Field Projects

ICICO (Integrator of Indigenous and Peasant Communities of Oaxaca)

Through photosynthesis, trees capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen (O2) into the air we breathe, cleaning it and carbon (C) becomes a part of the tree’s trunk and branches. Through forest management, we can increase the amount of CO2 captured, and also make sure it stays captured for generations. This is an extremely efficient tool in the fight against the climate crisis.

Basic information

  • 714 comuneros integrate and work in this project.
  • Forests are managed using pine and oak (only local species, no monoculture)
  • Northern Mountain Range of Oaxaca, Mexico
  • + 30,000 tonnes of CO2 captured in 2019
  • Project certified by the Rainforest Alliance and the Climate Action Reserve

Project Overview

Forest management is about preserving large areas of forest, and also doing the necessary interventions so that this forest captures as much CO2 as possible. This involves doing reforestations and large-scale prunings. An extremely important part of this work is wildfire prevention, so that the forest doesn’t burn during wildfire season or that fires are quickly put out before they grow. The forest’s health is permanently monitored; animals like deer, cougars and boars are constantly photographed by tramp-cameras. A virgin forest captures about 4 tonnes of CO2 per hectare annually. With these forest management techniques, paid by our members, one hectare can capture up to 18 tonnes of CO2.


How do you know how much CO2 does this project capture?

In order to know this, we need to measure the growth of trees year after year. 10% of all trees in the forest are manually measured, one by one, once a year. Gathering data on diameter and height, we can learn how much trees have been growing year over year. Trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Oxygen (O2) is returned to the air we breathe, and carbon (C) becomes a part of the tree’s trunk and branches. By measuring a tree’s growth rate, we are also measuring its CO2 absorption rate. One hectare of virgin forest can capture between 0.5 and 4 tonnes of CO2 every year. One hectare of managed forest, on the other hand, can capture up to 18 tonnes of CO2 annually. This is extrapolated to the thousands of hectares that are a part of this project.

Who are the participants in this project?

This project is developed, owned and managed by rural communities. This is great because it allows them to sustainably live from the forestal resources that they own. Their economy is activated, and money is invested into education, healthcare and infrastructure. This is a great example of how sustainable projects like Toroto not only tackle the climate crisis, but also fight inequality and produce economic opportunities where they are needed the most. Toroto has several roles within the project, the most important one being to function as a financial bridge between you and the rural communities that we work with.

What happens with my money? How do I know it’s well-used?

Once you become a member of Toroto, you get a monthly certificate issued to your name impossible to forge. We save a copy. Once a year, we gather all the certificates and pay the rural communities to finance the project into the next year. 75% of the money you pay is used this way. This is done in a public event between September and November to which our customers are invited (there’s limited space! Wait for info to show on our weekly newsletter to join us). All the rural communities that we work with also send a delegation, and the event always takes place in the forest. We also send weekly newsletters with info and evolution about this project. Our social media is constantly updated with videos, explanations and interviews to the project managers. The rest of the money is used for taxes, Toroto’s infrastructure, and growth.

Why is this necessary?

This is necessary because there is already too much CO2 in the atmosphere, and our ecosystem is collapsing. Even though it’s vital to try to reduce our carbon footprint, and we should always do this, it is just as vital to offset that which we cannot reduce. There are two ways to reach a carbon footprint of net-zero: - Dying - Offsetting your carbon footprint with us or a similar project

So if I support this project, I can pollute as much as I want?

Not at all. It’s true that 3 - 3 = 0, and so your footprint is officially erased, but it’s better for the world if we try to get to 2 - 2 = 0, or 1 - 1 = 0. We do not yet live in a carbon-neutral society, so it is extremely important to pollute less and less, and reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can. Six months after you first calculated your carbon footprint with us, you can do it again. If your carbon footprint is smaller, then you can pay less!

Who certifies this project?

The Climate Action Reserve, an environmental not for profit organization that promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through credible market-based policies and solutions. The Reserve also establishes high quality standards for carbon-capture projects in the North American voluntary carbon market and operates a transparent, publicly-accessible registry for carbon credits generated under its standards.

A future (2020)

A documentary by Karime Torres, "A future" is a film that explains the climate crisis and one of the best ways to fight against it. Through forest management, rural communities manage to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and put it down on Earth. The documentary is set in Oaxaca, México and was filmed during one of the annual conventions the communities hold to let the world know what they're doing. You will hear from a lot of wise people that have been living in a forest community all their life, as well as from Toroto's own CEO, Santiago. "A future" will explain the crisis we are all in, but it will also let you know that there is still a future for all.

Geographical location