What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Poverty which in turn leads to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Economic migrants have settled in the area and become subsistence farmers. Deforestation increases through population growth and through destructive slash and burn farming.
Slashing and burning is the only option for poor farmers to clear land for crops, but it degrades the soil in the process, so that after one or two harvests the land becomes too poor to grow anything – and the cycle continues.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
GDP: - per capita (PPP) $4,800 (2010 est)
Forest Cover( Bolivia) : 58,740,000 ha
54.2% of land area
Primary Forest cover 29,360,00ha – 27.1% of land area
50% of total forest area
Deforestation rates 2000 – 2005
Annual Change in Forest cover: - 270,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990: - 4,055,000 ha
Total forest loss since 1990: - 6.5%
What is your solution?
We provide the capital needed to establish sustainable alternatives to slash and burn farming methods that are both environmentally sound and also provide more income and a better living for our partner communities.
How will you deliver this?
The Cochabamba Project raises finance from social investors, donations and payments for eco-system services.
This finance pays for a team of technical staff who work with our participating smallholders on the ground. They provide technical expertise, resources, capacity building and organisational services to individual smallholders building on their existing social structures and organisations. We provide technical services and support for a complete land management plan for their whole farm, based on permaculture principles.
As part of the plan we pay smallholders to plant and grow trees both for commercial harvesting and, in separate areas, for conservation and repair.
In addition to immediate increases in yields and hence revenues, we pay each farmer for the use of their land for commercial forestry, for their labour in planting and maintaining the trees and finally for compensating for the loss of revenues from annual crops which could have been grown instead of our trees. The smallholders can also look forward to a 50% share in the future net timber revenues.