It is their member associations we work with on the ground. For our own management we set up a Cambodian company, Cambodia Farmland Carbon, CAFACA.
In Uganda, we have – for the government of Denmark – done quality checks of local NGOs that work with Danish NGOs and receive Danish funds. Through this we found CIDI (Community Integrated Development Initiatives), who is our direct partner and organise the plantings in Uganda for our sponsors/clients.
In Vietnam we work together with ActionAid Vietnam
Our trusted partners in Uganda, Cambodia, and Vietnam work with many communities, schools, churches or temples. They ask these – local project owners – to suggest suitable planting sites for our trees. We only collaborate with strong, trustworthy communities, so we visit and check the suggested locations and project owners.
Once we’ve identified and verified a project owner, our local partner signs a contract with a responsible person or group within that community. In this contract, it is stated that TROFACO and its partners will pay for the living seedlings (trees to be planted). So the community gets trees for free, and in return, they are responsible for replanting trees that die within the first two years of planting.
As a safeguard, if anything should go wrong with a planting, we have procedures in place to make sure that all trees paid for are re-planted. In that case our sponsors/client will be notified of this. Furthermore, not all the community’s share from the sales of CO2 compensation are released at once. Rather we pay after each time trees have been inspected and found still standing. If the amount of trees in a planting has decreased, so will the following payment. That is your guarantee that everyone
We need reports from the communities about the trees, and for this we train local people as verification experts. In Cambodia, these are employed directly by us, while in Uganda they are the staff of our partners. They are always somebody well respected in the area and often have extensive NGO experience.
We supply the verification experts with smartphones. Then we train them to take pictures that clearly show the trees. If needed, we put a small stick next to each small tree for visibility.
Each image is supplied with GPS-data and a time stamp. Our friendly ICT partner, Manao Software, has developed software, which reads the GPS information and date from each photo. This in order to display them to you on our website with each image placed on a map. These are then updated with intervals, so the viewer can follow the trees as they grow.Here you may see how it works!
WHY WE DO IT OUR WAY
TROFACO use our own verification – and not a ‘standard’. Here you see why:
1. The developing of projects under the various standards is expensive, so we avoid that
Developing a project can often cost more than 200,000 USD per project. In this case only very small amount would reach the farmers. Furthermore such costs would force us to work with large-scale projects only. Besides the expensive development costs, it is also very costly to do the subsequent verification under a current standard.
2. We work with trees. Trees are immediately visible
As trees are pretty permanent, visible and tall, it’s quite easy for us to apply our smartphone/website-based verification. In our opinion, this also brings more exciting documentation than a verification report as used by the standards.
3. Most standards for verification of tree-based climate compensation only work with a limited number of tree species
Most verification standards only allow trees similar to those used in commercial plantations. If we were to use a standard, our partner communities would not be able to plant the useful, local kinds of trees they prefer.