TIST Program in Kenya Receives the World’s First “Gold Level” Approval from Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards for a VCS Afforestation/Reforestation Project
Clean Air Action Corporation’s TIST Program in Kenya Receives the World’s First “Gold Level” Approval from Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards for a VCS Afforestation/Reforestation Project
TULSA, OK, January 24, 2012 - Clean Air Action Corporation’s (CAAC) international award- winning environmental initiative, TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program) has received the World’s First CCB “Gold Level” approval for an afforestation/ reforestation project.
According to Dr. Joanna Durbin, Director of the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), TIST's fifth project in Kenya has met their highest level of approval.
"We are delighted that the TIST program is continuing to pioneer the use of
the CCB Standards by achieving verification against CCB Standards at Gold
Level for the exceptional community benefits generated by this project.
Only projects that use best practices and deliver significant climate,
community and biodiversity benefits can earn CCB verification. Gold status
is awarded to projects that satisfy one of the optional criteria by
providing exceptional benefits including explicit design for adaptation to
climate change, benefits for globally poorer communities, or conservation of
biodiversity at sites of global conservation significance." This has been a banner year for the farmers of TIST. In May 2011, TIST’s first four projects in Kenya made TIST the World’s First program to be issued carbon credits certified by both Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB).*
In December, TIST farmers earned two more “World's Firsts”. The fifth TIST project in Kenya was the World’s First afforestation/reforestation program to be verified "CCB Gold", for its extraordinary benefits to the communities in which it works. The fifth TIST project was also the first in the world to be verified as a Grouped Project, under the new VCS standard, 3.0/3.1.** This will effectively streamline certification of future TIST projects.
The continued success and expansion of the TIST program and its award-winning monitoring system has been supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID Kenya Mission Director, Erna Kerst, is proud of the positive impact that Kenya farmers are having through the TIST program.
“TIST has been innovative and bold from the beginning. I’m not surprised that the farmers of TIST are
celebrating a ”World’s First” for the third time! TIST is definitely a pioneering example of a successful
collaboration that empowers farmers, improves Kenya’s environment and provides the world with
transparency of results through an innovative technology and process designed to safeguard our
The goal of the TIST Program is to address environmental change and poverty, by providing men and women in developing countries an opportunity to earn payment for environmental services, primarily through the global carbon market.
Working together, more than 60,000 strong, TIST farmers have planted more than 11 million trees since the inception of the program, in 1999. Using an award winning monitoring system developed by CAAC, highly trained farmers visit each tree grove and record the location, number, size, and species of live trees. This process effectively tracks the progress and results of the farmers. The data, including pictures, is uploaded onto a central database, using cell phones, or the Internet, and can be viewed by the public at www.TIST.org.
TIST also provides an infrastructure for training on topics such as nursery development, tree planting, Conservation Farming, fuel-efficient stoves, nutrition and preventative health education. TIST empowers the farmers to take action to change their lives, communities and the world.
TIST currently works in India, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
According to CAAC President Ben Henneke, “we hope to expand the TIST program to a number of new countries over the next five years, to respond to the requests of farmers and governments, who want a transparent process to help reverse the damage of deforestation.”
*The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is the most highly regarded voluntary certification standard for carbon reduction projects. The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB) is a special certification only granted to projects that demonstrably have a positive impact on climate, communities wellbeing and help to preserve biodiversity.
**This project announcement is for a subset of the TIST Kenya program and corresponds to TIST VCS project description VCS-005 and CCB project description CCB-002. It applies to 1,179 Small Groups, 8,692 Members, 6,710 Project Areas and 2,556.1 hectares.
View this project at www.TIST.org. For more information regarding Clean Air Action Corporation’s TIST Program, to schedule an interview, or to discuss partnership or support of TIST, please contact Angela Costello at (918) 747-8770 or