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EM Podcast: Planting Empowerment (and Spreading the Wealth)

Project developer Planting Empowerment earns carbon credits by leasing – rather than buying – degraded forest so that local owners can share more fully in the benefits of restoration.  Maria Bendana speaks with co-founder Chris Meyer about the future of REDD, the challenges of small-scale restoration, and the benefits of leaving forests in local hands.

Project developer Planting Empowerment earns carbon credits by leasing – rather than buying – degraded forest so that local owners can share more fully in the benefits of restoration.   Maria Bendana speaks with co-founder Chris Meyer about the future of REDD, the challenges of small-scale restoration, and the benefits of leaving forests in local hands.

13 April 2010 | After their Peace Corps service in Panama, Chris Meyer and a few colleagues saw an opportunity to offer socially and environmentally minded investors growth opportunities in sustainably-managed timber and carbon projects.   The result is Planting Empowerment, one of a growing number of companies that earn money saving patches of the rainforest to earn money by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

Unlike many forestry businesses, however, PE doesn’t buy land outright from local inhabitants.   Instead, the group establishes REDD and reforestation/afforestation projects on deforested or degraded land that belongs to local Panamanians.   PE provides a lease payment to these partners that exceeds the opportunity cost from the land, along with profit sharing and educational opportunities.

The podcast will soon be available in Spanish for our Latin American and other Spanish speaking audience both here and at www.mercadosambientales.com.

Left-click below to listen in streaming content; right-click to download as mp3 podcast.

Maria Bendana formerly managed the  Forest Carbon Portal, a project of Ecosystem Marketplace.

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