Tree-Planting, Farmers, and Carbon: Grassroots Solutions for Forest and Landscape Restoration
It’s no news that deforestation is a driver of biodiversity loss, resource degradation, and climate change. Bringing trees back is therefore essential to reversing these trends.
TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program) has 15 years of grassroots success empowering 70,000 farmers in East Africa and India to reverse the effects of deforestation, drought, and famine through tree-planting, agroforestry, and related practices. The program’s dramatic biodiversity, environmental, and economic results have been third-party verified 19 times by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program and Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standards. TIST’s award-winning monitoring system accurately and inexpensively tracks trees’ species, age, biomass content, and GPS location on plots as small as one-tenth of a hectare, facilitating carbon sales. TIST proves that poor farmers can restore their farms and nearby landscapes, increase carbon absorption, improve biodiversity, and provide livelihood benefits. TIST is funded by the sale of carbon credits through VCS.
The World Resources Institute has conducted research identifying the locations and scope of degraded land worldwide. This data-driven research coupled with TIST’s granular operational data demonstrate the enormous potential of a global reforestation initiative.