The impact of projects
Measuring impact to empower our action
Evaluating the impacts that our projects deliver over time has a two-fold objective:
Monitoring how impacts change over time makes it possible to effectively contribute to social and environmental issues by promoting the regeneration of stable ecosystems and by supporting the implementation of adaptive management. It also makes it possible to improve how we learn in order to design projects that keep getting better and better.
Enabling companies to quantify and put a price on the impacts related to their actions is essential for promoting the transformation of business models and reacting to changes in regulatory, technical, political and institutional frameworks.
Impact indicators set up around 4 poles
Impact indicators are determined when the project is designed. They are tailored to the project’s context, type and challenges and are articulated around Reforest'Action’s 4 multifunctionality poles, the same poles that the stability of ecosystems relies on.
All of our projects contribute to combatting climate change, particularly by sequestering atmospheric carbon. They can also influence precipitation patterns and improve the microclimate. Therefore, they help limit the impact of climatic conditions on the ecosystem.
Our projects are designed to be better hosts of biodiversity, providing it with diverse and complementary habitats and resources and limiting disturbances that affect it. Therefore, pollinators, dispersers, decomposers and other auxiliaries participate in the maintenance and natural regenerative capabilities of the ecosystem.
Soil and water are very much intertwined and are the foundation of ecosystems’ strength and health. Therefore, our projects focus on restoring and preserving the quality and integrity of the soil/water system, as well as the proper functioning of the water and nutrient cycles. In this way, they generate a healthy foundation for their development and renewal in the event of disruption.
All our projects must support human well-being, providing resources, income, education, and economic independence while also supporting leisure, heritage, culture and spirituality. Thanks to the socio-economic benefits they provide, our projects are preserved and maintained by the communities they are in contact with.
The 3 phases of impact assessment
The forecasting methods rely on mathematical models, scientific literature and data to estimate the future impacts of projects. Taking the project’s context (issues, risks, opportunities and characteristics of the site) and the needs, objectives and capacities of the project leader into consideration, their objective is to evaluate the quality of the project design (adaptation, multi-functionality and stability of the project), and, if necessary, to suggest ways to improve the projects’ design. Impact forecasting allows our contributors to project themselves into quantified impacts upstream of the project, in order to adapt their contribution to their needs and their own impacts.
During the first 5 years of the project, we verify that the project action points, on which the impacts of the projects are based, are being carried out as planned. These may include setting up a nursery, training programs, tree planting, installing protections, tree maintenance work or events for raising awareness. These initial checks are crucial because the project is still young, which makes it easy to take corrective action if necessary. This information allows contributors to better project themselves into bringing their projects to fruition.
From the sixth year, projects are monitored by a combination of methods, to supervise their progress and health, as well as to measure their impacts on biodiversity, climate, the soil/water system and communities. Monitoring can be remote (surveys, remote sensing) or carried out on site (focus groups, field protocols). Measuring projects’ impacts and progress makes it possible to observe their multi-functionality, to check that they are resisting disruptions and that they are renewed. It also makes it possible to better support the project from cradle to grave, by implementing management adapted to the changes to the project and its context. Some impact measurement methodologies are already available, others are being developed within our "Research and Innovation" unit.
Some impact measurement methodologies are already available, while others are being developed by our "Research and Innovation" unit.