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Trees for Global Benefits

Trees for Global Benefits

Eradicating Poverty One Ton of CO2 at a Time

ECOTRUST’s Trees for Global Benefits (TGB) is a long-running cooperative carbon offsetting scheme which combines community-led activities to increase carbon sequestration, encourage sustainable land-use practices, and provide farmers with performance-based payments.

The project operates as a market-based solution that reduces unsustainable exploitation of forest resources and the decline of ecosystem quality, while diversifying and increasing incomes for rural farmers and their families.

Trees for Global Benefits

2003 to date

The aim of Trees for Global Benefits (TGB) is to produce longterm, verifiable voluntary emission reductions by combining carbon sequestration with livelihood improvements through small-scale, farmer-led, forestry/agroforestry projects while at the same time, reducing pressure on natural resources in national parks and forest reserves.

TGB started in 2003, in the Rubirizi and Mitooma districts, and has through the years shown exceptional performance through the different innovations that involve the farmers, recruitment of more communities into the project, and the introduction of new activities alongside tree planting.

TGB won the 2013 UN SEED Award for being an exceptional social and environmental low carbon enterprise. The award recognizes TGB’s achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship so far, its promising efforts to promote economic growth, social development and environmental protection in Uganda, and not least the potential of its partnership to inspire others into action.

The founding partners of the SEED Initiative are UNEP, UNDP and IUCN. The 2013 Low Carbon SEED Awards were supported by the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the Germany Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

The PES model in TGB is designed to incentivize the transformation of smallholder investment horizons from the short-term hand-to mouth seasonal plans to long-term sustainable land use/business plans.

TGB’s PES incentives revolve around making the adoption of agroforestry-based sustainable land use a viable livelihood option by ensuring availability of a sustainable flow of financing at the different stages of the land-use enterprise.

This is achieved through the creation of opportunities for smallholders to tap into multiple funding sources for agroforestry as a means of generating income and improving land management while contributing to biodiversity conservation and global climate benefits.

Over 2 Million Tons of CO2 Sequestered

TGB as of 2016, commanded about 1.8% of the voluntary carbon market share, reaching a milestone of 1,321.85 ha of farmland for 1,533 farmers, yielding an equivalent to 1 million tons of carbon worth USD 6 million. By the end of 2021, TGB was just just over 2million tons with over 11,000 farmers.

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12,000+ Smallholders

Number of smallholder households with PES agreements

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88 Community Groups

Number of community groups with PES agreements (where applicable) by Dec 2020

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27 Project Staff

Number of employees, hired by the project- Full-time

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95 Project Temps

Number of employees, hired by the project- Part-time


25 VSLA's

Number of Village Savings & Loans Associations supported by TGB


26 Commercial Nurseries

Number of commercial nurseries supported by TGB

TGB Offers a Wide
Array of Co-Benefits

The project also aims to measure its impact with regards to climate change adaptation, biodiversity enhancement, watershed services and renewable energy provision. A summary of the project’s current contribution to selected environmental co-benefits is presented below:

TGB Operates in Landscapes
of critical Ecosystem Value

Under the flagship Trees for Global Benefit (TGB) –ECOTRUST has, over the last 17 years, established a niche in undertaking ecosystem restoration as a business.  The project has developed technical specifications for agroforestry (woodlots); reafforestation (indigenous mixed species.) TGB operates across 14 districts in Uganda within the  three main landscapes of Queen Elizabeth  and Murchison-Semliki landscape in the Albertine region of South-Western Uganda, and the Mount Elgon Landscape in Eastern Uganda. 

Albertine Rift

Mt. Elgon

Maesopsis Emini

Mixed Native Spp

Featured Publication

Finance for Integrated Landscape Management

De-risking smallholder farmer investments in integrated landscape management: ECOTRUST’s Trees for Global Benefit (TGB) in Uganda

This case study describes a conservation finance mechanism implemented by the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST). The mechanism delivers US$6 of every US$10 to smallholder conservation farmers through a blended model that combines public (donor) finance, private-sector foreign direct investment (FDI), and community contributions, to support long-term biodiversity and climate change outcomes at the local level. ECOTRUST has developed this model over 17years of implementing its Trees for Global Benefit (TGB) program.

TGB PES payments are linked to performance-based targets

The specifications under TGB have enabled the aggregation tCO2 from over 12,000 smallholders under Plan Vivo standard that have been sold through ECOTRUST to national and international level buyers in the voluntary carbon for the last 17 years.