TREEO – Reliable Data About Every Single Tree

“Climate neutral by 2050!” We hear and read this statement at multiple outlets these days. Whether the EU climate target, national or corporate climate strategies – they all aspire towards this goal. With all the world at stake, you might wonder: How are decision-makers and local actors going to monitor their progress?

Any climate project – be it a project aimed at sequestering carbon through landscape restoration, addressing social grievances through local capacity building or creating new economic streams in depleted areas – they must all evaluate and report on their impact eventually. To this end, project developers must specify their method for monitoring. Monitoring describes the instrument and approach for gathering first-hand data from the field and how this data is extrapolated to scale in order to report on the project’s impact. Utilizing the correct monitoring tools is thus essential to understanding impact, improving the quality of work on the ground and communicating impact to external stakeholders and benefactors.

Fairventures Worldwide has long understood that monitoring must take place on site. Any instrument removed from the ground will inevitably entail inaccuracies, which, at scale, may distort a project’s impact and reputation. Therefore, Fairventures Worldwide builds TREEO – a monitoring tool that is placed directly in the hands of people on the ground. The app allows any farmer active in reforestation to scan their trees and gather relevant data about their tree’s impact: TREEO measures a tree’s growth, extrapolates its carbon storage, and even predicts the optimal harvesting time based on market prices.  This concrete monitoring functionality is crucial to further a farmer’s understanding of their valuable resource, to plan ahead, and to create the necessary trust to external stakeholders who are willing to fund activities only once proof of impact is provided.

The vision of TREEO is to be the most trusted platform for small-holder farmers to commercialize high-value carbon removals from sustainable reforestation. It is a digital ecosystem that integrates actors who provide carbon removals and actors who pay for this service. The legitimacy and credibility of these payments for environmental services (PES) is given through TREEO’s monitoring functionality, namely a tree scanner. The imagery analysis underlying the scanner, allows farmers who plant trees on their land to monitor every single tree and extract real-time data  about tree growth and carbon storage. This allows every farmer to generate full census data about their environmental service. This real-time data is transferred to the respective buyer in the ecosystem, enabling impact reporting to external stakeholders. Thus, TREEO’s data-driven accuracy provides the necessary credibility and trust for small-holder farmers to access payments for their environmental service – removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by planting trees. Additionally, TREEO comprises a learning platform, consisting of various audio guides on agroforestry systems, intercropping and pruning. This way, small-holder farmers enjoy ideal starting conditions to generate high-quality carbon removals.

TREEO aims to operate globally and make the service available for small-holder farmers worldwide. Scaling TREEO’s supply side requires the onboarding of numerous tree planting initiatives. These organizations grant access to small-holder farmers who are enlisted in their programs. To this end, the algorithm is designed to include various soil types and tree species. This way, TREEO is applicable for all small-holder reforestation activities across climatic circumstances.

Essentially, TREEO places the tools for evidence-based climate action in the hands of people on the ground. This way, TREEO shifts the bargaining power in favor of small-holder farmers. They understand the value of their trees, while securing regular income through results-based payments for their carbon removals. This culminates in long-term economic gains, through increasing ecological well-being and resilience, which form the basis of prosperity. Integrating the strongest change makers in one cohesive ecosystem, designed to scale sustainable reforestation – the most effective nature-based solution for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere –  is a tremendous achievement for climate change mitigation. Moreover, TREEO is a milestone for impact monitoring and evaluation, increasing any project’s transparency and credibility in the context of reforestation. Lastly, TREEO is a frontrunner considering its inclusive character: Every tree planting farmer in the world has the capability to gather relevant field data directly with their phone and is the sole owner of their data. Ultimately, farmers own their impact and may use this capacity to improve their livelihoods – one carbon removal at a time.

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