ClimeCo Projects Benefit Communities Around The Globe
by: Dustin Zimmer
ClimeCo is committed to benefiting local communities surrounding our environmental projects around the globe. From a mangrove in Indonesia to a schoolhouse in Cote’ d’Ivoire, and many other places in-between, ClimeCo goes beyond our environmental goals to deliver valuable co-benefits to the local population. These projects can provide direct investment and revenue to local communities, improving livelihoods, health, and economic development.
Mangrove Restoration in Indonesia
Strengthening Mangrove Restoration Through Community Involvement
In 2022, ClimeCo started project work in the Aceh and North Sumatra regions of Indonesia, focused on ecosystem restoration and creating sustainable forms of revenue for local communities. To ensure we maximize community engagement and build lasting relationships, ClimeCo partnered with Yayasan Konservasi Pesisir Indonesia (YAKOPI), a non-profit organization based in the region. YAKOPI works with local communities and government to restore damaged and unhealthy mangroves and encourage the development of economies that sustainably utilize coastal ecosystems. ClimeCo was initially contacted by PUR Projet, a global leader in nature-based solutions focused on empowering local communities through long-term socio-environmental projects, to offer advice and recommendations to YAKOPI.
Aligned with local custom, YAKOPI approached leaders and elders from over 200 villages to initiate public engagement. After obtaining permission and support, YAKOPI socialized the project with communities, focusing on groups of farmers responsible for managing and using community mangrove areas. Mutual decisions were then made by the project team, village, and farmer groups as to how the project would be implemented. While the project team worked onsite to train employees to execute the restoration, they also supported the public’s understanding of the benefits of silvofisheries, ecotourism, and the financial skills necessary to support the growth of small businesses.
YAKOPI also embedded staff in local communities to learn and understand their needs and concerns. YAKOPI’s community-led development approach has resulted in a project that community members support, providing them with a sense of ownership and agency.
This project was designed to create gender-equitable employment while integrating and respecting local customs and was accomplished by utilizing community feedback from our consultations. The improved livelihoods of the local villages and the long-term success of this mangrove reforestation project are interdependent. With the support of our local partners and communities, this project has all the necessary elements to achieve both.
Supporting Native Villages and a Youth Camp in Alaska
The coastal areas of Afognak Island in Alaska are home to 200- to 300-year-old forests, Kodiak brown bears, river otters, beaver, elk, salmon and bald eagles. Sea lions and harbor seals swim in sight of humpback whales offshore in the Gulf of Alaska’s temperate waters. The towering coastal rainforests, however, have an increasingly important environmental value: they sequester millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. This creates a new resource opportunity that protects the forest and habitat based on their environmental benefits.
Forestry Project in Alaska (Image Courtesy: TRPR)
ClimeCo took over the project in 2022 and has committed to supporting local indigenous communities with funds from the sale of carbon credits. In 2023, ClimeCo donated $50,000 to support the Native Village of Afognak and the Port Lions Tribal Council. The donations will fund supplies for an Afognak youth culture camp, enhance transportation and provide much-needed repair to tribal buildings, including a preschool. Other social benefits of the project include sustaining traditional subsistence fishing by the coastal-dwelling Alutilq people, supplying pristine environments for hunting and fishing, and providing a financial incentive to Native corporations to preserve forests on Afognak Island.
Providing Good Wages for Women in Southeast Asia
TONTOTON recovers post-consumer, non-recyclable, ocean-bound plastic waste, often called orphan plastic. There are active operations in Vietnam, with the United Nations Development Program partnered expansion in Cambodia. The plastic credits from TONTOTON are the world’s first from an independent protocol using third-party verification. One credit equals one tonne of physical plastic waste removed from the marine-bound environment. ClimeCo is TONTOTON’s exclusive partner for plastic credit development and transactions, which will help fund future plastic waste neutralization efforts.
Plastic Collection Project in Vietnam and Cambodia
TONTOTON’s focus on no-value, non-recyclable plastics creates the additionality of removing waste from the environment that otherwise would remain. The plastic credit mechanism allows TONTOTON to create financial incentives for workers with new income and employment opportunities.
The TONTOTON project has significant co-benefits for economically stressed local workers. Under this program, these workers, who are primarily female, receive above-average pay, personal protective equipment and primary health insurance for those who need it. The project is also working to provide education and guidance to local governments to build sustainable waste management infrastructure in places where it does not exist.
