IDS Alum Launches Project to Combine Environmental Protection with Economic Development

by Danielle Eiseman, IDS ’09

As developed nations adopt new restrictions on pollution, newly developing nations are left with little options.  Many wealthy governments fail to consider the impact of worldwide regulations on the poorer ones.  Nations that have been slow to develop manufacturing, now have the potential to sell carbon credits through reforestation and agricultural projects.   Developing nations have large areas of farm land that are available for carbon credits.  By trading on the carbon emissions market developing countries can acquire income instead of debt.  The agriculture projects can provide food for those that go without it, and high polluters can offset their emissions.  Wealthy nations such as the those in the EU do not want to participate in this type of trading scheme.  The EU would rather see developing nations receive aid for new greener technology in industry, leading to further debt and exploitation of indigenous people.

I developed the idea for CODI while writing my master’s thesis on the carbon offset market and submitted my plan to an international social enterprise competition.  My plan was picked as a semi-finalist but I had to withdraw, as I was unable to attend the finals to present my idea.  Through my research I realized developed countries have the opportunity to take part in this multi-billion dollar market that is emerging.  Meanwhile, developing nations that struggle with economic stability are left out of the market place.  This market has the ability to promote social change and economic development in the areas that need it the most.  Together we can fight climate change and enable small communities to establish green technology, whether that is in agriculture, manufacturing, or energy. Find out more at

You follow Danielle on Twitter at @codicarbon.


Pictured above: The Casa Hogar Children’s Home in Oaxaca, Mexico, site of proposed aquaponic farm; The children of Casa Hogar.