Our Global Engagement Internship was with the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), a non-profit that supports Morrocan communities to implement various sustainable human development initiatives. The specific initiative we focused on this semester is HAF’s Tree-Planting Project, which is working on building agricultural cooperatives, implementing more sophisticated irrigation systems, and certifying commoditization of organic products. Our CG was tasked to explore investment opportunities for this project.
We assessed green bonds and carbon offsets as a method of funding and repayment, which we found to be beneficial through our research paper. Then, we began to develop fundraising partnerships by contacting around twenty U-M organizations and over a hundred companies in ten different industries. Unfortunately, progress has been limited since corporations are not currently accepting outreach opportunities. Through our work in this GEI, Collaborative Group members were able to learn more about green bonds and carbon credits, while also developing our professional communication skills through e-mail, video chat, and other methods of communication. Our work developed HAF’s options for project funding and provided exposure to the U-M community and different industries. Looking toward the future, we would like to develop partnerships more effectively to push these sustainable initiatives to a larger arena of communities.