Plan Vivo - Fair Trade Forestry

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Plan Vivo - Fair Trade Forestry

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Plan Vivo projects in Uganda and Mexico enable thousands of smallholder farming families to make a modest income by preserving and expanding local forests, and find sources of income which allow them to sustainably use their land. The farmers are establishing tree plantations on land previously used as pasture, growing timber and fruit interspersed with corn and coffee crops, and restoring degraded forest land to return it to a healthy habitat for wildlife and a valuable watershed to prevent erosion.

Each farmer draws up his or her own work plan - called a "Plan Vivo" - which is unique to their land and its conditions. The plan describes what areas will be restored, what types of trees will be planted, and what the environmental benefits will be. Farmers begin the projects without any financial aid, with technical support from local nonprofit organizations. Once established, financing is available and the projects are monitored for efficacy. Without financial support for these sustainable efforts, desperation for food and necessities will lead the residents to sell off the land for cattle grazing or large-scale intensive farming.

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The Plan Vivo Standard is a certification framework for community-based Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs supporting rural smallholders and community groups with improved natural resource management. The standard is designed to ensure that Plan Vivo projects benefit livelihoods, enhance ecosystems and protect biodiversity. Plan Vivo provides a framework for the equitable transaction of ecosystem services with communities and enables access to a range of funding sources and markets for ecosystem services, including voluntary carbon credits. Organizations should consider using the Plan Vivo Standard if they plan to work with rural smallholders and community groups to enhance ecosystems through improved natural resource management

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