Acorn at the 2023 Africa Climate Summit

The Africa Climate Summit: growth and development

Part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (and leading up to COP28), four Regional Climate Weeks are to be held this year. The first of these, Africa Climate Week, took place in Kenya, Nairobi, from September 4th until the 8th. Parallel to this event, Kenya also hosted the Africa Climate Summit.

Focused on “driving green growth and climate finance solutions for Africa and the world”, this summit brought together key players to discuss climate solutions, challenges to overcome, and opportunities currently being realized in various regions.

Acorn colleagues Emily Ongus and Ineke Keers at Africa Climate Summit 2023.

Valuable discussions and invaluable connections

A platform to celebrate and showcase successes as much as an occasion to network and learn, commit to real change, the summit was a great opportunity for Acorn. Our all-female delegation, Ineke Keers, Martine Jansen, Margreet Muizebelt, Maud Slippens and Emily Ongus were present at Africa Climate Summit to share the growth, impact and experiences of our Acorn agroforestry projects.

Acorn colleague, Margreet Muizebelt (second to the left), on a panel discussion at Africa Climate Summit 2023.

Maud Slippens, Acorn Account Manager, explained how much of the week’s program was focused on carbon and carbon legislation. “A discussion point was how carbon projects had to increase finance to flow to African countries, but there was the question of how to flow back directly to the people, to farmers – and that’s actually where Acorn comes in,” she elaborated.

The summit also brought together several of our local partners. Emily Ongus, Acorn Account Manager, shared how, “Meeting our local partners in such an environment helped us strategize on efficient ways of farmer communication and outreach.”

Huge grant announcements at the summit

Speakers at the conference emphasized the huge potential of Africa to be part of the solution, noting that while Africa’s contribution to the climate change is much lower than other continents, its impact for mitigation could be immense.

In line with this vision, Bezos Earth Fund and USAID announced their grant funds to support climate action in Africa at the summit. Of these investments, a total of $5 million was granted to Acorn agroforestry projects to help further support the local partners and smallholder farmers we partner with.

Beyond the conference table

During the Climate Week, the Acorn team also made field visits to some of our dedicated farmers and their agroforestry projects in Kenya. Ineke Keers, Head of Business Development, shared how it was incredible to see the extensive knowledge these farmers had about regenerative agriculture, and how they have integrated agroforestry within this wider ecosystem. Though, she also noted that further support for agroforestry training would be helpful for the community, particularly for the farmers new to the agroforestry approach.

In Kenya, most women only access and use land but do not own it, due to long standing legislation or customs. This made the visit to Grace’s farm even more inspiring, as Ineke put it, “It was really empowering to see the influence of women farmers on their communities. Their ability to mobilize their fellow farmers towards regenerative and agroforestry practices is truly impressive to witness.”

About Acorn

We help support smallholder farmers in developing countries transition to agroforestry. Together with local partners, we facilitate the funding and training needed by farmers to start their agroforestry transition. Transforming the sequestered CO2 through agroforestry into Carbon Removal Units (CRUs), we offer carbon credits to responsible corporates to help them reach their climate goals. The growth of the trees is measured with satellite imagery, AI, and LiDAR, and certified by ICROA-accredited Plan Vivo.

With 80% of the sales revenue going directly to the farmers, it creates an additional income stream and helps them adopt a more climate-resilient way of farming that improves food security, biodiversity, and financial independence.

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