Established in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. This year, the event addressed climate change, inclusive economic growth, health equity, refugee crisis, among others. Among those in attendance were: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Queen Rania of Jordan, Bono, Malala, Justin Trudeau, Melinda Gates, Matt Damon, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and others.
Michaelyn Baur, managing director for Solidaridad in North America, participated in the plenary session called “Home.” The plenary discussed forced migration due to political persecution, conflict, violence and climate change. Here, speakers explored how to foster community and belonging in an increasingly unstable world.
During this event, Michaelyn presented Dream Fund, a project supported by Postcode Lottery Group and developed by Solidaridad in partnership with Rabobank. The initiative seeks to reach more than 100,000 smallholders and support them in adopting climate-smart agroforestry practices.
A lack of resilience to climate change
Smallholder farms are a major source of food and in many cases a family’s only source of income. There are roughly 500 million such farms, typically smaller than five acres, supporting almost two billion people in developing countries.
Regenerative agriculture and carbon markets for smallholders
Solidaridad, together with Rabobank and with the support of Postcode Lottery Group, have launched the Dream Fund programme. The key to this intervention is the use of the ACORN platform. Thanks to this initiative, smallholders can become resilient and reduce the carbon footprint of food production by farming in balance with nature. “What makes this commitment unique is that for the first time, we are able to connect millions of smallholder farmers to the international carbon market,” says Michaleyn Baur.
The ACORN platform monitors how much carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored in trees on smallholder farms. Companies seeking to reduce their emissions can buy carbon credits directly from producers for a fair price, for 20 years. We can see the benefits of this program reflected in Rosa’s story.
Meet Rosa, a proud Colombian coffee producer
Rosa Inés Restrepo Fernandez is a Colombian coffee smallholder supported by the Dream Fund programme. At the Clinton Global Initiative, Rosa represented the Latin American smallholders who take part in the programme and who have been affected by climate change.
The Dream Fund recognized Rosa’s role as a climate mitigation agent. In turn, she receives income that helps improve her quality of life and increase her resilience.
Rosa believes that planting trees has many benefits, she says that “the trees, being taller than the coffee crop, protect it from the sun’s rays and heavy rain. The roots of the trees also allow the coffee to hold on strongly in extremely sloping terrain.”
Partnerships for change
Our goal is to create a pathway for large-scale initiatives with new partners who want to support smallholders by building climate resilience and providing large-scale nature-based carbon removals.
At Solidaridad, we invite new strategic partners to join us in taking this initiative beyond its original scope. “Our commitment is scalable and can be locally adapted anywhere. Let’s make carbon markets work for smallholder farmers and ensure that the money that is becoming available on high value carbon markets goes to the people that need it the most to adapt to climate change! Let’s turn climate victims into climate heroes! ” says Michaelyn.