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About MNZ

IIRR’s new initiative, Mission Net Zero (MNZ), is our contribution towards the global push to achieve Net Zero, while also continuing our decades-long tradition of work for social and economic improvement in our partner communities.

Mission Net Zero is committed to a gender-aware approach. It utilizes this gender lens to guide its implementation in five focus areas: Regenerative Agriculture, Agroforestry, Rural Energy, Mangrove Reforestation, and Peatland Conservation.

In implementing each of these interventions we will achieve natural carbon sequestration and / or emissions reduction, while also delivering social, economic, and gender benefits to rural communities.

Goals of MNZ

Combat climate change through net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

Foster social and economic development in rural communities, especially for women

Promote climate-smart investing by empowering rural entrepreneurs

MNZ's Gender Lens will

  • Consider the gender-differentiated impact of each intervention
  • Promote equal representation of men and women in all programs
  • Integrate women in the implementation of all agricultural intervention plans
  • Ensure educational materials are gender-sensitive
  • Collect and utilize gender data

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is based on the basic practices of increasing soil fertility, biodiversity, water retention and cleanliness, and soil carbon sequestration. IIRR pursues these practices complementarily and based on what will be most effective in each context. Notably, a recent study indicates that farms with regenerative practices were 78% more profitable than those with only conventional practices.

The strategies employed include soil sensing, carbon sequestration, local R&D, traceability enhancement, product safety promotion, and mechanization support, among others.

This intervention builds on our previous work in Ethiopia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia.

Agroforestry

In agroforestry systems the cultivation and growth of food crops, pastures, animals, and trees are designed to benefit each other and the rest of the natural environment. The resulting environment therefore includes sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, and thus sustainable and climate-friendly development for farmers and their communities. Specifically, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates the global potential for carbon removal via agroforestry at 0.1-5.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Agroforestry techniques include planting trees and crops with ecological compatibility and following various land-use practices.

IIRR’s multi-year HARVEST project in Ethiopia also utilized some of these techniques.

Rural Renewable Energy

Many cookstoves pollute the home and are energy-intensive. Efficient cookstoves reduce air pollution, improve health by minimizing toxins in homes, and have a downstream effect of preventing climate change and biodiversity loss by reducing hydrocarbon emissions. The emissions from the combustion of unsustainably harvested wood fuel alone accounts for roughly 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Efficient cookstoves are more energy efficient and save families, especially women, money and time. IIRR will provide families with efficient cookstoves so that they may harness the climatological, social, and economic impacts of cooking with clean fuel.

Previously, solar power and fuel-efficiency training were also part of IIRR’s work in Kenya.

Mangrove Reforestation

Mangroves are key sources of food, income, protection from extreme weather events, and are one of the most carbon-rich biomes. They also stabilize coastline ecosystems and prevent erosion. IIRR’s intervention will prioritize reforesting lost mangroves and preventing any future deforestation.

Mangrove soil held around 6.4 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2000. Between 2000 and 2015 up to 122 million tonnes of this was released due to mangrove forest loss – over 75% of which came from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar alone. Pound for pound, mangroves sequester more than four times the carbon sequestered by rainforests.

Mangrove protection & restoration has been a key goal of IIRR for many years, evidenced by our work in Cambodia and the Philippines.

Peatland Conservation

Peatlands are a type of wetlands, and one of Earth’s most valuable ecosystems. Their existence ensures the preservation of global biodiversity, safe drinking water, minimizes flood risks, and are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store. Every year, natural peatland sequesters 3.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide – more than all other vegetation types combined. However, damaged peatlands are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and release almost 6% of global anthropogenic emissions – here lies the value of peatland restoration.

IIRR will protect the world’s best source of carbon sequestration by preventing further peatland degradation, and restoring damaged peatlands. Specific techniques include covering bare peat areas with vegetation, blocking drains to raise the water table, and return waterlogged conditions and re-introducing mosses to areas where they have been lost.

IIRR has proven success in this area, having already restored 1,936 hectares of the previous Leyte Sab-a Basin Peatland in the Philippines, equaling over 62% of the total basin area.