Grupo Argos Foundation • Sustainability

The Grupo Argos Foundation and Terraformation sign an alliance to drive an ambitious carbon offset project through the planting of over 2.3 million native tree species in the southwestern region of Antioquia

11 September 2023
  • Terraformation has selected the Grupo Argos Foundation’s participatory ecological restoration program, “Sembrando Futuro,” from among more than 200 applications in the inaugural cohort of its Forest Carbon Accelerator. This initiative stands as the sole selection in Latin America.
  • The tree planting activities will begin in September and continue until 2025. Approximately 250 landowners from Southwestern Antioquia will participate in the project, generating more than 1,300 jobs.
  • Seedlings of native species such as carob trees, silk trees, guayacans, mahogany, and laurels, which are essential for the planting efforts, will be produced at the first tropical forest research and conservation center in Antioquia, known as CIRCA, recently inaugurated by the Grupo Argos Foundation in the municipality of La Pintada.
  • The revenue generated from the sale of carbon offsets will primarily benefit landowners in Southwestern Antioquia, who will receive $5.5 for every $10 generated.

The Grupo Argos Foundation, a leader in water conservation and social transformation initiatives in Colombia, has signed an alliance with the global climate technology company Terraformation to accelerate ecological restoration processes in strategic ecosystems in Southwestern Antioquia. Terraformation develops carbon credit certification projects based on the restoration of native forests as a strategy to mitigate and combat global climate change. Approximately USD 3.8 million will be invested in the implementation of this initiative.

The partnership will leverage “Sembrando Futuro,” the Grupo Argos Foundation’s participatory ecological restoration program, and will promote the planting of 2.3 million trees over the next three years, representing the capture of more than 372,000 tons of CO2 over the next 30 years. This initiative not only ensures the sustainability and scalability of the program but also elevates it to the next level by integrating it into the global voluntary carbon credit market.

“This alliance marks a significant milestone in our efforts to address climate change and revitalize our ecosystems, all while generating a meaningful impact on communities with new employment and investment opportunities. We are thrilled to work alongside Terraformation with this innovative and ambitious approach in the pursuit of sustainable, nature-based solutions to tackle environmental challenges.” María Camila Villegas Executive Director, Grupo Argos Foundation

Native species such as carob trees, silk trees, guayacans, mahogany, laurels, cedars, oaks, hobos, orejeros, carboneros, among others, will be planted, a activity that will generate more than 150 direct jobs and over 1,200 indirect jobs in the next five years. The individuals responsible for this work will be residents of Southwestern Antioquia, landowners, and local organizations dedicated to conservation. The economic proceeds from the sale of carbon offsets will primarily benefit landowners in Southwestern Antioquia, who will receive $5.5 for every $10 generated.

It’s worth noting that the recently inaugurated Center for Forest Research and Conservation of the Cauca River (CIRCA) is also part of this process. From there, plant production will be carried out, research on trees and restoration will be conducted, and environmental education and training for the region will be promoted.

“We chose the Grupo Argos Foundation because their work aligns with our values regarding community engagement, benefits for local communities, forest biodiversity, and the long-term vision to drive the development of sustainable ecosystems. We are thrilled about this partnership and hope it can bring more tools, skills, and knowledge to strengthen the work of the Grupo Argos Foundation and the communities, making it even more impactful.” Berry Kennedy Vice President of Operations, Terraformation

In 2022, Terraformation launched the Forest Carbon Accelerator, the first initiative of its kind that provides support to forest teams with capital investment, institutional strengthening, and technology to contribute to the success of projects in their early and most critical stages. From a wide range of proposals, “Sembrando Futuro” was selected as the sole project in Latin America, reaffirming the strength of the work carried out over the past three years, which has enabled the planting of over 4.3 million trees, the signing of 180 conservation agreements with communities and partners, and the creation of nearly 1,130 green jobs, among other achievements.

This alliance, in addition to contributing to the achievement of the carbon neutrality goals set for Colombia, opens the door to future ecological restoration initiatives in other regions of the country. Once successfully implemented in Southwestern Antioquia, it could be adapted and replicated in places like the Magdalena Medio and the Caribbean Coast, generating an exponential effect in the fight against climate change and biodiversity conservation.

About the voluntary carbon credit market:

Carbon credits are tradable units representing the capture or absorption of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions directly from the atmosphere as a result of mitigation projects or initiatives, validated and verified under specific standards or within a certification program. Each carbon credit represents one ton of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) reduced or removed from the atmosphere. These credits can be traded in the Voluntary Carbon Market to national and international companies for the offsetting of their GHG emissions or to fulfill their sustainability goals.