The TIST project in Kenya contributes to the reforestation of cleared forest areas by providing local farmers with financial incentives to plant trees.
More and more forest has been cleared in Kenya to make way for agriculture. In the short term, this has made sense and provided more food. But without the forest, the soil erodes and slowly the areas are depleted, losing all topsoil. That means farmers have to move on to new land, and the process starts all over again.
Through TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program), farmers are brought together in small local groups responsible for replanting the felled trees.
Farmers plant trees. The trees generate credits. The credits are sold. The farmers get money. It's a simple idea, but the results are overwhelming.
More than 93,000 farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are now involved and more than 18 million trees have been planted. In addition to generating income for farmers and ensuring the quality of the land, the project also has many secondary benefits.
It strengthens gender equality in the areas with more than 45,000 women out of a total of 93,000 farmers. It fights HIV/AIDS, educates local population and contributes honey, fruit and nuts.
Using handheld computers and GPS, the trees are registered directly on the internet, and farmers then receive regular small payments for their trees if they are not felled.
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TIST is the winner of the 2016 Environmental Finance award and the 2017 Reilley award. It is the world's first project to be both VCS (Verified Carbon Standard, voted best Voluntary standard in 2018) and CCBA Gold Level (Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance) verified.
This means that the project is continuously checked to ensure that the trees are still alive and that everything is as it should be. It's our guarantee, and yours, that we're actually removing as much CO2 as we're paying for.