International Jaguar Day, TIST—Tree Growing Farmers In Tanzania, EarthShot Prize Finalist, ROAM Motors

by | Nov 29, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

International Jaguar Day, TIST—Tree Growing Farmers In Tanzania, EarthShot Prize Finalist, ROAM Motors



International Jaguar Day was created to raise awareness about the increasing threats facing the jaguar and the critical conservation efforts ensuring its survival from Mexico to Argentina. Observed annually on November 29, International Jaguar Day celebrates the largest wild cat in the North, Central and South American hemispheres. The Jaguar is an umbrella species for biodiversity conservation and an icon for sustainable development and the centuries-old cultural heritage of Central and South America. 

Umbrella species are species selected for making conservation-related decisions, typically because protecting these species indirectly protects the many other species that make up the ecological community of its habitat. International Jaguar Day also represents the collective voice of jaguar range countries, in collaboration with national and international partners, to draw attention to the need to conserve jaguar corridors and their habitats as part of broader efforts to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

In March 2018 representatives from 14 range countries gathered in New York at United Nations’ Headquarters for the Jaguar 2030 Forum. This Forum resulted in the creation of the Jaguar 2030 Statement which outlined a wide range of internationally collaborative jaguar conservation initiatives, including the proposal to create an International Jaguar Day. Among the many voices that joined in this call for a Jaguar Day, was that of Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, co-founder and former CEO and Chief Scientist for Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization. Known with respect and admiration as the “Jaguar Man” and the “Indiana Jones of Wildlife Protection”, Dr. Rabinowitz dedicated his life to the study and protection of jaguars and other big cats.   

DEEPER DIVE: YouTube, IJD, Umbrella Species



TIST, aka The International Small group & Tree planting program encourages small groups of subsistence farmers to improve their local environment and farms by planting and maintaining trees on degraded and/or unused land.​​​​​​​ It currently operates in four countries in Africa. TIST was founded by Tanzanian Bishop Simon Chiwanga in 1999 when 40 participants in the diocese of Mpwapwa and Clean Air Action Corporation (CAAC) built upon several ideas including Small Groups, the sharing of Best Practices, and the need for reforestation, to develop the initial TIST program.

How does TIST do it? First of all, Participants contract to maintain the tree groves for 30 years in return for annual carbon pre-payments per live tree, and a 70% share of the net profits from carbon credit sales. In addition, farmers have achieved over $8 per tree of non-carbon benefits. Smallholder farmers also derive significant non-carbon related benefits. Trees provide fruit, fodder, fuel, windbreaks, shade and stabilize riverbanks. 

As the trees grow, carbon captured is quantified and verified and certified greenhouse gas credits are sold in the global carbon market. TIST Farmers receive annual carbon pre-payments for each tree established and 70% of the net profit when credits are sold. Here’s what’s important and why TIST matters to us: Results are quantified and third-party verified. After 5 years of tree growth, tree mass and the volume of carbon stored in the trees can be calculated, the carbon captured is verified to international standards, and carbon credits can be offered for sale.

Also, TIST was the world’s first dual validated and verified carbon offsetting program by Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity standards. And TIST was voted Best Offsetting Project and Best Project Developer in Forestry and Land Use. Currently, over 136,000 farmers in 4 countries have successfully planted more than 23,000,000 trees and captured over 9,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide to date. 




In Kenya, motorcycle taxis are the easiest and cheapest way to get around. But the ubiquitous Boda Bodas are major polluters. These motorcycles are among the highest CO2 emitting vehicles on the market, but almost six percent of East Africans rely on them for their daily income. Electric alternatives are either unreliable, of poor quality or too expensive for most Kenyans. ROAM MOTORS was co-founded in 2017 by Filip Lövström as a research project at one of Sweden’s top technical universities with a mission to implement electric mobility in emerging markets.

Kenya was chosen as the location for the headquarters as it’s the fastest growing nation in sub-saharan Africa. Kenya also has a growing amount of used vehicle imports, which means electric conversions really make sense. Replacing expended combustion engines with electric systems, leveraging the existing chassis and implementing proven technology creates a cost effective second life for buses, trucks and fleet vehicles.

Roam’s first product is the Roam Air motorcycle. It’s got dual batteries, a range of up to 180 km (111 miles). It’s got a payload of over 400 lbs and a top speed of 90 km/hour (about 55 mph). Why does Roam Air matter to us? take a moment to think of all those ICE scooter/motorcycle delivery people in your city. that’s why Roam Air matters to us. 

This is just the start. Roam aims to make electric transport accessible to a far broader market, setting the standard for electric mobility in Africa. The key is the price tag. Because electricity is cheaper than petrol, Roam estimates drivers can cut running costs by 75 percent – an incentive that works for both people and the planet. ROAM Motors is working on developing EV buses for emerging markets, and a kit to convert your 4×4 into a 4×4 EV. Check out Roam’s sexy promo video on YouTube. Click on the link in the Deeper Dive section at the end of this story at ROAM Motors is a 2022 EarthShot Prize finalist.

DEEPER DIVE: ROAM, EarthShot, YouTube