The Ibi Village concept was developed at the beginning of 2000, as a result of many years of thinking by a group of friends and interested people led by Olivier and Thierry Mushiete. It was a modern version of the ideas that their father, Paul Mahamwe Mushiete, had formulated for the valorization of the land on the Batéké plateau.
The objectives were:
- to plant trees and manioc on 4,200 ha according to the agro-forestry method in cooperation with the local population
- to set up the necessary infrastructure, including in the fields of health and education
- to finance the project through the sale of carbon credits and manioc
The first trees were planted in 2008.
And three years later (February 2011), Ibi Village reached a milestone: it became the first private project in DRC to be registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), allowing the CO2 stored in the planted trees to be traded as carbon credits.
Unfortunately the project did not manage to get out of the costs, therefor two components were added in 2015 to reduce costs and increase revenues:
- collaboration with “partner farmers” instead of wage labour
- production and commercialization of sustainable charcoal
The conversion to this new business model guarantees the continued reforestation of the Batéké plateau and thus contributes to the well-being of the local population.