WithOneSeed Timor-Leste Community Forestry Programme

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 8. Work + Economic Growth
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life on Land
  • 17. Partnership

WithOneSeed (Ho Musan Ida)

This project’s long-term vision is to build village-based economies using environmental practices that are viable and support sustainable living. Putting an earned dollar in a person’s pocket empowers them to make decisions for their own future. It is beyond charity and aid.

Today, Timor-Leste is an oil/gas dependent economy. This is not sustainable in the medium to long-term. Planting trees today will allow the country to have viable economic alternatives tomorrow.

The project plans to plant 1,000,000+ trees by replicating the Community Tree Cooperative model across Timor-Leste. The WithOneSeed model documentation will be made available to other Asia-Pacific countries under Creative-Commons ethos.

WithOneSeed has successfully gained Gold Standard certification. Carbon credits produced under this program, branded CarbonSocial, meet both international and Australia carbon offset standards, and are the only internationally certified credits available from Timor-Leste.

Importantly, all funds raised from the sale of CarbonSocial credits are used to directly pay small landholder subsistence farmers to plant and manage the forests. It’s this annual incentive payment that is the innovation of this project. If a subsistence farmer has to choose between planting a cash crop or planting trees that may take 20 years to provide a financial return, the choice is obvious. However, if we can make a cash crop from trees that sequester carbon, the equation is quite different.

Project impacts and benefits:

WithOneSeed has embraced the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. CarbonSocial credits support multiple SDGs.

The program’s achievements to date include the following:

  • The program has 730 farmers who have planted 110,000 trees. The farmers own and maintain the trees and receive an annual incentive payment for this management.
  • Eleven staff are employed by the Timor-Leste organisation Ho Musan Ida Foundation, which supplies seedlings to farmers, facilitates agroforestry education and training, and distributes annual tree payments to participating farmers.
  • The Baguia Farmers Cooperative has been established to represent the interests of participating farmers. 
  • Since 2010, WithOneSeed has contributed over US$250,000 into the Baguia economy. 
  • In Feb 2016, WithOneSeed achieved Gold Standard Afforestation/Reforestation certification, making their credits eligible for carbon offsetting under Australia’s National Carbon Offsetting Standard
  • In June 2016, after considerable negotiation, an MOU with the Government of Timor-Leste was agreed and signed that assigns the carbon rights to the farmers who are planting and maintaining trees on their land
  • By Dec 2017, a further 15 tree nurseries have been established across the sub-district making a total of 21 nurseries that will propagate around 30,000 trees a year for the members of the Baguia Tree Cooperative.
  • Currently a finance cooperative is in the process of being established that will provide a banking service to the Baguia Farmers Cooperative.

For more information, please visit: www.withoneseed.org.au


“This is one of the best, most exciting environment program I have seen, and it will be successful”
Dr Jose Ramos HortaFormer Prime Minister and President of Timor Leste and Nobel Peace Laureatte
“To put an ‘earned’ dollar is someone’s pocket give them the power to determine their own future. WithOneSeed supports communities to move beyond charity and aid by delivering opportunities for communities and individuals to become economically independent.”
Andrew Mahar AMCo-founder WithOneSeed
“The Tree Cooperative is for our future. It is not about my needs, it is for my children and my children’s children.”
Leopoldina GuteressHo Musan Ida Country Manager, Timor-Leste