Healthy natural ecosystems mitigate climate change
Natural ecosystems have been fundamental to the regulation of the Earth’s carbon cycle since the beginning of time. Most carbon is stored in soils and oceans, while the rest is stored in the atmosphere and living organisms. As global efforts to mitigate climate change ramp up, nature offers us a variety of ways to absorb and store carbon and reduce human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Forests and wetlands are especially effective at drawing down carbon from the atmosphere and converting it into living plants and carbon-rich soil.
Large-scale landscape restoration sequesters carbon
By drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and sequestering it in soils and vegetation, large-scale landscape restoration can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping us to meet global temperature targets and secure our future on planet Earth. Landscape restoration also provides many additional benefits that can enhance the resilience of communities and ecosystems, such as increased biodiversity, improved soil quality, job creation, improved air quality, sustainable land use, and community empowerment.
Carbon finance can help restore landscapes and support communities
With the right safeguards, carbon finance – which involves the buying and selling of carbon credits – can help facilitate the transition to more resilient and healthier landscapes. In this way, the carbon market incentivises individuals and organisations alike to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, creating a shared responsibility for a healthier planet. When executed effectively, all parties involved in the carbon market can benefit, creating a win-win situation for both the environment and the economy.
Through generating carbon credits for greenhouse gas emissions that have been reduced or sequestered (drawn down and stored), individuals and organisations can offset a portion of their carbon footprint to achieve their sustainability objectives. At the same time, revenue from carbon credits can be directed towards landscape restoration initiatives and to improve the livelihoods of communities.
Case study: African Improved Cookstoves Programme
Efforts to reduce emissions through improved cookstoves can play a crucial role in addressing climate change, particularly in developing countries where traditional stoves and open fires are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Watch the video to discover how Commonland works with voluntary carbon markets to combat deforestation in the Zambian Simalaha community conservancy through the African Improved Cookstoves Programme.
Commonland's carbon approach
Commonland uses the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA)-endorsed standards and methodologies of voluntary carbon markets to generate extra revenue for large-scale landscape restoration projects. ICROA is an organization that sets rigorous standards and best practices for carbon markets, ensuring that they are transparent, reliable, and effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Our landscape projects, which include emissions reductions from improved cookstoves in developing countries, naturally increase the capture and storage of carbon in soil, trees and vegetation, strengthening the landscape’s role in decreasing the risk of human induced global climate change. These initiatives also restore the ecological foundation of landscapes, fostering sustainable business cases and creating inspiration. To ensure that carbon credit funds support landscape restoration work, we implement benefit-sharing mechanisms with stakeholders from local communities.
We do this through collaboration with many partners around the world. Our approach is based on the 4 Returns framework, which aims to deliver natural, social and economic benefits, while also inspiring hope and purpose among land users.
By promoting practices such as regenerative agriculture and nature conservation, Commonland acts as an intermediary between landscapes and other market players. Our unique position allows us to help landowners reap the benefits of modern, high-integrity carbon markets, while simultaneously fostering a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
Our carbon initiatives
We’re dedicated to establishing multiple carbon projects across diverse landscapes. We work hand-in-hand with our trusted partners, who are familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities in each location. These include:
- Reducing deforestation in Zambia through the African Improved Cookstove Programme, with Peace Parks Foundation.
- Using regenerative agricultural practices and planting trees with the Carbon Farming Foundation to help restore the wheatbelt in South-Western Western Australia through an improved agricultural land management project.
- Developing a Green House Gas emission methodology for dairy farming on drained Dutch peatlands with Wij.land.
- Advising Alvelal and its partner, EsferiCO2, on setting up a large-scale agricultural carbon project in the dry regions near Murcia in Spain.
- Exploring the feasibility of a carbon project through subtropical thicket rehabilitation in the Baviaanskloof in South-Africa with Living Lands.
With our wealth of technical and subject matter expertise, combined with a carbon finance approach grounded in our comprehensive carbon strategy, we’re poised to support even more partner landscapes in the future.