International partnership brings expertise and integrity to global carbon market

International partnership brings expertise and integrity to global carbon market

Smallholder and community projects throughout Africa and Asia have the chance to secure vital funding and access new carbon markets, thanks to a new partnership between international certifiers. 

Plan Vivo Foundation, a certification scheme known internationally for their fair and ethical approach to developing nature-based carbon projects, are now working with the Soil Association Certification team as validators, who bring decades of expertise to ensure high standards and enable further development. 

The Plan Vivo standard is a set of requirements that certify smallholder and community projects based on their climate, livelihoods, and environmental benefits. Over 25 years they have grown to become the longest-standing carbon standard in the Voluntary Carbon Market. 

Following a six-month approval process, Soil Association Certification will be working to validate Plan Vivo projects across the world, supporting grassroots initiatives to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises. 

Plan Vivo’s Validation and Verification Coordinator, Elena Llorente, said: “We are delighted to begin working with the Soil Association Certification, who have a wealth of experience in protecting forests for global communities and farmers and supporting farming innovation.  

“They will bring high quality auditing services to Plan Vivo projects, helping to maintain integrity within project validations and verifications.’’ 

Grassroots opportunities 

According to the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM), a high integrity carbon market is a key complementary tool to reduce emissions and channel finance towards climate resilient development.  

As of 2023, Plan Vivo have registered 28 PV Climate projects spanning Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and have 30 further projects in the pipeline. 

These community-led projects manage large areas of tropical land – which have the potential to store significant volumes of carbon. 

Plan Vivo works to relieve poverty by offering sustainable livelihoods, providing knowledge, skills and resources, and restoring these ecosystems to combat climate change. 

Already certifying over 25m hectares of forest in 33 countries, Soil Association Certification can now bring vital knowledge and skills to assist the development of grassroots projects. 

Soil Association Certification’s Head of Climate and Landscape Andy Grundy said: “It’s so wonderful to see such great projects being given access to vital funding. 

“The six-month process was extremely thorough, and we’re thrilled our hard work has paid off. 

“The land that Plan Vivo covers is vital for carbon sequestration and biodiversity restoration. Encouraging these projects gives us another avenue to combat climate change.” 

For more information on Plan Vivo and to register a PV Climate project, visit their website: 

Photo credit: ECOTRUST. Participants of the Plan Vivo-certified Trees for Global Benefits project, located in Uganda.