CO2 removals: Eden Reforestation, Madagascar?

Eden Reforestation is a non-profit, founded in 2004, aiming to counteract deforestation and extreme poverty. Thus, local community members are hired to collect seeds, start nurseries, plant trees, and oversee newly emerged forests.

By summer-2022, Eden states that it has ‘produced, planted and protected’ 977M trees, across 280 sites in 10 countries, while paying fair wages to 14,800+ employees.

Madagascar is its largest country of operation and explains up to 80% of its global footprint. Hence we have appraised Eden’s activities in Madagascar on our ‘framework’ for scoring nature-based CO2 removals.

The overall score is 59 out of 100 in our Eden Reforestation CO2 removals review. We are confident that Eden’s activities are real and incremental, with high scores in these categories. However, Eden is a charity that plants trees in return for donations. It does not issue verified CO2 credits. Thus it is always liable to score poorly on the ‘measurability’ component of our framework. Permanence and biodiversity scores had a mixture of positive attributes, risks and challenges, for reasons noted in the data-file.

Overall, we believe Eden offers a cost-effective model for CO2 removal, with other ESG co-benefits. We estimate the effective CO2 price achieved by donating to Eden’s Madagascar program may be as low as $3/ton, on a risked and discounted basis, using our usual CO2 calculation methodology, although uncertainty is very high. $3/ton also squares with our mangrove model.

We have made a $1,500 donation to Eden’s Madagascar program in August-2022, which we believe should offset 500 tons of future CO2 on a risked and discounted present basis. Although this cannot be guaranteed and our 95% confidence interval is 50 – 1,500 tons. Donations are also open on the Eden Reforestation website.

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