Learn how to establish diverse food forests that create income for rural communities, store carbon, and restore nature for rare animals such as the Indonesian Tiger. Paul Burgers the Founder and CEO of CO2 Operate B.V. a social enterprise, shares his experiences of successful collaboration with rural farmers in Indonesia to scaling sustainable agroforestry.


In this episode, Food forests feed and store carbon Paul Burgers the Founder and CEO of CO2 Operate B.V. and Gula Gula, will explain and share his experiences of what it takes to build up and scale a community-driven agro-forest project. 

Email: p.burgers@co2operate.nl 
Projects: https://explorer.land/x/organization/co2/
Website: https://gulagula.org/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/burgerspaul/



In the Interview, Paul will describe how carbon credits bring in the necessary funding to kick-start the on the ground planting activities while growing cash crops such as coffee, cinnamon, and clove build in the long-term revenue component for the farmers.

We will learn what are the practical steps of establishing a sustainable food forest that can take up also a lot of carbon:

  • finding a fair agreement with the local farmers
  • developing cost-effective establishment and maintenance methods such as Assisted Natura Regeneration methods
  • integrating the valuable local knowledge of the farmers
  • establishment of nurseries close to the planting sites
  • etc.

Further, we hear what has inspired and motivated Paul to end his classical scientific career and  to move into active project development with more action research. His new work has enabled him to give back findings and results from research and implement them for a positive impact. We learn, that developing such a project in a developing context requires cultural sensitivity and understanding of local social structures to enable a smooth operation. We learn that challenges, even such as corruption, lack of leadership, and poor tree survival rates, can become lessons to learn from.

We warmly welcome you to listen to this inspirational and insightful episode!


Healthy forest landscapes are a mosaic of different zones: conservation, timber production, and regenerative agriculture. Water, air, nutrients, and energy flows connect these zones. Living organisms, including us, are constantly shaping these landscapes in a good or bad way.  

In this podcast, we will be sharing stories of inspiring people and their projects. We learn about their way of thinking, their vision, and their passion. We will try to understand what methods have enabled successful landscape restoration. Restoration of landscapes that inspire, feed, and protect.

Learn more about our work: OpenForests
Tell your project story through your project: explorer.land
Download our free storytelling guide: DOWNLOAD


Learning from nature: the successful germination of indigenous timber species surian: https://explorer.land/x/project/vcm/post/uTopi8/

Forest sounds from the Netherlands: https://freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/465504/

Indonesia forest sounds: https://soundcloud.com/wild_rumpus/leuser-ecosytem-ache-sumatra-indonesia


Founder and CEO, OpenForests. Passioned about finding answers to the burning questions of our time. With our tools, we want to connect people and forests.