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Archive for the ‘Meet a Farmer’ Category

Meet A Farmer: Maate Zaverio

November 24th, 2020


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In 2012, Maate Zaverio became a participant of Ecotrust Uganda’s Trees for Global Benefits project. Maate, who lived in the Maliba subdistrict of Kasese, planted 800 trees which are sequestering 406.8 tonnes of CO2 and will result in $1,220.80 in earnings.

The father of 21 children, Maate used some of his earnings to pay school fees and some to treat his chest sickness and other ailments. Maate also shared a very interesting observation which we also heard from several other participants: after planting trees he started getting better weather and more rain.

When asked, “What is your message to supporters of this project?” Maate responds. “Me, I thank you for giving us money. Because you are the people giving us jobs to do trees… We will see what we can do with it.”

After Maate passed away in October 2019, his son Ezira Mukulhameno started looking after the trees.

Learn more about the Trees for Global Benefits project at https://COTAP.org/Uganda.

Meet A Farmer: Beatrice Tibamwenda

November 5th, 2020


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Beatrice was one of the first interviews from COTAP’s visit to Ecotrust Uganda’s Trees for Global Benefits project. Since 2012, Beatrice has planted 400 trees which sequester 203.4 tonnes of CO2 and will earn her a total of $610.40. “Since I planted trees, it has changed my life,” Beatrice says. She also explains an interesting and unexpected side effect of the TGB project – how it brings people together and enhances their social lives. Rural community members like Beatrice are often spread out over large areas and, before TGB, did not have as many opportunities to meet and get to know one another.

Learn more about the Trees for Global Benefits project at https://COTAP.org/Uganda.

Meet A Farmer: Justina Gutiérrez Muños

December 23rd, 2019

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Justina Gutiérrez Muños is a 59-year-old resident of Mansico, near the town of Somoto in northwestern Nicaragua. She has lived in Mansico her entire life, has been farming since she was 12, and lives on her family’s farm with her brothers, mother, and her mother’s grandchildren.

Her family grows corn, beans, and sorghum as well as raises chickens. When the harvest is good the family earns income from the surplus crops, but when harvests are bad they’re only able to feed themselves and collect seeds for the following season.

On a typical day, Justina wakes up early to oversee crops’ progress and to manage field workers. She likes to be on the farm on the weekend too because it is a nice atmosphere with all of the trees, especially if it’s a beautiful day.

Justina learned about Taking Root’s CommuniTree project from her neighbor Aura Estela. She was extremely motivated to participate, because she has always liked to work with plants. During the 2019 season, her family planted 5,000 trees!

The newly-planted tree species on her farm provide many benefits and comprise Genizaro, Mandagual, Pochote, Madero Negro y la caoba. These trees help to preserve water not only for her family, but also for their neighbors and wider community. The trees improve the temperature of the farm (and the planet as well!). They provide wood, shade, better soil, and protection against erosion. For these reasons, and simply because she appreciates the trees’ beauty, Justina wants to plant even more next year. She’s also proud and competitive about her reforestation plots, and wants hers to be one of the best.

Justina and her family use their earnings – which come from the CommuniTree project’s substantial and direct sharing of carbon offset revenues -– for both planting and caring for the trees and for making farm improvements such as irrigation. In this way, their carbon income supports many activities that improve their farm and hence their livelihoods and resilience!

Learn more about the CommuniTree project at https://COTAP.org/Nicaragua and offset your CO2 emissions through this project here:

Meet A Farmer: Winfred Musimenta

May 20th, 2019


We’re pleased to share this interview with Winfred Musimenta, the head teacher at the Rumuri Primary School. The school has been enrolled in our partner Ecotrust’s Trees for Global Benefits (TGB) community carbon project since 2011. A mother of five who’s been with the school since 2014, Winfred discusses how the school got introduced to TGB, the types of trees which have been planted, and the benefits which they provide.

Winfred also discusses how Ecotrust’s long-term support (from carbon offset revenues!) is instrumental in establishing and maintaining the plantings. The Rumuri school is located in Rubirizi, in the far southwestern corner of Uganda near Queen Elizabeth National Park and the DRC border.

COTAP’s Summer 2016 Newsletter

August 10th, 2016

Nicaragua Project Visit and Trip Report


From May 31 to June 3, COTAP visited our partner Taking Root’s CommuniTree project in Somoto and Limay Nicaragua. Check out the full trip report and picture gallery on the COTAP blog.

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Additional Nicaragua Updates


  • By mid-June, the project announced it had already planted 500,000 trees… this season!rainforest-alliance-verified
  • Also in June, the project announced that it had successfully completed its first third-party verification by the Rainforest Alliance. You can read their full verification report here.
  • Read Taking Root’s recent blog posts about their charcoal pilot and how reforestation projects help farmers adapt to climate change.
  • Our prior newsletter failed to mention (Taking Root Executive Director) Kahlil Baker’s excellent Op-Ed in the Vancouver Sun about Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change.
  • In addition to COTAP’s photos in our trip report, CommuniTree also released two 2016 planting season photo sets in April and July.
  • Last but not least, you can offset your CO2 emissions through this project here.

