Carbon offsetting in Panama: Planting Biodiverse Forests

Published by Georgia Crump on


Sharing borders with Costa Rica and Colombia, Panama is a country located in Central America. Panama’s jungles cover approximately 40% of its total land area, and are home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, some of whom are found nowhere else on the planet.

One of the many species residing in Panama’s tropical rainforests

For decades now, the timber trade has been chopping down trees from primary rainforests in Panama. This combined with the harvesting of large-scale monoculture plantations (single plant species) has resulted in a significant loss of Panama’s tropical rainforests.

About the project

This project is on a mission to change this situation by introducing sustainable timber production and reforesting degraded pastureland with a mix of native tree species. Planting trees means that carbon is captured from the atmosphere, slowing levels of climate change.

The resulting forests offer a natural habitat for native animals and plants, protecting and enriching the soil. Additionally, the trees will save and filter water, contributing to the mitigation of climate change.

By combining sustainable, high quality timber production with biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration, the benefits of this reforestation project extend far beyond carbon capture. 

Moreover, in some areas cacao trees are being planted alongside native tree species, facilitating sustainable cacao production. 

To date, this project has created over 150 jobs for the local population. The nature of the project means that the majority of these are long-term employment. What’s more, the training and further education associated with the reforestation project means an improved living standard for the native population. 

This project is certified to the highest level by Gold Standard. Read more about Gold Standard’s certification process. 

Cost (USD / tonne of CO2e): $18 (read more about how this is calculated)

The impacts and benefits of this project: 

For wildlife: 

  • Over 7.5 million trees from 20 different species planted to date 
  • 25% of the rainforest has been classed as a nature reserve, protecting the animals and plants living there
  • 15 threatened animal species from the Red List have a new habitat in the project

For local communities: 

  • Employment for local population – 150 jobs created to date
  • All employees receiving a wage above legal minimum, health insurance, and pension fund
  • Additional optional benefits for employees include life insurance and internal credit program

For a sustainable future: 

  • Employees can opt into additional training programs and further education
  • Knowledge transfer around sustainable forest management technologies and monitoring-systems paves the way for future projects
  • Ecologically and socially sustainable cacao yield

Sustainable Development Goals

One of the requirements of Gold Standard certification is that the projects meet at least 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, of which one is climate action. This means that as well as fighting climate change by offsetting carbon emissions, the projects your money is supporting contribute to sustainable development for eco-systems and communities around the world. 

The goals met by this project are: 

8. Decent work and economic growth – Sustainable economic growth requires societies to create conditions that allow people to have quality jobs

12. Responsible consumption and production

13. Climate Action

15. Life on land – Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Read more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Your impact

You can see a record of our donation to this project on our public ledger. You can also view global contributions to this project on Gold Standard’s impact registry

Thanks to the contributions of our members, we are reducing carbon emissions for a more sustainable future.

1 Comment

The month in Treepoints: November - The Treepoints Blog · December 1, 2020 at 6:01 pm

[…] Planting biodiverse forests in Panama […]

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