Led by co-founder Mary Johnson, this division of the company that was started in 2010, was created in 2016 to fill a need that was going unmet in the global permaculture movement. Mary formed an global alliance of female change-makers, connected them with key social entrepreneurs developing ground breaking innovations, and is now working collaboratively with a wide array of businesses, ngo’s, family foundations and individuals to accelerate investment of financial, intellectual, and social capital flowing into a carbon farming climate solution that prioritizes the empowerment of women and girls -those who suffer the impacts of climate change far more severely, and who produce more than 70% of the world’s food while owning less than 1% of the land. It’s time for change.
Our Grassroots Climate Solution
Working with over 60 female leaders hailing from around the world, we designed an approach to address the key issues facing women and indigenous communities most affected by climate change. We are connected now to more than 24 partner organizations who are collaborating in this effort who are working in 11 countries. We are connecting women led producer groups with an amazing climate mitigation and forest conservation concept developed over the past 30 years in Indonesia by Dr. Willie Smits – an orangutan conservationist, climate champion, scientist and engineer.
This group is working to scale-up Dr. Smit’s award winning innovation, a permaculture designed micro-factory that produces zero waste, has zero emissions, and combats the three main human sources of climate change; fossil fuel use, tropical deforestation, and the degrading impacts of conventional agriculture.What is so amazing about this innovation, is that it simultaneously produces incredible poverty aleving co-benefits that help women climb out of poverty, improve the health and nutrition of their families, and has a positive ROI that is used by the community to reforest degraded areas and grow the suite of enterprises supported by the micro-factory. A truly regenerative climate solution that works for women.
Investments that bring these micro-factories to women led producer groups, allows these farmers to own their own value-adding processing technology, which increases their returns from the diverse array of sustain-ably harvested high-value forest products and crops they grow. It also reduces crop loss due to food spoilage, often as much as 50% of what they grow, immediately increasing their incomes and improving the quality of their lives, at the community scale. The micro-factory also produces clean drinking water, organic biochar fertilizer – a highly effective way to draw excess CO2 out of the atmosphere. What makes this system a game changer is that it produces a highly efficient forest-grown perennial biofuel. Unlike corn ethanol that has a net negative impact, sugar palm ethanol is a clean energy that when grown in this system, enhances biodiversity, improves the lives of women and their communities, and offers millions of people currently without electricity to access a clean development alternative, and to grow it themselves. All these benefits arise from an eco-agricultural system that sequesters atmospheric carbon on an ongoing basis helping to reverse the devastating effects currently impacting these families the most.
Three of these micro-factories are already in operation, and the Indonesian government is committed to building 8 more micro-factories. Funds are being raised now to invest in the infrastructure needed to bring this system to other communities, and to replicate and adapt it to other crops around the world. Why not join our effort?
This video shows the sugar palm polyculture system. This is a critical system to scale-up because of its potential to replace the destructive African Oil Palm.
The current oil palm industry is rapidly deforesting the last remaining tropical forests around the globe, literally igniting “carbon bombs” as they burn the stored carbon from tropical forests, removing the forests’ carbon storing capacity and increasing greenhouse gas emissions into the over burdened atmosphere.
Sugar Palm, on the other hand, is grown in a diverse forest production system rather than a monoculture. Its sugary sap can be collected year round from a forest ecosystem that requires no chemical inputs. It regenerates degraded soils, is resilient in the face of climate disruption, and is a carbon negative production system for ethanol, much more efficient than any other source of ethanol currently produced at commercial scale. If scaled-up, this system could replace much of the world’s petroleum fuel use with a bio-fuel that can actually heal the atmosphere, sucking the excess carbon back out of the air and storing it safely in the soils and in tropical forest biomass. There are currently 2 billion hectares of degraded agricultural lands around the world that could be regenerated as part of a global carbon farming climate solution – at a cost of less than $2/hectare. Time is of the essence.
