Cool Earth’s partnerships are planned to have a lifecycle of seven years although this does vary between projects, communities, and countries. We would never conclude a partnership if it wasn’t self supporting.
Concluding a partnership does not mean we cease contact or support. It simply means that the community has built income streams that exceed Cool Earth’s funding. We continue to monitor the condition of the canopy as part of our impact evaluation work and keep in regular touch with villages. If any new threat did emerge we would, villages can always call on us for support. This has only happened once with a proposed hydro electric dam which we helped oppose.
Each partnership loosely follows the following plan:
Two years development
Where Cool Earth supports community infrastructure projects, training and development and, in some cases, land registration.
Three years strengthening capacity
Where Cool Earth funds are given directly to the community to invest in livelihood development and training in finance and advocacy is given.
Two years phased conclusion of Cool Earth funding
Where income from livelihood development is increasing to far more than the community would earn from loggers.
It is important to note that there is nothing to stop communities selling out to illegal loggers at any time either during a partnership with Cool Earth or after it has been completed. National Forest Codes tend to require all extraction of timber to be regulated by concessions but these rules are often flouted.
It should be remembered however that all our community partners volunteer to work alongside Cool Earth because they are running out of options for protecting the forest they depend upon. By working to develop sustainable livelihoods, we ensure the community has an income stream that far exceeds the one-off cash injection from logging.