Acorn – Agroforestry Carbon Removal Units (CRUs) for the Organic Restoration of Nature is an agroforestry program that unlocks smallholder farmers' international voluntary carbon market. Acorn's mission is to combat climate change, land degradation, and food insecurity with an inclusive agroforestry solution. This solution balances competing for land use demands in a way that benefits both human well-being and the environment. This means land use that has a positive impact on food supply and livelihoods, the economy, environmental restoration, climate targets, and development goals.
To do this, Acorn has built a global, transparent, and technology-enabled marketplace for carbon sequestration. This marketplace provides entry to the international carbon market for smallholder farmers who are realizing agroforestry projects for carbon sequestration through biomass growth, predominantly through trees, which is measured with the help of satellite monitoring. Acorn supports the initiation and development of these agroforestry projects and facilitates the subsequent trade of the so-called carbon removal units (CRUs) that are generated from the sequestered carbon. As such, the program:
• is accessible for smallholder farmers on a large scale
• ensures suitable agroforestry systems which capture sufficient carbon and provide decent income to smallholder farmers
• embraces innovative technologies
• encourages the sale of ex-post carbon removal units
Accurate satellite monitoring technologies, including satellite imagery and a transparent measurement methodology, are crucial to the economic viability of the Acorn program. The Acorn methodology allows for various approaches to developing such models and includes requirements to ensure that carbon benefit estimates are robust and conservative. This way considers rapid developments in earth observation technology and reduces dependency on standalone methods or tools.
In the coming years, Acorn will support hundreds of projects, helping individual smallholder farmers switch to agroforestry by compensating them for their contribution to our world’s ecosystem. By 2025, Acorn aims to support millions of such farmers. To do this, Acorn is partnering with dozens of local organizations around the globe: NGOs, farmers’ co-ops, trading companies, big processors (e.g., coffee, cocoa), governments, funds, and more.
The following topics will be discussed during the session:
• What are project and partner criteria?
• How does the Acorn Framework and Methodology, developed with Plan Vivo, look at eligibility and additionality?
• How are carbon models to measure tree biomass using satellite imagery are developed and applied?
• What are the developments towards high quality credits in the voluntary carbon market?