TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR IMPACT

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Trees recovered

Target: 4,875

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Hectares under regreening

Target: 134

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People positively impacted

Target: 452

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Carbon sequestration (tonnes CO₂ / t=20)

Target: 936

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Water retained (m³, t=20)

Target: 93,550

Thanks for your support!

Dear Working Spirit,

We truly value your support! Through your contribution, we can regreen degraded landscapes in Tanzania enhancing water and food security, biodiversity, and CO₂ / absorption. 

We are excited to share your personalized impact page. It showcases the impressive results achieved through your support, complete with a project area map and the latest regreening news. You can expect updates every year, ensuring you’re always informed about the impact we create together! 

 

Treecovery

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), or ‘Treecovery’ as we like to call it, is a technique to regrow trees and support new, naturally occurring sprouts to grow big.

There used to be many trees in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of them have been cut down in the past to be used as firewood, timber, for charcoal production or to make room for agriculture as farmers were led to believe during colonial times that a good land is a clear land.

With Treecovery, the stumps of these trees get the chance to grow into real trees again. It involves a process of selecting, pruning and protecting the stumps.

However, we cannot do it alone. Together with LEAD – FOUNDATION we bring back millions of trees in Tanzania.

Program setup

Several decades ago, Central Tanzania was not characterised by the empty, degraded environment it is now. When the agricultural area expanded, many trees were chopped down. However, as the trees stumps and root systems are often still intact, these tree stumps sprout into bushy vegetation. Since these are unfavorable for farming, they are often removed by the farmers.

Using the technique of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), we teach farmers how to prune these tree stumps in such a way that they can regrow into full-fledged trees. These are often indigenous tree species, so they are adapted to the dry and hot climate. This, together with the fact that their root systems are already established, strongly boosts the survival rate of these trees compared to tree planting programs. This intervention is locally known as Kisiki Hai, meaning Living Stump.

Besides teaching farmers the technicalities of FMNR, it is crucial to show how bringing back trees can provide them benefits. Firstly, when many trees are regenerated, the micro-climate may cool down substantially, reducing heat stress for crops, reducing excessive evaporation of water from the soil and generally creating a more favourable environment to live in. Trees can also improve soil quality, enhance rainwater retention, provide fodder for livestock, and give the farmer direct benefits such as fruits, medicines and firewood.

Four steps

By promoting Treecovery, we show farmers that regreening is not difficult at all! It is done in four simple steps.

1 Select

Have a good look at your farm and decide which trees you want to regenerate. This can be done based on the species or for example the position of the tree stump on your farm.

2 Prune

Treecovery focuses on pruning. Living tree stumps that grow many new shoots after the rains develop into wild bushes that disturb the crops. By removing these shoots and only keeping the strongest (often 3), these shoots will receive more energy and will grow much bigger. A big step from shrub to tree!

3 Mark

Now it is important that these shoots grow up and form a tree. By binding these shoots together with a piece of fabric, they are forced to do so. Plus, by taking a colorful piece of fabric, you show other people that this tree is protected.

4 Protect

Now all the tree needs is time to grow, so it is important that it is protected! Show that this is a growing tree and that it may not be cut, but also be sure that there are no goats around to eat it. By giving it the right attention, it will grow big fast!

Effects Treecovery

The Central Tanzania landscape is generally characterised by dried out soils and a lengthy dry season. Bringing back trees can alleviate some difficulties during this period. Here, we will elaborate on how the impact realised with your support restores natural processes and contributes to improved livelihoods in this semi-arid region.

Firstly, bringing back trees will have a cooling effect on their environment due to the shade of the trees and transpiration of water from their leaves. A decreasing temperature can have a positive effect on biodiversity and can decrease heat stress of crops, increasing their productivity. Through their active root systems and the decomposition of leaves, trees can have a positive effect on the quality of the soil, which can boost crop production as well. With improved soil quality, rainwater can infiltrate the soil more easily and increase the soil moisture content, which is of crucial importance for plant growth during the dry season. When more rainwater infiltrates the soil, less water will run off to lower areas and cause soil degradation through erosion in the process. The presence of trees also boosts biodiversity around it. Birds and insects are attracted to them, while soil organisms get the chance to improve the soil quality even more. All these different effects can have a positive impact on the recovery of nature, but also on the productivity of a farm, which is of major importance for farmers. As the trees will keep growing in height during the coming years, the area under restoration will keep increasing as well.

Furthermore, growing trees take up carbon di-oxide from the air, so regenerating trees on a large scale will help mitigate climate change and cool down the earth. Lastly, growing trees can also directly benefit farmers, for example through the sustainable harvest of wood when they prune their trees. Depending on the tree species, trees can also provide fruits, animal fodder and even medicines.

Champion farmers

Together with our implementing partner LEAD Foundation in Tanzania, we train so-called champion farmers. These farmers will play a leading role in our program and are selected based on their knowledge, skills and position within their communities. They receive a training of several days on the technicalities of our regreening interventions, and additionally on leadership skills, reporting and training others.

After that, they return to their villages and begin training other farmers and start the regreening movement. Champion farmers are not only crucial in spreading knowledge and activating farmers, they also play a major role in our monitoring system. After they train farmers, they do regular check-ups including counting trees in the field. They collect statistics about the number of trees and trained and activated farmers and communicate this with the program office, where the progress of the program is being monitored.

Program Coordinators

We provide continuous support to different stakeholders in the program, and our program coordinators play a major role here. Firstly, with frequent visits to project villages, they support farmers, champions and village leaders with their knowledge and experience. These coordinators all carry the responsibility of an entire division, so they perfectly understand the progress of the project in these villages, as well as possible difficulties farmers come across. This way, they play an important role in improving the program and its impact. Coordinators also play an important role in the long term sustainability of the impact that is realised, for example by involving policy makers on different levels.

By getting these actors, ranging from village leaders to district officers, on board of the regreening movement, they can boost the long term sustainability by formulating legislation about sustainable land management, water harvesting and the protection of trees. Lastly, these program coordinators fulfill a vital part in our monitoring approach. During their frequent village visits, they actively check the number of trees and length of water-harvesting trenches that is recorded by champion farmers by visiting several farms. This way, we can trust that the data we receive is valid and accurate!

Rural communication

To promote and celebrate regreening, we organise the Movie Roadshow in our program villages. During this event, the community gathers to celebrate the regreening movement through dance, speeches, songs and by watching the Kisiki Hai movie produced by our team. (Treecovery/FMNR is locally known as Kisiki Hai, which means ‘living stump’ in Swahili.)

The events are generally attended by an average of 400 village members – a great crowd! Besides this event, we promote our SMS service to which farmers can freely subscribe to receive messages on Treecovery and regreening. On top of that, we create radio shows, place billboards, paint murals and put up posters. Through these channels, we aim to strengthen the regreening message in our program area and to reach even more people outside it!