What is Green REAP?And how is it changing lives?
BOMA is empowering the people and places most impacted by climate change with a new program that helps women, youth, and refugees to build lasting livelihoods and escape extreme poverty.
The people least responsible for climate change continue to bear the biggest burden. BOMA is working to change that.
BOMA provides a pathway out of starvation-level poverty for the people most impacted by climate change. BOMA participants receive education and training in business, finance and more over approximately two years. At the same time, they receive grants to start their own business — and, later, grants to grow or diversify those businesses — and regular support from BOMA mentors. BOMA has transformed the lives of more than 450,000 women, youth, and refugees in Africa, with a focus on regions heavily impacted by climate change.
Green REAP is a new program developed by BOMA which incorporates indigenous knowledge and environmental considerations at every step. Participants graduate Green REAP having built a lasting livelihood that enriches themselves and their families — and which also gives back to local ecosystems including forests. In growing Green REAP, BOMA intends to bolster the upward mobility and climate resilience of the people and places most impacted by climate change.
Here are the Top Ten things you need to know about Green REAP:
1. Green REAP delivers climate change funding where it is most needed
2. Green REAP incentivizes and rewards reforestation at zero additional cost to donors and government
3. Each dollar invested in Green REAP is expected to double in value as participating communities increase their incomes and regenerate their forests
4. Green REAP puts women, youth, refugees and indigenous groups at the forefront of climate change adaptation and mitigation
5. Green REAP is locally-developed, locally-managed, and locally-led
6. By the time they graduate from Green REAP, participants will have traded destructive livelihoods like charcoal collection for "green" livelihoods that give back to the environment.
7. Green REAP helps participants and communities develop businesses help to maintain, protect, and restore local environments. This includes the production of forest honey, aloe, gums and resins, and biomass briquettes.
8. Green REAP sees the climate crisis as inextricably linked to extreme poverty, especially in the Sahel and arid and semi-arid drylands of Africa, and so it’s addressing them together
9. Green REAP was tested in Kenya in 2020 and is being rolled out across northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia
10. Green REAP was developed by BOMA, with financing from the Climate Justice Resilience Fund and in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service
Frequently Asked Questions about Green REAP:
1. What’s a “green” micro-enterprise?
A small business that provides both an environmental benefit and a healthy profit margin.
2. Why should the extreme poor be interested in greener enterprises? Aren’t they just trying to survive?
They are. And they know better than anyone that they and their communities cannot survive if their natural environment does not provide critical ecosystem services like water retention and filtration, flood control, cooking fuel, medicinal plants, pasture, and rain. By going “green”, they ensure those services are strengthened in their lifetimes and available to their great-grandchildren.
3. How are climate gains, especially Green REAP carbon sequestration, being measured and verified?
Green REAP areas are national forests under the management of the Kenya Forest Service. The KFS has a robust REDD+ monitoring system in place that tracks changes in forest carbon sequestration.
4. How will BOMA access funding in a way that doesn’t contribute to “green washing”?
We are developing our policy now. At a minimum, we are committed to the additionality principle, which states that carbon credits are only legitimate if they are earned on new not pre-existing biomass.
5. Is this initiative locally-driven or top-down?
Green REAP is centred around Indigenous lifeways and traditional conservation methods. Community conservation groups determine their own forest and rangelands management priorities and approaches. BOMA assists them to identify green livelihoods and derive an economic benefit from their sustainable natural resource management.
6. Will I be able to contribute to Green REAP through carbon offset programmes?
In the future, yes.
7. Is this just planting trees?
No. We do promote tree planting according to sound ecological principles. However, Green REAP embeds tree planting within a locally-driven conservation strategy that considers how healthy forests and rangelands can pull people out of poverty.
8. Is Green REAP sustainable?
All Green REAP businesses are screened to ensure they have at least a net zero impact on the environment, but many have a net positive impact. Each business is screened according to five standards: land, water, energy, waste, and society.
9. How much does Green REAP cost, compared to other poverty graduation, NRM, or feed security approaches?
BOMA’s programming is consistently amongst the most cost-effective models for poverty graduation and community resilience in the drylands. A randomized control trial is now underway to assess Green REAP’s dual impact on poverty and climate change.
10. How does this support / align with national plans and structures?
Green REAP is entirely aligned with host countries’ plans and commitments, including REDD+ goals, forest management plans, and national climate change and environmental action plans. It is also aligned with national poverty targets. We work closely with sub-national forestry and natural resource management departments.
11. What’s the return on investment?
BOMA’s standard poverty graduation approach has an ROI of 3.1 (source: RCT led by UC-Davis). The Green REAP ROI is now being assessed.