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Archive for the ‘Meet a Farmer’ Category

Meet A Farmer: Sinoliyamu Banda

May 5th, 2015

Sinoliyamu Banda

Community: Sambani, Malawi
Year joined: 2008
Number of trees planted: 900 trees in 27×100-meter segments of boundary plantings
Carbon benefit created by Sinoliyamu: 212 tonnes of CO2
Earnings to date: $660
Total expected earnings: $1,100 (over 10 years, based on successful maintenance of plantings)

Sinoliyamu Banda wanted to have easy access to firewood, poles and herbs. In order to make his dream a reality, he joined Trees of Hope after hearing about the agroforestry project through a friend. Sinoliyamu says, “I did not only manage to have firewood close to my home. I also managed to make some money and buy 32 iron sheets for my house and other structures in my compound. This project has helped me to provide for my family. I am right now paying school fees for my brothers.” The trees Sinoliyamu planted have improved the ecosystem around his home as well. He notes that the air is cooler. “I am planning to plant more trees since I now know how important trees are to humans.”

Create income for farming families of the Clinton Development Initiative’s Trees of Hope project here and learn more about the project at COTAP.org/Malawi.

New Project Videos from India’s East Khasi Hills

March 28th, 2015

COTAP partner Community Forestry International recently released several new videos about the Khasi Hills Community Carbon Project. Here they are!

When the Forest is Home (2015)


This 25-minute film documents the story of India’s first internationally certified community forest project to receive funds from sales of carbon offset credits under the United Nations REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) program. It tells the story of the charismatic former youth leader of the indigenous Khasi who helped unite ten kingdoms into a Federation to protect and restore the forests of the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. This project demonstrates the success of community management and innovation in helping to conserve India’s environment in the Northeast, while improving local livelihoods.



Restoring India’s Cloud Forests (2014)


This 4-minute film highlights the efforts of the indigenous Khasi who are enabling thousands of people to engage with forest protection in north east India. They are also enabling businesses to balance their carbon footprint, work with communities close to the forests, and help protect forest ecosystems.It is a Plan Vivo project that reduces carbon emissions from deforestation, protects forest ecosystems and helps to create income for rural families.



Trekking through History (2015)


This 4-minute film highlights the community restoration of a 16 km segment of the David Scott Trail, an historic horse-cart route constructed by the British in the 19th century to connect the modern states of Assam, Meghalaya, and Bangladesh. The trail is an eco-adventure meandering up and down through forests, across arched stone bridges, and sparkling vistas.

Meet A Farmer: Frank & Anastazia Solomon

February 13th, 2015

Anastazia Solomon

Community: Mkokamwendo village, Dowa district, Malawi
Year joined: 2008
Number of trees planted: 467 trees over 1 hectare of dispersed inter-planting and 8 100-meter segments of boundary plantings.
Carbon benefit created by Anastazia & Frank: 193 tonnes of CO2
Earnings to date: $360
Total expected earnings: $600 (over 10 years, based on successful maintenance of plantings)

Frank Solomon and his wife Anastazia Solomon are from Mkokamwendo village in Dowa and have a family of 8. They were motivated to join Trees of Hope Project after listening to a radio message on how climate change is affecting farmers in Malawi. After joining the Trees of Hope Project, the couple was able to not only manage and sufficiently provide for their household, but also improve the environment. Frank and Anastazia received money from their Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) agreement in 2013 used the money to buy pigs. Under the PES agreement, their tree-based land use systems sequestered carbon that was sold as credits on the Markit Registry for managing global carbon credits. They are hoping to increase their pig farming and expand their tree planting projects to sequester more carbon so that he can continue to pay for their children’s school fees and make improvements on their home.

Learn more about the Clinton Development Initiative’s Trees of Hope Project at COTAP.org/Malawi. Create income for farming families like the Solomons by calculating and offsetting your CO2 emissions here.

