The secret to planting millions of trees each year

It takes an individual to plant one tree. To plant millions, it takes a mission.

The secret to planting millions of trees each year

Just the gist

If you're in a rush, here's what you need to know this month:

🌳 The project has planted over 21 million trees!

👨🏿‍🌾 This month we recap how this project is able to plant millions of trees per year, and keep attracting more farmers to its cause. Plus, we get to see some of the faces behind the farming 💚

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If you've ever tried to organise a group activity with a few friends, you know how hard it is to get a group of people to do anything together. Imagine having to coordinate 100,000 friends to do things together every day, and you're starting to get a sense for the complexity and scale of this project.

Community Tree Planting coordinates over 100,000 farmers to plant over 1 million trees every year– all while increasing the biodiversity of their land.

There is no one secret to their success. But there are a few principles. Here's how they do it:

🗣️ 1) Community Tree Planting grows by word of mouth

Farmers learn about the project from other TIST farmers and join small groups of 6-12 people that form clusters of 200-400 local farmers. Clusters coordinate the small groups of women and men and provide leadership opportunities that make a difference in their local community.

Groups of farmers regularly meet to share sustainable farming techniques, like planting trees on raised seedbeds. This picture was taken before the pandemic.

🧑🏿‍🌾 2) Participating farmers are highly motivated

Farmers like Andrew Waweru, below, decide whether, where and how to plant trees, change farming methods, source and own the seeds and keep ownership of the trees and land. The secondary source of income from carbon offset payments is very attractive to these farmers.

Farmers like Andrew Waweru, from Kenya, decide how to manage their groves.

🌳 3) Trees restore degraded environments

Trees are typically planted on degraded or unused land: around houses for shade, in small wood lots for firewood, along boundaries as windbreaks, or along streams for flood and soil control.

Many farmers plant trees on their land to prevent soil erosion and flooding– with the added benefit of sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.

4) Groves are guaranteed to live for at least 30 years

Participants contract to maintain the tree groves for 30 years in return for annual carbon pre-payments for each live tree, and a 70% share of the net profits from carbon credit sales. As well as this, farmers have achieved over $8 per tree of non-carbon credit benefits, like selling fresh produce from fruit trees.

This seedling is guaranteed to live for at least 30 years– enough time to bear fruit, and drawdown several tons of carbon.

✅  5) Results are quantified and third-party verified

After five years of tree growth, tree mass and the volume of carbon stored in the trees is calculated by quantifiers who measure the circumference of trees with a tape measure.

Quantifiers like Alphaxard Kimani measure the circumference of a sample of trees in every grove, to quantify how much carbon is being sequestered.

The carbon captured is verified to international standards, and carbon credits are offered for sale to companies like Wren!

TIST was the world's first dual validated and verified carbon offsetting program by Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity standards. It continues to push the boundary of what a climate project can do, and we at Wren are very proud to work with them. 🧡

- Thomas and the Wren team