Note: We are redesigning the TerraMatch platform to better serve people restoring degraded land and to transparently monitor their progress. The updated version of the site will launch in 2023.

The world is losing billions of trees every year, endangering the lives of over 3 billion people and releasing planet-warming carbon into the atmosphere. Restoring that degraded land can help communities mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as improve economic opportunities and livelihoods.

The good news: There are thousands of locally led projects and enterprises that have the experience and skills necessary to restore degraded land equitably and effectively – and if they don’t, they are eager to learn. The bad news: This growing global investment opportunity for restoration faces a funding shortfall of around $300 billion per year.

TerraMatch Project Grow Trees screenshot

Recently, world leaders, major corporations, and philanthropic donors have stepped up their ambition, pledging billions of dollars to restore millions of hectares. But, little money is flowing. Why? Funders struggle to find the right projects for their portfolios, and local organizations don’t know what funders need – or even where to look for opportunities.

Through its online platform, the TerraMatch team identifies the world’s best locally-led tree-growing organizations, screens their project proposals according to industry-leading criteria, and provides them with technical assistance to improve their impact. For projects that successfully raise capital from TerraMatch’s associated funds, the team tracks their progress over time by deploying innovative monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) techniques.

Through TerraMatch, WRI and its partners:

  • Source locally led projects, inviting them to submit funding and technical assistance requests to support their work.
  • Build registries of restoration project proposals and their support needs, connecting with early-stage applicants to strengthen their proposals and collaborating with funded projects to scale up their work.
  • Select and finance projects with grants and loans based on a robust set of standard criteria and extensive screening process.
  • And provide a transparent project monitoring, reporting, and verification system that tracks the number of trees grown, hectares restored, jobs created, carbon sequestered, and other indicators for each funded project. The system combines field-collected data with satellite analyses and independent verification to carefully measure progress.

Currently focused in Africa, TerraMatch currently serves as the anchor platform for two restoration initiatives.

TerraFund for AFR100

A partnership of WRI, One Tree Planted, and Realize Impact, in 2022, TerraFund for AFR100 invested in Africa’s Top 100 locally led land restoration projects. Located across 27 member countries of the AFR100 Initiative, these community-based non-profits and enterprises received grants or loans of $50,000 to $500,000 each. Now, TerraMatch is tracking their progress by combining field-collected data with insights from WRI’s Land & Carbon Lab. Learn more here.

Man planting trees.

Priceless Planet Coalition

A partnership with Conservation International, the Priceless Planet Coalition aims to restore 100 million trees. TerraMatch serves as the Integrated Monitoring Platform for the program’s 19 current projects, which range from Guatemala’s most successful farmer cooperative to a large-scale native forest restoration initiative in Malawi. Learn more here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive funding or technical assistance through TerraMatch?

Each request for proposals on TerraMatch will have its own specifications for applicants. Eligibility will be determined based on the particular criteria of each funding cycle. TerraMatch supports locally led tree growing projects run by either community-based non-profit organizations or small-and-medium enterprises (collectively referred to as project developers).

Is TerraMatch currently accepting project proposals?

Currently, we are restructuring the platform to better serve project developers. At this time, we are monitoring projects for TerraFund for AFR100 and the Priceless Planet Coalition. TerraMatch is not accepting applications now, but will open future requests for proposals in 2023. Signal your interest by filling out this form.

What information are restoration project developers asked to provide when proposing a project on TerraMatch?

When applying for funding, a representative of your organization will need to create an organizational profile, which will include the information in this checklist. Your project proposal will need to answer the questions outlined in this checklist, and may need to include additional answers or supplementary documentation, depending on the requirements of each specific RFP. All applications are scored according to the same standard criteria. Read more about our selection process here.

How does TerraMatch monitor and evaluate projects?

Project developers submit shapefiles for each site on which they restore land. WRI’s monitoring staff then assure the quality of those shapefiles. Right after a project is funded, WRI staff use satellite data to analyze each shapefile to establish tree count, tree cover, and historical disturbances to determine a baseline. For the first three years of the project, the team uses a combination of project-reported data, geotagged and drone photos, satellite data, and field visits to verify progress against that baseline. From the fourth year onwards, the team relies on satellite data to monitor. The team shares its monitoring and verification results with project developers and funders on the TerraMatch platform to provide comprehensive and transparent progress updates – and to help the restoration community learn.

When will we will make progress data from TerraMatch public?

Our team is working to complete initial analyses of our cohorts of projects and will share initial insights in 2023.