Creating Employment Opportunities in the Cloud Forests of Colombia
High in the mountainous cloud forests of Colombia lies one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. With nearly two million species of plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms, these remote rainforests hold approximately 1/6 of our planet’s total biodiversity. ClimeCo, in partnership with UPROAR, Saving Nature, and Fundación Bioconservancy is collecting and growing seeds from over 400 different native tree species to reforest and regenerate the project area and reconnect wildlife corridors to support biodiversity in the Andean mountains. The total expected carbon sequestration over the 40-year project lifetime is more than 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Forest Restoration Project in Cambodia
This project provides direct employment opportunities for many community members in nearby La Mesenia village. Fundación Bioconservancy promotes a working family model where both men and women can actively participate in the Project with an emphasis on activities that promote the involvement of women in the area. Tree planting has created additional economic opportunities, with women-led community nurseries collecting and germinating the seeds, and ultimately supplying the seedlings for the reforestation work. Community members have contributed valuable knowledge on growing the seedlings, as well as on the distribution and behavior of wild fauna. All employed community members are compensated more than 50% above the Colombian national minimum wage and receive other employment benefits. Women leading the community nurseries said income from the trees has directly benefitted priority groups of individuals, including people with disabilities, children, pregnant women, young women and seniors. The economic benefits of this Project have materialized for families in the form of housing infrastructure, market and food items, medical expenses, clothing, travel, transportation, and education.
In January 2023, a massive landslide and debris flow occurred in the La Mesenia village that caused extensive damage to the road network. Without the road network, community members are extremely limited to alternative transportation routes. The project team also needed access to the road network to transport the seedlings in a timely fashion, as the community partners had been growing thousands of seedlings that were ready for planting. There was a limited window of opportunity to move the seedlings from the nurseries because once the seedlings get too big, they become increasingly difficult to transport. ClimeCo supplied emergency funds totaling $30,000 to repair the road infrastructure to support the community and ensure that seedlings continued to move from the nurseries to the project areas.
Improving the Lives of Families in Togo
ClimeCo has helped to distribute more than 20,000 cookstoves in Lomé, Togo, a project that allows for carbon-crediting submissions with Gold Standard. ClimeCo is working with local NGO leaders on training, sales, and distribution, and the company hopes eventually to distribute 200,000 cookstoves in the region. The Togo Ministry of the Environment is excited about the prospects for the project and its impact on local communities.
Cookstove Project in Togo
These stoves are created locally, avoiding transportation emissions, from almost entirely recycled material. Clay hearts are combined with hand-shaped recycled sheet metal to create a durable product, avoiding additional emissions from upstream materials sourcing. ClimeCo also met with the mayors and chiefs of impacted communities and the families who are buying and using these cookstoves. ClimeCo’s funds are helping the logistics of transporting these cookstoves to remote villages. The cookstoves promote better health than traditional cooking methods due to less smoke being inhaled. The cookstoves also have the monetary benefit of requiring less charcoal to be purchased.
Empowering Education in West Africa
The Women and Youth Empowerment (WaY) Project in Cote’ d’Ivoire recovers post-consumer, non-recyclable, ocean-bound plastic waste. The recovered plastic is recycled in Conceptos Plasticos’ facility to produce 100% plastic construction bricks. The project is partnered with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) to build schools from recycled bricks. So far, 38 schools have been built by UNICEF with WaY Project plastic. These schools are constructed in areas lacking sufficient educational facilities and capacity. Every classroom built uses 5-7 tonnes of recovered plastic waste.
Plastic Recycling Project in Cote’ d’Ivoire
More than half a million pounds of ocean-bound plastic pollution have been removed from the environment (generating 227 carbon credits) in The WaY Project plastic credit program. 97% of program participants are female, receiving equal work opportunities, upskilling training, and national health system enrollment. The project participant workers are paid double the market rate per kilogram. ClimeCo serves as the exclusive marketer of the plastic credits that the WaY project will generate, which will help fund future plastic waste neutralization efforts.
Whether it is empowering women through employment, developing educational opportunities, repairing culturally significant buildings, providing health insurance options, rebuilding damaged roads, distributing cookstoves, or helping to construct classrooms, ClimeCo is committed to serving the local communities with co-benefits that go beyond their efforts to protect, sustain and restore the natural ecosystems related to their environmental projects.
ClimeCo believes that the involvement of Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLC) throughout the project implementation process is key to ensuring that carbon projects reflect and adapt to a dynamic and evolving political and policy landscape. Prioritizing increased ownership, agency, community involvement, and long-term engagement should not only constitute the paramount objective of projects that involve IPLCs, but it also is an operative and fundamental prerequisite to safeguarding the integrity of the generated carbon credits. To learn more about ClimeCo’s high-integrity projects and benefits, please contact us or email our team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.