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Global opportunity explorer

Global Opportunity Explorer2019 Insights

A celebration of on-going activities on the Global Opportunity Explorer


Taking Root is putting a face on the smallholder farmers in Nicaragua who are reforesting their land. Through sales of carbon credits and traceable forest products, they can connect farmers who choose to reforest parts of their land with access to additional income streams.

Taking Root works with smallholder farmers in northern Nicaragua to encourage them to plant trees in exchange for income from either carbon credits or traceable forest products. Taking Root uses GPS techniques and field visits to monitor the growth of trees on every plot, in order to generate carbon credits certified by international standard ‘Plan Vivo’. These carbon credits are then sold by Taking Root on behalf of the farmers who are then paid in cash. Every farm and farmer can be seen online with their digital map called Farm-Trace. The company estimates that their carbon offsets program employs over 1,200 farmers each year, and has resulted in 2.2 million trees being planted.

The company also works with farmers to plant and harvest coffee and timber products that can be traced back to where they were grown, using their Farm-Trace website, which also tracks how many trees have been planted, the total area reforested, and how much income has been generated by farmers.

Why you should care

Agriculture, forestry and other land use is responsible for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and economic incentives for agricultural activities are strong drivers for rural communities to deforest their land. Taking Root makes incentives to leave trees in the ground and plant more trees accessible to smallholder farmers, creating numerous social and environmental benefits, such as biodiversity protection, carbon capture, watershed restoration, prevention of soil erosion and more.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Decent work and economic growth

Taking Root provides an additional stream of income for smallholder farmers by helping them to generate value from unused land.

Climate action

Reforestation adds to natural carbon sinks that help to offset greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. Additionally, Taking Root is helping to improve smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate change because forest products tend to be less vulnerable than seasonal agricultural crops.

Life on land

Taking Root’s reforestation initiative has already planted over 2.2 million trees, and creates a strong economic incentive for farmers to preserve forests rather than cutting them down.