What Makes Us Distinctive

We believe that the ArBolivia Project is highly distinctive for a number of reasons and it is the combination of these multiple characteristics that mark the project out amongst other forestry investments, carbon credit schemes and conservation projects.  In particular, the project has the following features:

Farmers treated as partners

The ArBolivia Project splits the profits from timber revenues equally with farmers, rather than paying local people a salary and exporting most of the profit overseas.  A consultative approach is adopted with farmers having the ultimate say on what is planted and harvested.  Forestry committees also ensure that farmers get a fair say.

Scalable, business solution

The project has been structured so that it can be replicated more widely, both within Bolivia and elsewhere. We think that the project is far more likely to be sustainable, and ultimately successful, by addressing social and environmental problems with a business solution.  Some aspects of the project require grant funding as they have no commercial value, but the root cause of deforestation in Bolivia is the poverty that leads to slash and burn farming.  The only truly sustainable solution is to address that poverty with a business approach.

Focus on areas of greatest stress

The project works with land that was previously deforested on the fringe of the Amazon rainforest.  This is where the pressure on the rainforest is at its greatest, as slash and burn agriculture brings about deforestation from the edge inwards.  There is no point conserving areas deep in the rainforest that are not under threat anyway.   In Bolivia, the Amazon is being eroded from the margins.

Premier carbon credits

Buying carbon credits from the ArBolivia Project does much more than offset the carbon footprint of an organisation or individual.  It represents an investment in livelihoods, conservation and a long term solution to deforestation.  We can link buyers to specific communities so that there is a really close connection between the buyer and the project.  In recognition of our social and environmental credentials, we are doubly certified under both Gold Standard and Plan Vivo.

Find out more about our VERs

Creation of biodiverse environments

The plantations established by the ArBolivia Project are highly diverse, since the project works with 10 native hardwood species that are planted as part of varied farms distributed over a very wide area.  Conservation areas have also been created.  This is in stark contrast to the typical ‘sustainable forestry’ plantation that operates as a monoculture of non-indigenous trees, that might be likened to a ‘green desert’.

Coffee and other crops are grown between the trees to provide a short term income for the farmers whilst the trees grow.

Our farmer partners often keep animals for their own consumption since they are largely living on a subsistence basis

The ArBolivia Project creates biodiverse plantations unlike this monoculture of Eucalyptus trees