Seeing the forest for the trees

Location: San Juan Lachao, Western Oaxaca, Mexico
Partner: Cool Effect

Mexico’s 65 million hectares of forest are disappearing at the rate of 1 million hectares a year. This project prevents forest exploitation and restores areas affected by damage from erosion, fires, and illegal grazing and forestry exploitation, among other dangers.

This project is a community effort, managed by a local landowners who pooled their resources. The project has created 50 jobs for local residents, and forests are in the process of recovery. Without the project, the main activity is slash-and-burn agriculture with some cattle grazing.

Carbon revenue is reinvested in the communities for clean water, education, and health care, improving local living standards. Forest destruction has become forest regeneration.

This project was originally established as a pilot, and contributions from carbon finance support expanding the program to nearby communities.

Why we chose this project

  • Accurate reporting. Accurate data collection and monitoring over several years have created robust reporting and verification.
  • Permanence. The trees are being monitored for 30 years as a part of this project.
  • Additionality. The carbon offsets sold via this project are the most recently verified offsets available (2018 vintage), creating a strong link between financing and project maintenance. 
  • Demonstration potential. Creating demand for this pilot project can have an outsize impact. Five more projects are being registered following this methodology in this region, and more are likely to move forward with strong support from carbon financing.
  • Conservation secondary effects. This project supports protection of 300 species of birds, orchids and other rare flowers, wild boars, white-tailed deer, and puma—all dangerously threatened by deforestation.
  • Economic secondary effects. The project creates jobs, rewarding those living closest to the forest for their management and restorative efforts.

Project verifications

UN sustainable development goals


Drawdown is a comprehensive, systemic plan to reverse global warming. This project supports Solutions Number 15 and 17 – Afforestation and Tree Intercropping.