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Mission Net Zero is a new initiative by IIRR to contribute to 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.

Working directly with farmers in East Africa and Southeast Asia, IIRR is on a mission to:

  • Combat climate change through reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Foster social and economic development in rural communities, especially for women
  • Promote climate-smart investing by empowering farmers and other rural entrepreneurs

There are a number of benefits to this initiative, including increased crop yields, higher and more diverse incomes, rural job creation, improved soil, and water quality, and enhanced resilience to climate change.

Issues addressed

Mission Net Zero has five areas of focus: Regenerative Agriculture, Agroforestry, Rural Energy, Mangrove Reforestation, and Peatland Conservation. Each of these provides a nature-based and sustainable solution to a carbon-related problem facing our partner communities and the wider systems they are a part of:

  • Regenerative agriculture (RA) can help reduce GHG emissions by the industrial food system, (which is responsible for 44 – 57% of global GHGs) and capture carbon by increasing soil health
  • Expanding land cultivated for traditional agriculture is the main contributor to deforestation (approx. 70 – 90% of global deforestation). Agroforestry is a solution to capture carbon and preserve biodiversity.
  • Transitioning to clean rural energy will reduce GHG emissions and reduce health risks such as asthma.
  • Mangroves and peatlands are important carbon sinks, and restoring and conserving both ecosystems brings a host of other benefits, such as increased biodiversity and improved water quality.

Why IIRR? 

IIRR has over 60 years of technical expertise and research in rural development, regenerative agriculture, and livelihood creation in 46 countries, reaching 17 million people to date. Our deep-rooted and trusted community relationships in East Africa and Southeast Asia and our long-standing partnerships with sector leaders make us the ideal partner to co-develop carbon projects. IIRR projects are highly cost-effective, as labor and other input costs are typically 50-90% below those in developed countries.

How it works

Mission Net Zero operates through a partnership between rural communities, funding partners, and other stakeholders, mediated by IIRR.  The process begins with scoping and roadmap development, followed by implementation, and finally, impact assessment. The knowledge gained during the process of planning and implementation is then fed back to the partnership.