Winner: Nature and Biodiversity Project of the Year Award

Published 31 March 2022

We are delighted to be recognised for one of our innovative, high impact projects with Mikro-Tek, the Degraded Land Afforestation project in Chile, which won Nature and Biodiversity Project of the Year at the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards. Using carbon finance, high quality projects like this support our global emission reduction goals and restore nature.

The Degraded Land Afforestation project is improving forest cover on degraded and/or marginal land using an innovative growth-enhancing biotechnology. Mycorrhizae are fungi that work symbiotically with trees to encourage the formation of larger, healthier root systems. Applying these fungi to saplings pre-planting increases carbon sequestration through improving the health and growth rates of the trees, and carbon finance has made the development of this project possible. Previously, the land was heavily degraded and could not be used productively – severe soil erosion was common and valuable topsoil was being lost. Other benefits of this project are skilled jobs and additional income to local communities. Approximately 6,000 hectares have been planted in Chile generating over 1 million tonnes of emissions reductions so far.

What makes the delivery of this project stand out from other nature-based sustainability and biodiversity initiatives?

Rather than purchasing large tracts of land, Mikro-Tek works with a group of local landowners to restore their unproductive and degraded land. Once under contract with Mikro-Tek, landowners retain control over if and when to harvest their timber, meeting the conditions of a forestry plan approved by the Chilean forestry service. Mikro-Tek provides biotechnology services and carbon management. Carbon credits from the project were then marketed and sold by to corporate clients to offset their unavoidable emissions.

Local workers are trained in forestry and related biotechnology procedures and receive 50% share of the carbon revenues.