Supporting communities to regenerate their forest

Khasi Hills project overview

There are many positive boons for the communities living in the Khasi Hills project, WeForest is restoring degraded landscapes by a technique called assisted natural regeneration (ANR).

By donating these trees, we are helping the forest to reach back to its original state by enrichment planting of saplings, weeding, cutting and protection of existing trees. The creation of fire lines is an important activity too, to ensure the restoration areas are protected, especially during the dry months.


Khasi Hills, India

Project timeline:
2015 - (ongoing)

Project goals:
Restore native forest composition, protecting diversity and supporting indigenous women and youth in the community and increase the income of the local communities

Circular Computing support WeForest

Circular Computing allocated 26,284 trees with WeForest in the project Khasi Hills project since 2016.

Why intervention?

The Khasi people are traditionally a forest-dependent community, using the native cloud forest for shelter, firewood, medicine, food and even for spiritual traditions. Meghalaya state, or "the abode of clouds" in Sanskrit, is of international importance, recognized as one of the wettest places on earth and a biodiversity hotspot.

However, the area and the communities are now at risk as the forest is being cleared by charcoal production, stone quarrying and animal grazing.

Project stories

The headmans vision

When looking at the human impact in the village of Phanniewlahneng, the inspirational aspects of the project for communities can be seen in this region. The headman of the village, Mr Sanbor Kharbteng, has a great vision for the project. He wants to educate the 104 households living there about the importance of the forest and teach them about the future use of it. He wants to restore and protect one forest while sustainably harvesting another.

This is the beauty of such projects; they stimulate a progressive mindset by simply coming into being. Their very existence leads to further growth and sustainability.

Reducing fuelwood consumption

WeForest has continued to expand the Khasi Hills project further north. It is more tropical there than in the east, where the restoration activities have been taking place so far. The new polygons were mapped during the first months of 2020. Some new forest-friendly activities also started there.

52 fuel-efficient cooking stoves, which encourage a reduction in fuelwood consumption, were distributed to households in the area, and another scheme will take advantage of the 25 plants used for dye for the traditional dress of the area. Fruit trees were distributed in the new district in July


Indigenous tree planting

As well as around two thousand seasonal workers who engage with the project, Khasi Hills employs 12 full time members of the core team, 24 community facilitators and 124 youth volunteers. The women's groups have established dozens of home nurseries. The goal is to plant 100,000 trees each year.

Nine indigenous trees are planted. Includes: Alnus nepalenis - a nitrogen fixer for the project's agroforesty; Castonopsis indica - important for Khasi rituals and high value nuts; and the Oak, Quercus Fenestrata - for soil water retention and acorns for animals.


Project benefits

Ecological restoration

WeForest partners with indigenous governments and Khasi villages to restore the forests, using methods like Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) and enrichment planting. The local communities play a key role in the restoration: they manage the tree nurseries, perform the required thinning and weeding, establish natural fire lines, and delimit the no-go zones to protect the forest from animal grazing and human interference.

Livelihood development

By supporting self-help groups and farmer's clubs, WeForest empowers them to tackle poverty, unsustainable forest exploitation and to take ownership in restoring their forests. This is done through training and financial support for ecotourism initiatives, animal husbandry, tree nurseries and subsidies for fuel efficient cooking stoves to encourage a reduction in fuelwood consumption.

Direct employment opportunities are created for regional community facilitators, forestry managers, accountants, project assistants and others. The Khasi are one of the world's few matrilineal societies, so women are well represented in the project.

Together we can make more of these projects become a reality

When a Circular Computing laptop is purchased, not only do you get a leading-brand carbon neutral remanufactured laptop, but you also help invest in clean energy projects around the world and finance five trees to be planted in your name, through our reforestation partners.

In the modern world, it is easy to feel powerless...but the actions of each and every one of us counts.

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