Code REDD announced the launch today of Stand For Trees, the first consumer campaign that uses the power of social media and crowdfunding to enable users to take action to reduce deforestation and curb climate change.
Individuals are asked to purchase $10 Stand for Trees certificates, which each prevent one metric tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released into the atmosphere while protecting threatened ecosystems that sustain forest communities and numerous endangered species.
“Stand for Trees can be a game-changer by harnessing the power of crowdfunding to protect forests, the air we breathe, and the climate that sustains us. It offers a clear and affordable way to make a real difference,” actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity, Edward Norton said in a statement.
Funds generated by sale of the certificates go to the development of sustainable livelihoods and the protection of forests in specific REDD+ project areas around the world. These projects provide developing countries with an economic alternative to deforestation, creating a low-carbon pathway to economic growth.
The certificates are verified carbon credits based on the REDD+ model and held to standards set by the Verified Carbon Standard and Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance. That community includes prominent NGOs such as CARE, The Nature Conservancy and the Rainforest Alliance. Once purchased, the credits are registered on Markit, the world’s largest environmental registry services provider. Independent certifiers in the field ensure that certificate revenue reaches its intended target and enables specific forest communities to halt deforestation and move to more sustainable livelihoods.
The mobile site was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its Global Climate Change initiative. The program supports efforts to make forest conservation socially equitable and economically viable by implementing REDD+ projects around the world, specifically in Colombia.
“REDD+ is a sustainable, cost-effective means for mitigating climate change,” said Rajendra K. Pachauri, Ph.D, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “REDD+ can also provide substantial economic and social co-benefits and help conserve biodiversity and water resources.”
“REDD+ has been a blessing to our community. We now have the resources to protect our forests and our culture, and we take great pride in helping stop global warming,” said Everildys Córdoba, project coordinator for the Chocó-Darién Conservation Corridor, a REDD+ project in northern Colombia. The project prevented the emission of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 during its first 18 months and expects to prevent the emission of more than 2.8 million tonnes during the project’s 30-year lifespan.
“We should never underestimate the power of grassroots action,” said Karin Burns, executive director of Code REDD. “By standing for trees, everyday people can have an outsized impact on saving tropical forests and our climate."
As global companies including Mars, Wilmar International, PepsiCo, Asia Pulp & Paper and more begin to work to make good on their zero-deforestation commitments, with varying results, Stand for Trees’ grassroots model is a fresh angle in the ongoing fight against deforestation.