Good for the climate and good for the people
than just saving the climate. We believe that a climate
project is supposed to help the people, as well. We believe
that a climate project is able to combine these two things.
PROJECT TOGO does just that.
As long as natureOffice has been founded in 2007, we have been dealing with all kinds of climate projects. When working in this area for such a long time one automatically recognizes the weaknesses of commercial climate projects.
This fact created a vision of how a climate project has to be managed. With PROJECT TOGO, we were able to realize our visions and start our own climate project. This project is about a truly sustainable development of a whole region. The reductions of CO2 emissions which occur through afforestation on a 1.000 ha natural reserve, are closely related to multiple co-benefits in the areas of energy and water supply, health, education and social affairs.
Only by putting humans and not the climate into the focus of our approach we are able to create sustainable change, especially in the behavior of the people which can affect climate protection in the long run as well. According to scientists, climate change is an anthropogenic (a man-made) phenomenon. That is why men are in the focus of our approach. Only by changing the behavior of the people and only by participating in the process of changing the living conditions over a long period we will be able the achieve permanent success in climate protection.
With this project we want to make a contribution to a transformation process of climate projects. We want to be a pioneer and a pace-maker for this new style of projects where humans are in the focus.
With the help of PROJECT TOGO an area of 1.000 hectares of former waste land is being afforested and converted into a conservation area. This territory which has been covered with rainforest some 60 years ago will now be planted with local tree species, like Gmelin, Neem or Anakardium. The afforestation process will be implemented in strictly defined groves. The implementation of the conservation area is supposed to reduce erosion, provide a true wildlife refugium and improve the micro climatic conditions.
The project will run for 30 years and will be executed in cooperation with the local population. After the installation of tree nurseries and the planting of the trees, the forested area will be monitored by trained forest rangers. Amongst other things their tasks will include the supervision of growth rates as well as the documentation and elimination of potential pest infestation.
How do we know that it all works out?
There hardly exist any long-term studies analyzing the socio-economic effects of climate projects, the evaluation of the impacts is rather difficult. Inevitably, our course of action is defined by a mixture of experience, records of similar projects and assumption about the future. It is a question if integrity to admit that there are things that we simply don‘t know. This makes it even more important to approach things with an open mind in order to find the right solutions. What matters most is to frequently compare the established assumptions with the actual development of the project.
In an afforestation project like PROJECT TOGO, a lot of helping hands are needed. The project area has to be marked, fire breaks and trails have to be created, tree nurseries have to be built, seedlings have to be planted and fire towers have to be constructed. For all this work we need a lot of laborer.
What happens when the tree nurseries are built, seedlings are planted and trails are created? What happened to all these workers? We see it as our duty to already today plan ahead and think about employment possibilities for these men and women. Today, there already exist workshops and trainings for livestock breeding in the context of our co-benefit program.
A project owned sheep and cattle herd (60 sheep, 3 rams and 20 cattle with one bull) makes sure savanna grass does not grow too long. Additionally, the herd is used for the livestock breeding training. In this program the local people are taught how to breed animals on a family farm. The “results” of the PROJECT TOGO breeding program is given to the participants as kind of a start-up aid.
This program supports the regional market for meat, expands the food supply and creates an income possibility for the families.