July 2, 2024

Over 18 million trees recovered: the 2023 impact numbers are here!

It’s that time of the year again: our impact numbers are in. We’re thrilled to share the greatest highlights of a memorable year of regreening with you, so we’ll get straight to it. Let’s dig into last year’s impact together!

What we do & our project areas

In 2023, we were active in six landscapes with our own regreening programmes: Chyulu, South Rift, Amboseli and the Northern Landscapes in Kenya, and Northern Tanzania and Central Tanzania. 

Impact factors: El Niño arrived

After several years of long-lasting droughts, 2023 brought the unpredictable El Niňo rains to our project areas. This had major implications for many of the landscapes: most of them experienced rainfall well above the average of the last 40 years. The grass seed banks have produced excellent harvests – a notable success for the Maasai women’s group who run them! Sadly, not every landscape was as lucky, with some receiving even less rainfall from El Niňo this year than they would on average. 

Last year’s impact in numbers

2023 was another excellent year of regreening. Here is an overview of the most important results:

Area under restoration

In 2023, the total area under restoration increased by 14% to almost 435,000 hectares of land. That means that 41 times Paris is being regreened as we speak!

This figure includes all rangelands and farmlands where we are actively regreening. It is based on the average farm size of active farmers and the total area covered with rainwater harvesting trenches, bunds, grass seed banks and grazing reserves.

Water retained

An estimated 6.6 billion litres of water has been captured in total through our interventions in 2023. Enough to give everyone on this planet a bottle of water! 

Trees recovered

The number of trees brought back with our Treecovery programmes has grown by 34%, to over 18.7 million! This impressive number isn’t just because we’re spreading our programmes to new places. Households are bringing back more and more trees, even in Dodoma, where we kicked off Treecovery in 2018. It shows that farmers continue to bring back trees on their farmland, even years after learning this cool technique!

Bunds dug

139,947 bunds were dug in 2023. We have now come to a total of 454,810 bunds,

ready to capture rainwater and transform large areas of land. This impressive number of bunds is the result of a true team effort. To date, more than 4673 community members have participated in the construction of bunds. As we always say: regreening is done together!

People joining the Treecovery movement

More and more households are joining the Treecovery movement every year! We welcomed 21,800 new households in 2023, meaning now over 176,000 households are regenerating trees on their farms.

Banking on grass seed banks

We want to give some extra attention to our grass seed bank projects, because it was their time to shine this year!

Grass seed banks are small parts of communal land used for the production of grasses and grass seeds. They are managed by community-based women’s groups (mainly Maasai), who sell the grass seeds on local markets or to regreening projects such as our bund plots for additional income. 

Thanks to the addition of 8 new grass seed banks – 4 in South Rift, 2 in the Central Tanzania landscape, and 2 more in Chyulu – we’ve hit a total of 20 banks. That’s a whopping 67% increase!

But that’s not all. We’ve welcomed 143 new women entrepreneurs from the Maasai community into these projects. Together, they rocked the harvest, gathering 2,305 kilograms of grass seeds in 2023, and pocketing close to 1.4 million Kenya shillings.

Regreening done digitally

Last year, we also made huge progress on our Digital Regreening Platform. We developed several state-of-the-art digital regreening courses for the new Kijani app and did a lot of user testing in Tanzania. This taught us a lot about the app’s value for farmers, which means we are now ready for its official launch in Tanzania in August 2024. 

What’s next?

We are thrilled about our impact so far, but if we want to continue to regreen and cool down our planet, there’s no time to rest. That’s why we are busy scaling up our Treecovery projects in Senegal, partnering with more businesses and international organisations and embracing innovative digital solutions. Our news page is the place to be if you want to be the first to know about our current and upcoming regreening efforts. If you would like to dive deeper into our impact numbers, make sure to check out our latest impact summary!