We connect corporations whose supply chains are threatened by climate disruption to farmers whose livelihoods are being disrupted. Our alliance members are ready to scale this innovation around the world. We need your help. This is an important piece of the climate change solution that producers all around the world can start to use right now. It can be integrated into existing supply chains, improving corporations’ overall sustainability commitments, however most corporations won’t take that risk alone. We need private social impact investors and foundations to pitch-in and partner with corporations who are inhibited from investing in higher risk new and innovative approaches like this. Once up and running however, corporations are eager to find producers to fill the rapidly growing consumer demand for regeneratively grown organic products. That means, in the long term, the scale-out of this model can be sustain-ably financed, both through the significant positive return on investment (37%) that the system yields, and through corporate “insetting” approaches that empower companies to reduce their carbon footprint while helping alleviate poverty, protecting tropical forests from deforestation, and preserving some of the most bio diverse and culturally threatened “hotspots” on the planet, giving them a powerful marketing message to show consumers what they are doing to protect the earth and all its precious inhabitants.
The system is fully scaleable, being modular and made of off-the-shelf components. It can start out small, serving 40 families, and grow to serve over 6000. This video shows a smaller version for processing a high-value tree seed “butter” – ideal for cosmetic uses and as a superfood.
TGI’s role is to connect highly effective farmer training programs already working with female-led producer groups to individual donors, foundations, social impact investors, and project partners and then to guide the build-out and sustainable financing of scale-out this solution from each micro-factory hub that gets built. Dr. Willie Smits’ team is available to support the construction and transfer of their factory design and community level processes needed to make each hub successful and requires all partners agree to a set of ethical principles so that each project grows into a truly eco-socially regenerative whole systems approach that is appropriate to each project’s location’s specific culture, ecology and socio-political context.
As each partners’ enterprises come online we will then help connect them to natural products companies all around the world that seek to form equitable purchasing relationships with mission-aligned regenerative producers. We also seek to grow the capacity of the corporations that buy from these projects to co-create more eco-socially regenerative supply eco-systems that address the root causes of poverty, so these innovations :
- Empower women and indigenous communities as change makers globally
- Increase the carbon sequestration potential of their eco-agriculture systems
- Create carbon negative biofuel production systems to help alleviate rural poverty and tackle a critical piece of the climate solution while providing climate justice
- Localize the value-adding processing of women’s products to keep more of the supply system dollars in the hands of local women farmers who need them to adapt to climate change
How can you engage?
The success of this work requires that we connect with more funder’s and corporations interested in implementing regenerative agriculture on the ground.We need social impact investors who understand the important role of patient capital in growing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We eagerly accept volunteers with skills and connections in these areas who can help us help more producer groups quickly.
If you want to help you can:
Create an Investment Club that offsets your own personal carbon footprint with friends and green businesses in your network – we will connect you with others to pool your resources and link you with a project that wants to build a sugar palm micro-processing factory.
Grow Our Network of partner projects. We already have 24 partnerships on the ground across the planet, and we know there are thousands of potential hub sites yet to connect with us. We are already connected to cosmetics and food companies relying on the global supply system, and we need more who are ready to invest directly into “insetting” to reach their sustainability goals and invest in regenerating a climate-secure future.
Energize Our Work with financial capital. These projects are a part of the necessary and beautiful future of regenerative agriculture on planet earth. We need Patient Capital investors, mentors, and supporters who can help us connect resources that can grow the multi-capital nature of these projects and scale this work rapidly.
