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Idea: To reward young farmers with a monthly account pay or with a soft loan, for caring for young trees, standard pay-per-tree system, operate like micro finance and mobile banking, use global crowdfunding for sponsoring, claim carbon credits.
Keep the youth in the villages, give them a future!!

Wouldn’t it be great if young tree growers could stay in their village because there was simple and transparent, KIVA-like TreeCredits pay-per-tree system .

Problem setting:
Lord Nicholas Stern: “The two defining challenges of our century are climate change and poverty. And if we fail on one, we will fail on the other”. 2009

Solution indication:
Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General: “Like in Microfinance, women can be agents of climate change too.” December 2, 2009


Complex problems call for integrated solutions and global problems call for sustainable systems with very small implementation costs and carbon footprint.
Like in macro finance, the outreach should be profitable and could make a living for local field officers and accountants Smart use of mobile phones and satellites could help to keep their numbers low, to enable quick scale up.
Like KIVA one should work with existing community based groups.

I succeeded to condense most of it into 18 tweets. For more in depth information see the 2 reports attached.

TC1) If we plant 1.2Trillion trees (Qt. like existing forest) we might stabilize CO2 at a sustainable level by 2050

TC2) If we leave the planting of trees to the communities themselves, we might do it economically and without conflict.

TC3) If we work with existing young farmers and women groups and learn from microfinance, we might be effective

TC4) If we start growing trees while still at school, children will get linked to the village earth and a future (income)

TC5) If we allow for profits, to be made at all levels of organisation the project might spread like mobile banking.

TC6) If we provide tree planters a regular monthly maintenance fee, more of their young trees will grow up

TC7) If we use the pay-per-tree principle at all levels, administration will be simplified and sponsoring made easy

TC8) If we develop standards and an internet payment system, the scheme could go worldwide

TC9) If we use social control like in MFI loan groups, the group being responsible about correct tree count, fraud might be minimal.

TC10) If we could have a tree count from the air or space (before + after situation) we could minimize the carbon footprint of monitoring

TC11) If we discourage monoculture and single species plantations and encourage endemic trees we will further biodiversity

TC12) If we support planting of traditional food “forests” around the homes, people could harvest there most of their daily needs

TC13) If we promote agroforestry, the use of nitrogen binding trees for fertilizer, tropical farmers might triple their output

TC14) If we promote high yielding fruit, nut, rubber, coffee, medicinal and timber tree crops, a good income could be generated

TC15)  If we recycle most of the wood/leaves into compost, then, some biomass can be used in power plants and in wood saving stoves.

TC16) If we plant trees, our home environment will be shaded and our regional climate and rainfall will be stabilized

TC17) If we use wood + wood products to produce durable goods, like houses, cars, furniture and toys, the CO2 will stay locked-in, long term

TC18) “If we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope.” Prof. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement

Besides planting private lands, the government might have to act, to facilitate community mixed-use forestry on state lands

Only the amount and method of payment might have to vary, because it is more difficult to grow and protect trees in arid places than tropical ones.

Practical action
TreeCredits principles have been introduced into the ongoing OARM (see rainforest replanting programmes; in their latest planting high yielding fruit, coconut and rubber trees have been mixed with the endemic jungle species, to secure a future food and income for the village as well as linking existing jungle patches for biodiversity.
In Trichy TN India, PSA permalink. a local NGO/ MFI, has started a tree nursery and model food garden, and will introduce excess to a full tree credits program soon.

So not so many practical results yet, but at least each step of the plan is already working well, look at MFIs, “Community Development”, agricultural extension, agroforestry consultants, MFI crowd funding, like KIVA , CDM carbon credits, and I known all these fields first hand.

Innovative in the tree credit concept are:

  • micro-investing, suitable for tree growing
  • the standardised “pay-per-tree” practice
  • the commercial operation and marketing

To further work out (and start up!) these systems we would welcome an external grand.

Each part of this concept has been designed with the following question in mind:

Will this scheme become part of a global solution with a small carbon footprint and with simple and transparent implementation and monitoring systems, or be a part of the problem, (as so many do). Will it bring peace and harmony.

Solar forestry:
Since this food, income, climate system is envisioned as a part of an integral solution to world problems, we should include water and energy in the system too.
Especially alternative energy seems to conflict with trees, since trees bring shade and cut wind……but after all it might be a winning combination in surprising fields!
If a tree nursery and research center will be combined with a PV solar plant of +_+ 500kW (the optimum size!), mainly to sell to the grid.

Use the shade of the solar panels to protect the seedlings against the harsh tropical climate and the moisture of the plants to cool the solar panels from underneath, cooling improves their performance.
Synergy includes combining Project Financing, Planning, Viability– Housing, Roads, Fencing, Maintenance, Research facility, — Work, Income, Water + Energy supply, Community Participation
see for details

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