Why support our “Co-Operative Climate Reserve” project?
Our “Co-Operative Climate Reserve” is an initiative inspired by the UN “International Year of Co-operatives” to celebrate international co-operation between co-operatives and their members.
The Cochabamba Project is a not-for profit co-operative that was founded in March 2009 with the specific purpose of raising funds for a programme of poverty alleviation and environmental repair involving a number of co-operatives of smallholders living in the tropical regions of Bolivia along the south-western rim of the Amazon. This programme is known locally as “ArBolivia”. The society funds a range of activities which contribute to the development of climate smart agriculture, including investment in co-operative forestry enterprise, which promotes the growing of native tree species in small lots as a small part of a sustainable land management plan for each individual member.
“Co-Operative Climate Reserve” is part of the society’s wider programme of conservation called the “Climate Action Plan” (http://www.climateaction.co.uk
). We are looking to establish a new conservation area, in order to protect and restore biodiversity, which will be designated as the “A Co-Operative Climate Reserve”.
The area chosen and the focus of our efforts will depend on the amount raised. As an example, the area may be designed to reconnect remnant areas of natural forest or to prevent erosion along water courses which have become prone to the flash-flooding as a result of climate change.
Restoring biodiversity is vital for the welfare of our smallholders’ families as it contributes to pollination and the health of soils which are used for crops.
Tree cover is important as this helps regulate water levels and humidity and provides valuable shade. All of which contribute to the health of both crops and cattle.
Erosion is a major problem in many areas, which can devastate livelihoods. Deforestation means that open land heats up and dries out more quickly and this leads to higher levels of humidity, which in turn results in more violent and sudden precipitation.
Tree Certificates for our Co-Operative Climate Reserve project are a way of protecting and regenerating the Amazon rainforest, one of the most precious ecosystems on earth. They help in many ways to compensate for our own carbon footprint, whilst enabling subsistence farmers to escape the desperate poverty which drives a vicious cycle of slash and burn farming & deforestation.
Each payment will cover the full cost of planting and maintaining native trees within the conservation area. After planting, each tree will be tended for 3 years until it is well established and will then be left to continue growing indefinitely. Sponsoring these trees will provide optimum biodiversity benefit and will help local farmers retain a healthy smallholding.
Your payment also includes a contribution to the cost of delivering a comprehensive and highly accredited programme of land management and social development to our smallholders. It provides impoverished farmers with professional land management support for their entire holding so that they can increase their farming yields and retain soil fertility for their crops. This means they can earn more income to provide for their families.
However with your help our families do not have to wait to see these benefits. Our funds provide immediate help in the form of:
• rent for the use of land to grow trees
• compensation for the loss of immediate income from crops, whilst the trees are growing
• remuneration for the labour involved in planting and maintaining trees.
Most importantly our highly trained technical advisers provide each family with a comprehensive, sustainable
“climate- smart” land use plan, based on “permaculture” principles.
In addition to higher yields our methods are also far less labour intensive – which means less back-breaking manual work for farmers in the sweltering heat of the jungle - and they also lead to higher levels of carbon capture in both plants and soil.
Perhaps most important of all, is that you can provide farmers with HOPE, since they will ultimately benefit from a more healthy environment and improved revenues from their land.
Please help subsistence farmers escape poverty and take action over your own carbon footprint by paying for trees to be grown.