The Trees of Hope project is located in two rural districts of Malawi: Neno and Dowa. Both of these districts suffer from acute land and soil degradation brought about by deforestation and poor land management practises. The lack of alternative employment opportunities, increasing levels of population and decreasing agricultural yields have all conspired to threaten the very livelihoods of those communities that rely directly upon subsistence farming and the unsustainable exploitation of natural forest resources for their survival.
Most families in this area rely entirely upon firewood for their energy needs (for cooking, light and heating) and charcoal making as an income generating activity. Both of these activities have had a devastating impact on forests in the area. The Trees of Hope project was established help these rural farming communities to overcome these challenges by forming community organisations and implementing agroforestry systems designed to improve soil fertility, provide a future source of wood products, as well as planting trees in fruit orchards and woodlots which will also diversify farmers’ incomes in the future. The carbon benefits accrued from planting trees will belong entirely to the farmer planting the trees (the landowner). The intention is to establish new forests that will survive for a long period of time (more than 25 years). The surest way to achieve this objective is to plant trees that will bring sustained long term benefits to those farmers and communities that participate in the project so that they see the tree as an asset which should be maintained as opposed to an opportunity to make a small amount of short term gain.
The Trees of Hope project has been supported by the Clinton Foundation since 2007, whilst Camco Clean Energy have been employed on this project to assist with training on climate change and all aspects of developing Plan Vivo projects and preparing the relevant documentation for project registration with Plan Vivo and access to markets for the carbon credits. As such Camco undertook all the carbon assessment work and assisted in preparing the Project Design Document.
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