Q&A with Bansaralang Nongbri, Khasi Hills, India

December 16th, 2014


Bansaralang Nongbri

Project: Khasi Hills Community REDD+ Project, India
Name: Bansaralang Nongbri
Age: 25 years
Community: Dympep Village, East Khasi Hills, India

What are your contributions towards the project?


I’m a member of the Local Working Committee (LWC) which oversees the Dympep village cluster.

COTAP Note: Local Working Committees link the project’s federation of 9 indigenous governments to its 62 villages, and are integral to developing, implementing, and monitoring each village cluster’s natural resource management plan. Read more about the Khasi Hills REDD+ project’s organizational structure in its Project Design Document.

How do you feel about the project?


The project is conserving and restoring our village’s forests while also improving our livelihoods. It addresses several problems, one of which has been an insufficient awareness about the many important roles of trees.

It’s been an eye-opener that’s changing our mindset towards better forest management and socio-economic strategies. It has deepened our communities’ understanding of the importance of collective environmental responsibility and that improved livelihood approaches can coexist with sustaining our forests.

Do you think the project can improve family incomes?


We are very hopeful and confident that the project will improve our livelihoods, one reason being its multiple sources of support. The carbon fund is one part of the projects’ financial incentives for restoring and protecting the forests, the other part comes from the government.

What impacts is the project having?


The forests are regenerating and water bodies are being replenished, and even growing, as a result. Now people are much more environmentally engaged and also equipped to be able to take up small projects through Self Help Groups (SHG’s) and Farmers’ clubs.

What are some things you are learning?


I have learned about forest conservation, tree nurseries, and how our forests and water are inseparable. This has heightened our recognition of the need to protect and restore the forest. The socio-economic aspects of the project are teaching our villages about savings, bookkeeping, micro enterprise and team work. This broadens the social mindset of our community, and even reduces issues like jealousy and gossiping!

What have been some of the project’s challenges?


There haven’t been that many serious problems yet because the project leaders have been keen to engage communities with ongoing training and awareness programs.

Learn more and support this project


Learn more about the Khasi Hills REDD+ Project here, and create economic benefits for project participants like Bansaralang Nongbri by calculating and offsetting your CO2 emissions here.

Meet A Farmer: Fyson Mphanda

August 14th, 2014


Fyson Mphanda

Community: Kayeka village, Dowa district, Malawi
Vintage(s) planted: 2010
Number of trees planted: Approximately 600 trees: 400 trees for 2 hectares of dispersed inter-planting and 200 trees for 6 100-meter segmenets of boundary plantings.
Carbon benefit created by Fyson: 193 tonnes of CO2
Earnings to date: $507
Total expected earnings: $845 (over 10 years, based on successful maintenance of plantings)

In 2008, Fyson Mphanda joined the Clinton Development Initiative’s Trees of Hope Project in order to protect his land from climate change and improve his 6-member family’s access to forest resources such as firewood. Since 2008, Fyson has planted 600 meters of trees in boundary planting and two hectares of dispersed systematic inter-planting (DSI), which will absorb more than 190 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. Boundary planting, used by producers’ farms to define field boundaries, has many benefits, including the preservation of biodiversity, the conservation of soil, and the protection of fenced area from livestock and wind damage. DSI is a system of inter-planting trees with arable crops to improve soil fertility over time, but its short term benefits include the provision of firewood, timber, traditional medicine, and increased crop yields.

Fyson has used the supplemental income from carbon credit sales to purchase a cow for his family. The manure from the cow is used as an agricultural input, an ox-drawn cart facilitates transportation, and hiring his cow to others in his community further increases his income. In addition, the trees that he had planted provide him and his family with firewood and timber, so his wife no longer needs to walk long distances to collect them. Fyson says that through the Trees of Hope project, he has been able to increase his knowledge based around the benefits of forestry systems and practice better management of nurseries and tree-based land use systems.

Learn more about the Clinton Development Initiative’s Trees of Hope Project at COTAP.org/Malawi. Create income for farmers like Fyson Mphanda by calculating and offsetting your CO2 emissions here.