To Learn More, Invest, and/or Collaborate, Contact:
Mary Johnson, co-founder Terra Genesis International and Carbon Farming Innovation Director for Green America, firstname.lastname@example.org
Russell Wallack, Ecological Designer and Regenerative Business Consultant, Terra Genesis International, email@example.com
Our List of Alliance Partners & Project Sites:
- Masarang Foundation – Indonesia Founded by Dr. Willie Smits (3 sugar palm micro-factory hubs in operation, 8 more planned)
- APAA Congo – See page 7 Seeking 1 micro-factory APAA Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo APAA Congo works to support sustainable community development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With funding from EFN, APAA Congo conducted a series of workshops to improve the sustainable agricultural practices of women farmers, who make up more than 75% of farmers in the region. In addition to improving food production, workshop attendees learned how to interview and document experiences from other women in agriculture. APAA uses this information to address the needs of women in the community, a group that is often overlooked and underrepresented.
- Better World Cameroon – Eco-village training center, seeking 1 micro-factory for essential oil production and native species commercialization
- Camino Verde – Amazon in Peru, and Uganda, seeking 1 micro-factory
- Center for Sustainable Communities – Ghana seeking 1 micro-factory
- Daraja Academy – Kenya Initiative educating female change agents, seeking 1 micro-factory
- ICOD Action Network – Uganda, working with 200,000+farmers, seeking 1 micro-factory, videos
- La Asociacion de Productores Agropecuarios Rio Mayo Shanao (APARMASH) – Peru highlands, seeking 1 micro-factory for cacao and sacha inchi production
- Laikipia Permaculture Center -seeking 2 micro-factories for work with Massai nomads displaced by climate change-related exotic species invasions
- Madjulla – Living Waters Project of 3 Aboriginal Communities in northern Australia – seeking 2 micro-factories for commercialization of medicinal plants and baobab
- Paititi Institute – Peru highlands and Amazon
- Rio Muchacho Organic Farm – coastal Ecuador, near epicenter of spring 2016 earthquake. Seeking 1 micro-factory for sacha inchi and passion fruit enterprises, and a local eco-school for village children and eco-park
- WaSamaki Ecosystems – Seeking 1 micro-factory for an indigenous women’s cooperative for value-added processing of local crops
- Yayasan Wisnu – Indonesia, seeking 1 micro-factory for a ridge-to-reef conservation program and Living School program.
Other Key Change Agents supporting the projects in their development:
- Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions -Supply Chain Innovation Network facilitation
- The Permaculture Research Institute – training farmers, consultancies, broad acre land regeneration
- Gaia U – Creating a global earth repair corps where indigenous youth can help regenerate the planet by supporting these projects, and heal the wounds of climate injustice
- Pravada Shamanic Sound Healing -Creating a global women’s sound healing circle – to support women’s empowerment and healing as project participants work on gender justice issues and earth regeneration
- eKutire Global – Redesigning their IT based solutions to promote eco-agriculture approaches with the 600,000+ farmers using their technology in India and SE Asia – 3 min. video
- The Hummingbird Project – Providing technical assistance and agroecology and living soils training support to project centers in India and Kenya
- Just Us! Center for Small Farms – training support for partner sites
- Remineralize the Earth – Biochar and rock dust mineral innovations and research for carbon sequestration through farming
- Eric Toensmeier – Author of The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security
Co-Founder of Terra Genesis International, and Director of Green America’s Carbon Farming Supply Chain Innovation Network, Mary Johnson now works as an independent consultant working with natural products companies to facilitate a global shift towards more coherent, ecologically and socially regenerative systems. Her work is fuel by a deep personal understanding of how Climate impacts and the dominant economic system are imposing devastating impacts that threaten the lives of women and girls who are more vulnerable due to wide spread acceptance of discrimination. Her work seeks to bring climate justice to indigenous communities, and female farmers working at the base of supply chains to end gender oppression by bringing award winning innovations to those who can use them to sequester carbon, improve food and nutrition security, and end the downward spiral of dire poverty. She does this by facilitating the co-design and birth of regenerative whole system approaches that redisign destructive extractive supply chains, into thriving mutually beneficial supply ecosystems. With your help, we will be able to expand the global conversation on gender and climate justice and begin the most important task ever attempted by the human species, restoring the climate system and we’ll do it in a way that generates positive social change through Regenerative Agriculture.