UPDATED 11 July 2023


New ways of valuing climate and sustainable development impact to unlock funding for innovative regenerative agroforestry project in South Africa

Gold Standard and R20 today announced that they have signed an MOU with TERRAGRN, a company creating a sustainable biodiverse forest in South Africa.

Gold Standard and R20 will work with TERRAGRN and partners to explore innovative ways of managing, measuring, and valuing its impact on the climate and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Valuing a diversity of impacts such as mitigation, adaptation, water, soil health, gender and welfare will allow projects like TERRAGRN’s to use the impacts as a form of collateral that increases the amount of investment in their project.

In practice this means that future carbon mitigation assets like carbon credits or other positive impacts expected to be delivered by the project could be used to secure a low-interest loan. Lenders have the confidence that if the loan is defaulted on, they are entitled to the carbon credits or value of other verified impacts, just as mortgage providers may provide lower interest rates on mortgages by using the house as an asset for collateral. R20 will support outreach and fundraising, to help with scaleup, usability and replicability of the activities.

Gold Standard CEO Margaret Kim said:
“Gold Standard has two decades of experience in managing, measuring and maximising impact towards climate mitigation and sustainable development. With agreements like this one with TERRAGRN we are using this experience to encourage an innovative approach to sustainable investment – still rooted in our core principles of environmental integrity and measurable and verified sustainable development impact.”

TERRAGRN CEO Sundar Bharadwaj said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Gold Standard and R20, who are both highly reputable leaders in their respective areas of expertise. As a collective, we are all committed to making a positive, lasting and meaningful impact in the climate action space. There is no doubt that the backing of organisations like these confirms that TERRAGRN is on the right track regarding delivering against our vision, which includes the practical steps we are already taking to transform degraded or under-utilised landscapes into sustainable, bio-diverse, carbon-sequestering agroforests. In addition, our partnership will deliver significant benefits to the communities, the environment and economy at large.”

TERRAGRN’s first pilot project will be in Mpumalanga, South Africa and aims to turn 200,000 hectares of unused degraded land into a thriving biodiverse and profitable agroforestry and manufacturing venture while achieving significant, measurable and verified impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Following the completion of this the initial phase of this South African project, TERRAGRN, will refine the concept and then develop similar projects across other parts of Africa.

About Gold Standard

Gold Standard (@goldstandard) was established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs as a best practice standard to help the world #GrowToZero. All Gold Standard-certified projects and programmes accelerate progress toward the Net-Zero ambition of the Paris Climate Agreement while catalyzing impact toward the broader Sustainable Development Goals. Its standard, Gold Standard for the Global Goals, allows climate and development initiatives to quantify, certify, and maximise their impacts toward climate security and sustainable development. Certification against the standard provides the confidence that these results are measured and verified, enabling credible impact reporting. ISEAL Code Compliant and backed by a broad NGO Supporter Network, Gold Standard has 1900+ projects underway in over 90 countries, creating billions of dollars of shared value from climate and development action worldwide.

About Terragrn

Incorporated in 2021, TERRAGRN is a UK private sector company creating sustainable, biodiversity compliant, Bamboo based agroforests in Africa. TERRAGRN is pronounced “Terra Green” emphasising our intention to make our planet green once again.

About R20

As a finance initiatives incubator and technical assistance provider, R20’s mission is to accelerate the design and deployment of financial vehicles for sustainable infrastructure at subnational level.

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