Project GreenHands, a project of Isha Outreach, was created to unite an entire state around spiraling desertification in Tamil Nadu, where many major rivers have already dried up and agricultural failure is peaking through combined effects of different land degradation processes and drought.
We are supporting a sub-program called "Trees for Life", an agro-forestry initiative that transforms lives of farmers and their landscapes, through intercropping or growing a grove. Projects Green Hands has three tree nurseries that grow four million saplings every year to be transplanted on registered poor farmers' small-scale farmlands. The nurseries procure the farmers with ecologically and economically beneficial, native or naturalized trees. Trees can provide timber once they have reached a certain height, or, farmers can harvest their fruits, or else tree may serve as fodder for livestock.
Trees For Life aims to increase soil fertility, biodiversity, and groundwater retention while providing income that reduces malnutrition and risk of farmer suicide. The additional income from the trees and secondary crops can offset the farmer's loss of income from the reduction in his main crop. The spirit of this project is humbling.
The Khasi Hills are located in what has been described as the wettest place on earth, the Meghalaya ecoregion. The area is characterized by a rich biodiversity, home to sacred forests, ancient stone monoliths and Khasi indigenous communities. It is also under threat from deforestation and degradation.
This project seeks to combat deforestation and restore the area's forests for the benefit of people and nature. Through assisted natural regeneration of Khasi peoples' lands, sustainable livelihood development, and strong measures to limit further degradation to the forest, the Khasi's biodiversity and communities can flourish together. The project also seeks to have more women playing an increasing role in the community's organization while they are not represented at the local parliaments. More than 110 mammal species are known from the Meghalaya Subtropical Forests, including three threatened species - clouded leopard, sloth bear, and smooth-coated otter. It is one of the few reforestation projects worldwide run by indigenous communities.
Madagascar is a nation with over 200,000 species of plants and animals that don't exist anywhere else in the world. The Eden Reforestation Projects work with a local community association to restore a vital and exclusive forest ecosystem, which is habitat for six species of endangered lemurs. The animals are currently surviving on remnant patches of forests in the region of Boeny, which is unsustainable.
The project employs impoverished villagers to grow, plant and protect dry, deciduous tree species to maturity. These trees are either endemic to Western Madagascar or native to South Eastern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. The project is being implemented on government-owned land with the aim to turn it into gazetted land for conservation, educational and eco-tourism purposes.
Moreover, it is an opportunity to save one of the project area's inhabitants, a small population of Crowned Sifaka lemur, an endemic Sifaka to Western Madagascar classified as endangered, who lives in a pocket of remaining dry, deciduous forest.
TreeSisters and the Eden Reforestation Projects supports the villagers to restore small degraded, but insidious patches of cleared mangrove, in the remote mangrove estuarine ecosystem called Kalamboro. This area is owned by the Government but local community associations co-manage it with the State.
Kalamboro is challenged by poverty, human population growth and regional illegal timber trade. All along Madagascar's Western coast, the mangrove estuaries are being cleared, destroying rich coastal ecosystems, in the sea, in the estuary channels and on the scenic mangrove islands, leaving the bare earth to wash away into the sea and sediments to alter the fisheries resources. This happens in addition to all the sediments coming from inland deforestation with more than 90% of Madagascar's original forests destroyed.
The Eden Reforestation Projects is supporting Kalamboro to get out of poverty and in many cases through 'Fish Baron' slavery, by employing them to restoring the mangroves they inhabit and greatly depend upon. Though this partnership, we fund mangrove forest regeneration to help these communities rebuild their coastal ecology, providing nurseries for vital dwindling fish stocks, stabilizing soil and providing buffering for rising sea levels and storms. The social and ecological benefits and beauty of this project are truly amazing.
Through WeForest and its local partner, we collaborate to restore the Atlantic rainforest's biodiversity in the region of Pontal do Paranapanema, where only 3% of the original forest cover remains. The project aims to convert 20% of landowners' farmlands into forest lands, through the regeneration of degraded forest lands via planting and assisted natural regeneration techniques. The regenerated forests will be registered as Legal Forest Reserves or Areas of Permanent Protection (APP) for freshwater recharge.
The vision is to grow forest corridors between the remaining patches of highly-fragmented Atlantic rainforests and ultimately re-connecting the Morro do Diablo State Park to the Iguaçu National Park. Despite the destruction of the Atlantic rainforest, this remains one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, home of endemic species. This project directly supports the migration of endangered species. It indirectly contributes to their conservation and offers huge potential in terms of carbon sequestration. The project also helps local women, who are highly involved in the planting work and project's design and management.
Kenya has one of the lowest levels of green cover in Africa at just 7%, which makes water scarcity a national problem. However, Kenya in 2015 committed to increasing tree cover from 7% forest cover to at least 10% in the next 15 years.
TreeSisters is supporting the International Tree Foundation's 20 Million Tree Campaign to work with farmers, women and school children to reforest the denuded and degraded lands which were once part of Mt Kenya's forest ring and connected Lower Imenti forest. These forests are growing on gazetted lands within forest reserves. The project also supports agroforestry activities on small-scale farms, in farmlands adjacent to the forest reserves.
The aim is to restore a critical water catchment for Kenya's people, delivering an estimated 40% of the country's water needs, and gather communities around the rehabilitation of both their forest and their agricultural lands. This is an audacious project that warrants significant support.
This reforestation project aims to regenerate the forest cover around the Jalthal forest, a protected area of great importance to the local communities. Eden Projects and the community forest user groups are planting native species on degraded, burnt and cleared lands for grazing and agriculture.
The Eden Reforestation Projects provides the local villagers involved in the "pay to employ" program meaningful employment to grow, plant and guard native trees to maturity on their lands. The term Jhapa meaning canopy, speaks to the once vibrant, dense and diverse forest that once existed in the area - and we hope will one day return. The villagers have started to see the return of elephants and snakes into their local environment and recognize the importance of their presence.
This project supports the urgent restoration of the Lebialem Highlands forests, home to high endemism and endangered species, such as the most critically endangered of all African primates - the cross river gorilla with just 300 remaining in the wild. The project occurs in an area of many interests combining mining, bushmeat hunting and logging.
The International Tree Foundation and its local partner ERuDef aim to create an ecological corridor through degraded forest lands restoration, connecting community forests and riparian forests, and agroforestry in surrounding areas. The project seeks to improve the local communities livelihood in order to relieve the pressure off the actual forests through green development associated with timber and non-timber products such as avocado production and cottage industries. It is also helping set up a platform to help well-organized women build their businesses and find the financial support they need.