10 August, Bangkok, Thailand – South Pole has partnered with Defire, Thailand's leading climate finance platform, to reduce emissions associated with burning crop residues, a common practice among farmers in Thailand.
The two companies are working together to assess whether Defire's projects in Thailand are eligible to participate in the international voluntary carbon market. If the feasibility assessment is successful, the projects will be further developed, in line with the rules and regulations of international carbon standards, so that they can issue certified carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market.
Defire aims to encourage sustainable agriculture practices as well as improve health conditions in Asia. The projects included in South Pole's feasibility assessment are combatting agricultural waste burning by utilising Defire's unique remote-sensing technologies that combine AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) to detect fire and generate alerts, empowering smallholder farmers to better manage burning activities.
"In the absence of better alternatives, farmers are likely to continue the burning of crop residues to clear the land for cultivation because it is the cheapest way to do it. However, these practices create air pollution, emit millions of tons of avoidable greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere every year. We are delighted to be partnering with Defire to create more sustainable options that will incentivize Thai farmers to become real agents of change in reducing these land-use-based emissions," says Russ Cullinane, Associate Director, Global Agriculture Sourcing at South Pole
Theethat Rangkasiri, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Defire added: "We believe that 'Stop Hunger, Stop Fire' is the project that we need to help solve the problem of unsustainable crop and forest burning in Thailand. We must start by improving smallholder farmers' livelihoods. This can be done by utilising green finance mechanisms and carbon credits to lift them above the poverty line, and to create an example of environmental stewardship by enabling them to switch to more sustainable livelihoods."
Defires current projects are located in 16 provinces with various partners such as government departments, international NGOs, private sector actors as well as farmer associations. Both interest in and uptake of Defire's application have been high, with farmers reaping the financial rewards of switching to more sustainable land management practices. The team, led by CEO, Mr. Rangkasiri, has been collaborating closely with farmers in the field to understand their challenges and needs.
Defire's application helps to reduce stubble burning through improved crop residue management. It provides sustainable land-use recommendations to farmers, who can earn 'carbon points' in exchange for implementing alternative practices that measurably avoid the burning of cropland and crop residues. Farmers can redeem their points for cash or agricultural products. Once the projects are generating carbon credits, farmers can be compensated for their emission reductions, or 'carbon points', with extra income earned from the sale of the credits on the international voluntary carbon market.
Using the Defire application, farmers can measure the impact of the recommended practices in near real-time, and gain a better understanding of what the trajectory of carbon emissions would be in their area if they continued burning crop residues, versus if they stopped.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, air pollution in Thailand was so severe that the Thai government advised its people to stay inside. The pollution is the direct result of cropland and residue burning practices in Asia, which are undertaken each year from November to February, and continues to pose a significant health problem in Thailand and other areas of Southeast Asia.
Pattrarat Tangnisaitrong, Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer
(+66) 92 649 6441
Isabel Hagbrink, Director of Communications
Defire is a platform that incentivizes farmers to stop burning croplands and crop residue using carbon credits. The platform combines AI, IoT, and remote sensing technologies to detect and alert the presence of fires. The farmers can register to stop burning their fields in exchange for Carbon Points equivalent to the amount of Carbon reduced from burning and can exchange the points received (Redeem) for cash or agricultural products. Defire harness technology to tackle the issue of crop burning in a sustainable manner, as well as to reduce air pollution and climate change while improving farmers' livelihoods.
South Pole, a social enterprise recognised by the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation, is the world's leading climate solutions provider and carbon project developer. Since its creation in 2006, it has developed nearly 1,000 projects in over 50 countries to reduce over one gigaton of CO2 emissions, and to provide social benefits to less privileged communities who are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Projects range from sustainable agriculture, forest conservation, waste management, to energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy. With its global Climate Solutions platform, South Pole develops and implements comprehensive strategies that turn climate action into long-term business opportunities for companies, governments and organizations around the world.
Learn more about Defire and their activities here
Find out more about project development here.