Carbonxchange project

‘Slash and burn’ agricultural techniques have led to widespread deforestation and soil erosion in East Timor.

A new agricultural sustainability initiative called Carbonxchange aims to rectify the damage by supporting farmers in remote communities and assisting them to become effectively self-sufficient in the cultivation of their land.

The Carbonxchange program also aims to help build resilient and productive communities in places that may not otherwise have the resources to improve. Carbonxchange does this through awareness schemes which encourage Australians and Australian businesses to offset their carbon emissions by donating to the funds that provide key materials to these remote communities.

Carbonxchange projects focus on the benefits of agroforestry—the practice of integrating crops and trees and/or livestock in the same space. This practice improves soil quality and can increase groundwater stores. It provides a strong base to build successful subsistence farming that will provide for a community into the future.

The primary project is the Bagina Community Tree Trust, which funds a schools-based propagation nursery supplying plants to farmers. Farmers then plant the trees (mahogany, teak and sandalwood varieties) amongst crops and where livestock sometimes graze. The farmers, many of whom are women and children, are given an annual fee for the upkeep of their trees. Trees are mapped and monitored to audit their influence on their local landscape.

The germination, upkeep and auditing of the trees is supported by the Carbonxchange Tree Trust Fund which is funded by the Carbon Emissions Scheme. The Emissions Scheme collects support and donations from the school and business sectors and from the government as part of its bid to inspire people to reduce their carbon footprint.