Malawi Updates


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  • COTAP partner the Clinton Development Initiative announced that the Trees of Hope project had paid 875 farmers more than $100,000 from the sale of carbon certificates. Of those, 376 were paid for the first time and formally opened bank accounts with First Malawi Bank.
  • The Clinton Foundation published this cool infographic about how Swedish hamburger chain Max Hamburger utilizes Trees of Hope to address its CO2 emissions.
  • They also just released this great new video about the project:

  • The Rainforest Alliance conducted its on-site, third-party assessment of Trees of Hope in April and its report is expected to be released by the end of 2016.
  • Trees of Hope received a press mention alongside COTAP in a Washington Times article (see ‘COTAP Updates’ below).
  • You can offset your CO2 emissions through the Trees of Hope project here.

Uganda Updates


  • The 2015 annual report is now published for our partner Ecotrust Uganda’s Trees for Global Benefits project.
  • During 2015, the project added 1,533 participating households, 1,323 hectares (5.1 square miles) to its area under management, paid $209,506 to participating farmers, and planted trees projected to sequester 266,354 tonnes of CO2!
  • In addition to its annual report, Ecotrust put out this outstanding summary email of 2015 highlights.
  • Trees for Global Benefits has now been issued credits for 989,059 tonnes of CO2 through 2015, which means it has now surpassed the 1 million tonne mark this year.
  • Ecotrust shared its impressive progress distributing Solvatten water purification units, helping over 1,000 rural households avoid water-borne diseases and obtain many other benefits. Not only that, Ecotrust produced this video on Solvatten user experiences:

  • Check out the email highlights from Ecotrust’s May Stakeholder Event (video here and photo gallery here).
  • Hungry for more? Thought so! Read more about Ecotrust’s millionth tonne and their eco-tourism activities here and their HIV prevention work and Solvatten expansion to the Lira district in this bulletin.
  • You can offset your CO2 emissions through Trees for Global Benefits project here.

India Updates


  • Prime Minister Narendra narendra-modi-mawphlang-tambor-lyngdoh-may-2016Modi was hosted by Khasi Project Leader Tambor Lyngdoh during his May visit to Mawphlang village in the East Khasi Hills. Videos at https://goo.gl/Liyvcc.
  • The 2015 annual report is now finalized for the Khasi Hills REDD+ Project.
  • During 2015, the project reached $34,473 in payments made to communities for ecosystem services, and it has now achieved 68,404 tonnes of CO2 reductions through forest protection and restoration.
  • The project’s first third-party verification, by Rainforest Alliance and Bioclimate, is slated for this November with a verification report expected in early 2017.
  • You can offset your CO2 emissions through the Khasi project here.

More COTAP Updates


Organizational Clients.  A big THANKS to our growing, global list of new and repeat organizational clients, including the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), WTSMed/Restorative Formulations, Wellspring Spa, The Plan Vivo Foundation, Monarch Media, and the Guerrilla Foundation.

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Partner Payments & Credit Retirements. In late January, COTAP completed a round of carbon credit retirements which can be viewed at COTAP.org/Transparency. The next round of project payments will begin on approximately August 22.

Partner Annual Reports and Documentation. The 2015 annual COTAP at Expedia Earth Day Fair 4.22.16report for the Trees of Hope Malawi project is still being finalized.  All projects’ most recent Annual Reports, Project Design Documents (PDD), Technical Specifications, and Verification Reports can be found in COTAP’s Dropbox folder.

Expedia Earth Day Fair. COTAP accepted Expedia Inc.’s invitation to participate in its Earth Day Fair on 4/22 up in Bellevue, Washington. That’s our sweet table ->


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Press. Since our last newsletter, COTAP was featured in the “Where to Buy?” section of an Ecosystem Marketplace article, our transparency was applauded by the monthly business magazine of CPA Australia, and we received a mention in a fun Washington Times article about the carbon neutrality pledges and activities of U.S. presidential candidates. More juicy details at COTAP.org/Press!

Updated Twitter handle. We’re now at @COTAP! If you already follow us, this updates automatically. Use the new handle when mentioning or messaging us on Twitter. A big THANKS to the folks at Zinc.it (formerly Cotap.com) for giving this to us.

Offsetting to All COTAP Projects


If all of our projects seem awesome, that’s because they are! If you’d like to address your unavoidable CO2 emissions and change lives by supporting our projects equally, you can do so at any level you choose – either by dollar amount or by the tonne. As always, 90.9% goes to projects and it’s 100% tax-deductible for U.S. residents.

Until Next Time…


Please take a moment to share our newsletter via the social media links at right. Our archive is at COTAP.org/Newsletters. If this was shared with you and you’d like to receive updates from us directly, sign up at COTAP.org/email. We share updates less than once per month and when there’s big news.

Thanks for your support,

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Tim Whitley
COTAP founder