Trillion Trees

Trillion Trees is an unprecedented collaboration between three of the world’s largest conservation organisations – WWF, BirdLife International, and the Wildlife Conservation Society – to help end deforestation and restore tree cover. Our partnership is founded on our commitment to a shared vision, and the belief that working together we can achieve more than we can individually.

Tree cover is an essential part of what makes Earth a healthy and prosperous home for people and wildlife, but the global stock has fallen – and continues to fall – dramatically. In fact, we are still losing 10 billion trees per year.

The consequences? More carbon emitted and less absorbed, dwindling freshwater stores, altered rainfall patterns, fewer nutrients to enrich soils, weakened resilience to extreme events and climate change, shrinking habitat for wildlife and other biodiversity, insufficient wood supply to meet rising demand, harsher local climates, and harder lives for more than one billion forest-dependent peoples across the world.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The two key steps that will reverse these trends – keeping existing trees standing, and restoring trees to the places they once grew – are within our capabilities.

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The Tamale Tree and Land Use Project

This project brings together 1500 people in ten communities in the northern region of Ghana, an area increasingly threatened by rapid deforestation and resultant land degradation.

The project helps each community to establish a tree nursery, construct a well, and plant a ten hectare woodlot. In all 120,000 seedflings will be raised and planted out. 80,000 tree seedlings will be used in establishing dedicated woodlots for woodfuel, with another 40,000 planted in on farm agro-forestry systems designed to enhance soil fertility and local food security.

Two of the communities will also protect 4 hectares of degraded natural woodland to ensure its regeneration in order to further protect the land.

Protecting Ecosystems in Savelugu Nanton

Ghana occupies a total land of 238,578 square kilometres with current population estimates at 23 million. In Northern Ghana approximately 30-40% live in areas subject to desertification.

The link between development and environmental issues is widely documented. However the quest for economic growth has, for a long time, overshadowed environmental concerns.The process of development has often left in its trail deterioration of productive lands, deforestation, desertification and air and water pollution.The effect of all these on rural livelihoods is enormous, and in the case of Northern Ghana, where there is historical political neglect, deepening poverty remains the lot of the people.

However, windows of opportunity do exist where action can be taken to safeguard the environment, stabilise rural livelihoods and maintain a healthy ecological balance.

Scientists and those concerned with preserving natural ecosystems are recognising that societies once called `primitive` hold knowledge that is critical to science, particularly in the search for new medicines and conservation efforts.The National Forestry Policy 1948 officially recognised the cultural importance of sacred groves yet these sites still face pressure from development. In Zoosali large plots of land close to a sacred grove are being targeted by speculators.

Restore has agreed funding to purchase and protect this land for the local community allowing natural regeneration and where appropriate the planting of indigenous trees and grasses.
A Learning Centre will also be created providing training on ecosystem conservation for community members with ongoing monitoring an evaluation.

Sustainable Community forest resource management scheme

Ghana continues to suffer from rapid de-forestation, leading to the chronic degradation of the country’s land resources, its environment and its eco-system.

The RAINS project, in collaboration with the Taimako Herbal Plant Centre, aims to address this by enabling a group of communities in Northern Ghana to recuperate their environment and diversify their sources of livelihood. These groups will halt and reverse the destruction of food trees and establish nurseries and community managed woodlots. The planting of medicinal and herbal plants and the building of a documented knowledge bank for traditional and indigenous knowledge systems will also feature.

In total 1.2 million seedlings will be nurtured, in a project involving 40 community groups and a total of over 800 participants. Over two years these groups will plant and maintain as many as 180,000 of these trees themselves – with other seedlings being sold at subsidised rates to other local communities. In combination with the increased revenues from non-timber forest products that the scheme will encourage through its Market Access Promotion Network the project aims to become self-funding within two years.