Step 1 Landscape restoration

Degraded land is restorable

Justdiggit jumpstarts large scale landscape restoration projects by retaining rainwater for vegetation and preventing erosion, flooding and land degradation. This creates local benefits for communities and the environment. By restoring a series of landscapes in a region we aim to positively impact the regional climate. That’s what we call a Hydrologic Corridor.

Step 2 Dig and open up the soil

Prevent soil erosion

In dry areas where the soil is degraded, rainwater can no longer infiltrate into the ground. When it rains, water washes away unused. This causes erosion and washing away of the remaining fertile soil and seeds. This causes further land degradation and loss of vegetation cover. This negative vicious circle needs to be broken to restore and re-green the land by interventions.

Step 3 Harvesting the rains

Make best use of the water

Almost everywhere on our planet it rains, even in dry areas. By using ancient water harvesting techniques combined with recent innovations, we enable rainwater to infiltrate the ground again. This makes it available for vegetation and seeds in the soil. It also stops further erosion and loss of fertile soil. , kickstarting mother nature and re-greening the land.

Step 4 Returning the natural vegetation

More vegetation means more rains

By allowing rainwater to infiltrate into the soil, seeds will sprout and vegetation returns. To increase biodiversity and improve the livelihood of communities we complement this with planting trees, improved agriculture and agroforestry.

Step 5 Restoring the water cycle

An upward spiral

The restored vegetation brings more moisture into the air, which helps to create clouds and restores the water cycle.

Step 6 Creating more green with a little green

Green areas growing towards each other

We restore degraded landscapes in a series of projects that form a ‘Hydrologic Corridor’. Due to the scale and the locations, these projects not only have local benefits, but also positively impact the regional climate.

Step 7 Greener land makes a cooler planet

Start digging!

Trees and plants are the air-conditioning of our planet, that’s why it’s important to restore degraded lands. It has been calculated by the UN that 2 billion hectares of degraded land is restorable. This is almost twice the size of Europe!

Our ultimate goal is to restore these areas, but we can’t do this alone. Let us all pick up the shovel and re-green the land to cool down the planet!


Hydrologic Corridor multipliers

Justdiggit restores degraded landscapes within a Hydrologic Corridor. This is a region in which we restore degraded lands in multiple areas. In this way, they have a positive impact on a much larger region. That’s because these project areas interact with each other and create atmospheric changes. This is the Hydrologic Corridor effect we aim to achieve.

This regional impact is achieved in several ways:

The re-greened areas expand beyond the intervention areas: they act as vegetation refugia and natural seed banks (from which the seeds are dispersed by animals and the wind) and they reduce grazing pressure since they act as dry season grazing grounds.

The water conditions improve: less runoff means less flooding, more baseflow and more groundwater recharge, with the whole catchment benefiting from increased water availability and decreased flood damage.

The projects act as examples: it shows both communities, NGO’s and governments that by using simple interventions degraded lands can be restored and at the same time improve the livelihoods of the people living in and around these areas. This inspires them to pick up the spade themselves and start landscape restoration projects too.

The regional climate impact: the series of large re-greened areas cool the region, increase moisture in the air through evapotranspiration and modify the air circulation to positively impact the climate in the region.


Cooling effect of vegetation

The impact on the micro-climate can already be seen in our projects in Kenya. This is a semi-circular bund from the Justdiggit project in Kuku, Kenya. Move the slider to show the temperature difference between the vegetation inside the bunds and the surrounding bare soil.

Slide to show thermal image

Where do we work?

Many regions of the world have suitable conditions for a Hydrologic Corridor. In first instance we focus on Africa, where the problems are severe and growing and where we found great restoration opportunities. Together with our partners we have developed a potential map for Hydrologic Corridors and re-greening projects. The greener the area, the bigger the potential to successfully implement a Hydrologic Corridor. More information on data and methods behind this map can be found in this memo.

See all our projects

Re-greening always has positive effects on climate. Even small scale efforts will moderate heat extremes and increase thermal comfort for people and cattle alike.

Dr. Ronald Hutjes
Department of Environmental Sciences, Associate Professor Land Atmosphere Interactions

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