2023 Impact Report

Project Site Visits

Conducting project site visits is a critical component of our origination diligence and monitoring strategies. Seeing a project and meeting stakeholders in person allows for in-depth learning, direct feedback, contextualization, data validation and improved transparency.

In May 2023, Catona Climate staff traveled to western Kenya to visit with our partner, Trees for the Future (TREES).  We assessed the agroforestry project scale-up activities, met with farmers participating in the program, evaluated overall management and launched the bioacoustic monitoring pilot with Arbimon.

We visited 13 farms in Homa Bay and Migori and met with farmers who showed us around their farms, what they were growing, and shared feedback on their participation in the TREES Forest Garden program to date.  All of them had incredibly positive feedback about the program and how their families’ lives were changing as a result.  Some of them took us to the edge of their farms to show us the difference between their Forest Garden and their neighbors’ monoculture maize and beans fields.  The difference was striking, with the Forest Gardens having a much greater vegetation diversity and product yield.

All of the Forest Gardens visited were very healthy and farmers were growing a variety of crops including bananas, pineapples, watermelons, maize, beans, groundnuts, sorghum, papaya, peppers, avocados, mangos and more. Farmers explained how they now had greater food diversity for their families and no longer needed to buy produce at the market for their households, but rather could sell extra produce at the market themselves to earn additional income. 

As the project had been scaling up in 2023, it was important that we evaluated the carbon sampling and analysis methods as well as the biodiversity baseline study and overall seed supply operations. TREES technicians accurately demonstrated how they were collecting and processing soil cores and measuring tree DBH (diameter at breast height) for aboveground biomass. We then visited the Kenya Forest Research Institute to observe the soil sample analysis.

We also had the opportunity to visit TREES’ new seed bank that enables them to securely and properly store all of the seeds to be distributed to farmers each planting season. We learned how they conduct seed germination testing to ensure seeds are viable and contribute to long term survival rates. 

We concluded our visit by meeting biologists from the University of Nairobi and National Museum of Kenya who outlined the biodiversity baseline survey methods used to assess species richness and abundance throughout the project area.

Homa Bay, Kenya

Key Locations & Findings

Take a look at the map and cards below to explore some of the key locations and insights from the site visit.

Native and Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) invited us and other project supporters to experience a regenerative grazing workshop and ranch visits along with regional ranchers and grazing advocates.

We visited 3 ranches and learned about the benefits and principles of planned rotational grazing from experts at WSE and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Along with the compelling science of how rotational grazing improves soil health and sequesters carbon, the visit brought together ranchers alongside carbon offtakers and buyers. This gave us the opportunity to see firsthand how ranchers are working to support each other in changing ranching practices for the better. The outcomes of this project are so much more complex and nuanced than simple grass growth and carbon removal.

Ranchers participating in the project are dedicated to land stewardship and trying techniques that are not mainstream in the established ranching community. WSE has been a force to educate, encourage, and support ranchers in taking on the intimidating prospect of changing their management practices. The NGP Regenerative Grazing project uses carbon revenue to fund infrastructure, labor, and other inputs to make changes: a huge help that de-risks those changes, and for many ranchers gives them the final push to say yes to regenerative practices. 

Montana, USA

Key Locations & Findings

Take a look at the map and cards below to explore some of the key locations and insights from the Site Visit.

Evaluating Potential In Person

Diligence Site Visits

Catona Climate conducts diligence site visits as a component of our project origination process prior to signing agreements, when applicable. We assess the project management and compliance activities, evaluate any risks and meet with key project and regional stakeholders.

Our team conducted three Origination site visits to diligence  investments under consideration. From Antioquia, Colombia to Rondonia, Brazil, and then over to the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

We set out to verify the project developers’ capabilities to implement high-impact projects, touring nursery infrastructure, trekking degraded lands with field teams, gaining community members’ perspectives over a freshly-picked cacao or cup of coffee and witnessing the growth of past restoration work. Although vastly different landscapes, each visit confirmed the scale of opportunity before us and the caliber of the partners.

It also gave us an opportunity to identify areas where Catona could provide partner capacity building around project design, implementation and monitoring best practices (e.g. incorporating a robust water monitoring program or community benefit sharing model) and demonstrate our commitment to forging deep relationships and ensuring project quality.

Colombia, Brazil, & South Africa

Key Locations & Findings

Take a look at the map and cards below to explore some of the key locations and insights from the diligence site visit.

Our team

Climate Experts Driving Impact

Our experienced and dedicated experts oversee every aspect of a project’s lifecycle — from initial evaluation and planning, to execution, to ongoing monitoring — diligently ensuring quality at every step and maximizing impactful outcomes for people and the planet.

2023 Impact Report

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The Path Ahead