation by providing a real
        economic alternative to further deforestation and by improving agricultural practices.

       Nature conservation - A conservation project has been initiated to plant 400,000 trees in
        designated conservation areas. The objective is to counter the loss of biodiversity by repairing
        dedicated areas and corridors in order to provide a network of secure habitats and thoroughfares.
        Much of the conservation work is focussed on controlling erosion from increased local flooding
        during the wet season (which is itself a direct consequence of deforestation).

       Technical & Marketing Support - Smallholders receive one-to-one practical advice and support on
        all aspects of farm management, including land use, crop and stock selection as well as marketing

       Intercropping - Many of the trees are inter-planted with other crops to improve fertility, reduce
        labour, provide structural support, competition for growth and increased yields per hectare.

       Locally sourced seed - The project only buys locally sourced seed. ArBolivia certifies the best seed
        trees, which then provide a source of income for the owner and a financial incentive to preserve
        the tree for the future .

       NGO Alliances - ArBolivia has also fostered relations with other NGOs and development projects,
        including, for example, a fair-trade organic cocoa project based at ArBolivia’s office in Chapare.

Verification & Transparency
Many of these benefits have been independently verified and through, it is possible to
connect with individual farmers by viewing the details of both farmers and tree species associated with
individual plots. ArBolivia was one of the first reforestation projects to receive accreditation from the
United Nations Framework for Consensus on Climate Change. In our view, this demonstrates clearly that
ArBolivia meets with the highest standards of due diligence and on-going public scrutiny. The full
validation report can be found on the UNFCCC website at:
Key Parties

Sicirec Group
The overall design and financing of the ArBolivia project is the responsibility of Sicirec Group, a private
consultancy based in The Netherlands. .Sicirec SA was originally established in 1991 in Costa Rica by Popko
P. van der Molen and has been one of the leading environmental consultancies in its field for almost 20
years with experience of designing and managing successful commercial projects in developing countries in
Latin America, South America and Africa. In order to deliver the project on the ground Sicirec Group has
established a separate, independent company, Sicirec Bolivia SA which is registered in Bolivia. Sicirec Group
does not own shares in Sicirec Bolivia but is represented on its board of directors. This ensures that, in the
event of the demise of Sicirec Group, no charge would be levied against the assets of Sicirec Bolivia.

The Cochabamba Project Ltd.
This is an industrial & provident society for the benefit of the community with over 150 members and £1
million invested. The Society invests in the Arbolivia project, owning the rights to 50% of the timber
revenue from specified hectares.

Popko van der Molen, Sicirec Director
Mr van der Molen, a biologist and forest ecologist, established Sicirec SA in 1991 in Costa Rica with the
remit of providing services for investors in tropical forestry (primarily teak). In 1997 Mr van der Molen
became vice president of a failing plantation teak forestry company, Bosque Puerto Carrillo (BPC) and led a
successful effort to rescue the business.. He left in 2001 to concentrate on developing new projects and in
particular the FAO pilot project which became ArBolivia.

David Vincent, The Cochabamba Project Director
David began his career in financial services in 1988 and established his firm Ethical Investments in 1996
with a view to advising on investments which incorporated social and environmental criteria. Together with
John Fleetwood he co-founded the Ethical Investment Association, a trade association for independent
financial advisers with a specific interest in socially responsible investment. David became involved in
forestry investment in 2003, initially working as a consultant for the Quadris Environmental Fund. In 2009
David took the decision to focus on the promotion of specific social and environmental projects. The
Cochabamba Project Limited is the first of such projects.

John Fleetwood, The Cochabamba Project Director
John Fleetwood has been involved in the financial services industry since 1991, initially as an independent
financial adviser specialising in ethical investment, and latterly developing ethical investment portfolios
that focus on investing in solutions to social and environmental challenges. John’s company, Ethical
Money, provides consultancy services to a number of ethical fund and portfolio managers and has
increasingly focussed on investments with a high social or environmental impact.

David Jackman, Advisor
David is the author of the FSA's Training and Competence rules and was part of the management team that
set up the FSA. Previously he was in charge of T&C, internal training and consumer education at IMRO and
had related roles at SFA and the Securities and Investment Institute. David started his career in banking.
As first 'Business Ethics Adviser' for FSA David pioneered principles-based regulation and Treating
Customers Fairly (TCF). He joined Group in October 2006 to steer the development of
services particularly focussing on business principles and ethics.

Mike Berners-Lee, Advisor
Mike is a director of Small World consulting group which brings together environmental and business
expertise, to enable strategic and value enhancing responses to climate change. Mike is an expert in
greenhouse gas footprinting and organisation development and author of “How Bad Are Bananas?: The
carbon footprint of everything”.
Contact David Vincent for further information:

T: 0114 236 8168
P: Ethical Investments, 100 Whirlowdale Road,
Sheffield, S7 2NJ

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