The Christian Science Monitor

Cash for trees: Homegrown carbon offset program bears fruit

When Marie Gorreti Kemiyonga flicks on her light switches in her two-room house in this rural district of western Uganda each evening, she thanks the trees.

A decade ago, Ms. Kemiyonga and her family were farmers living in a mud brick hut with a grass roof when they were approached by a local organization called the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) with what seemed like a rather strange proposal.

Plant trees on two hectares (five acres) of their land, and in return, they would be paid about 3.5 million Ugandan shillings (a little less than $1,000) over the next 10 years. 

Though she found the idea odd, Ms. Kemiyonga couldn’t see a downside, so she said yes. Soon, she was laying out rows of spindly saplings on the steep stony hills below the family’s homestead, and in the dark soil

Carbon colonialismAn equitable model?No silver bullet

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