Who We Are
At Trees for the Future (TREES), we train farmers in sustainable land use so that they can build vibrant regional economies, thriving food systems, and a healthier planet. As a global leader in agroforestry training for over 30 years, TREES provides hands-on education and support, encouraging farmers in developing countries to work with nature, not against it.
Our signature methodology, the Forest Garden Approach, helps farmers transform their land with thousands of trees and dozens of crops, creating new possibilities for themselves, and their communities. By embracing sustainable land practices, farmers are reclaiming their agency, breaking the cycles of climate change and generational poverty, and rebuilding our food systems from the ground up. Learn more at trees.org.
About the Opportunity
This is an exciting time for TREES as we are developing our first Nature Based Solutions (NBS) carbon project. The Lake Victoria Watershed Agroforestry Carbon Project uses Verra methodology VM0042 (Version 2) with CCB to develop and monitor VCUs with smallholder farmers on 15,000 hectares of land in Western Kenya. This project involves training and implementing sustainable agroforestry practices with farmers to transform monocropped land into nature-based carbon sinks with above and below-ground biomass and improved soils. In addition, to creating VCUs, the sustainable agroforestry techniques and extension services provided to farmers will ensure diversification of cropping systems including horticulture crops and fruit and fodder trees. The project aims to improve nutrition, increase income and resilience, develop the sustainable growing capability of the land, and enhance biodiversity in the region. The restoration effort will generate an estimated 4.13 million Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) and help farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change.
While this project is at the core of TREES’ current carbon work, this position will undertake outreach, analysis, and advisory services to assist TREES is understanding the breadth of the carbon developer’s space and grow TREES’ carbon portfolio to other countries of operation.
In this role, you will…
The most immediate responsibilities over the next 6 months will involve the following:
- Lead the oversight and management of our current project PDD submission, validation, and verification, including, but not limited to the priority responsibilities outlined below:
- Review the existing draft TREES combined VCS CCB PDD for the Lake Victoria Watershed Agroforestry Carbon Project in accordance with the most recent Verra guidelines for VCS and CCB standards for VM0042 (Version 2)
- Support TREES staff and contracted consultants and provide guidance and oversight for key tasks and activities needed to complete PDD
- Provide oversight and writing support to complete the PDD development process and ensure compliance with Verra’s standards for a VCS with CCB grouped project to successfully achieve project validation according to the latest requirements listed in the Technical References and Standards section below
- Support the compilation of supplemental documentation, data tables, maps, and references into a complete PDD document ready for copy editing before submitting it to Verra.
- Manage TREES Verra Registry, uploading PDD and required documents during all stages until VCU issuance is achieved
- Assist in the selection and contracting of a VVB
- Address any findings and comments on any responses and revisions associated with the public comment period after the PDD is submitted to Verra.
- Support responding to corrective measures (CLs and CARs) indicated during the validation process.
- Act as a primary point of contact and liaison between TREES team and our investor client, ensuring a sound, collaborative relationship.
- Develop timely responses to investor and investor client needs including questions regarding the project, timelines, and associated due diligence
- Lead and manage TREES’ strategic planning for carbon project development to support scaling quality programs with smallholder farmers through voluntary carbon market (VCM) investment mechanisms
- Research and outreach to stay abreast on the dynamic carbon developers’ space, including but not limited to:
- Changes in Verra Standards and all related carbon validation, verification, and issuance developments
- IPCC updates and Paris Climate Agreement Section 6 developments
- Country of operations climate bills, taxes, benefit sharing mandates, and status of corresponding adjustments
- Roll out of industry standards and initiatives, including Core Carbon Principles, maturation of biodiversity credit markets and other developments
- Develop and maintain a network of technical consultants, verification bodies (VVBs), and standard bodies (e.g., Gold Standard, Verra, PlanVivo, etc.) contacts
- Network proactively with relevant organizations including potential project investors, technology providers, multilaterals, public and private entities, government agencies, and others
- Work across TREES’ departments and with field offices to ensure appropriate staffing and technical assistance for carbon project development and implementation
- Manage systems development and improvements for future PDD and carbon project development
- Prepare due diligence materials, project details, and commercial terms for future contracts
- Support the development of marketing and communications materials to showcase TREES’ projects and approach
- Develop materials to educate the Board and staff on carbon project development
- Advise on updates needed to TREES M&E systems and database to ensure streamlined data is available for verification events.
You’ll be a great fit if you have…
Educational and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree (Advanced Degree preferred) in Agriculture, Business, Development, Environment, or a related field
- Prior experience with carbon project development, PDD development, and writing for VCS with CCB (or similar standards) for agroforestry or similar afforestation projects with smallholder farmers that received validation.
- 7+ years of experience in the assessment, development, and implementation of agroforestry and sustainable land-use projects, preferably for carbon markets under the VCS with CCB standards preferably in sub-Saharan Africa
- Proven track record of successfully developing, validating, and/or verifying reforestation/ afforestation projects under the VCS with CCB Standard. Professional experience in partnership development, project management, and reporting
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively with TREES staff on team projects and individual assignments
- Experience developing and implementing strategic initiatives
- Ability and willingness to travel regularly to Africa
- Excellent English written and oral communication skills
Other Technical Competencies
Knowledge and ability to apply the most recent VERRA guidelines for VCS and CCB standards
- VCS Program Guide (v4.3, 17 January 2023)
- VCS Standard (v4.5, August 2023)
- VCS Program Definitions (v4.3, 21 December 2022)
- AFOLU Non-Permanence Risk Tool (v4, 19 September 2019)
- Program Validation and Verification Manual (v3.2, 19 October 2016)
- VM0042 Methodology for Improved Agricultural Land Management, v2.0
- VMD0053 Model Calibration, Validation, and Uncertainty Guidance for the Methodology for Improved Agricultural Land Management, v2.0
- Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standards, v3.1 (21 June 2017; 3rd Edition updates)
- CCB Program Rules; Version 3.1 (21 June 2017)
- CCB Program Definitions; Version 3.0 (21 June 2017)
- Registration-and-Issuance-Process_v4.1.pdf (verra.org)
We have an immediate need to fill this position, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to submit application materials at their earliest convenience. Interviews will begin on September 18th.
Ready to Join our Team?
We’re thrilled that you want to change the world with us. Apply Here.
TREES is an equal opportunity employer.
TREES receives a high volume of inquiries, so we appreciate all interest, but we will only contact those selected for an interview.