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Supporting Khasi communities to regenerate their forest

Project

The Khasi Hills are located in what has been described as the wettest place on earth, the Meghalaya ecoregion. The area is rich in biodiversity, home to sacred forests, ancient stone monoliths and Khasi communities. It is also under threat from deforestation and degradation. The project seeks to combat deforestation and restore the area's forests for the benefit of people and nature. Through assisted natural regeneration and sustainable livelihood development, the area's biodiversity and Khasi communities can flourish together. Local communities are empowered through a number of livelihood initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and build livelihood resilience, reducing pressures on the forest. This, coupled with education to change lifestyles and attitudes towards the forest, decreases the extraction of timber for energy and firewood. Distributions of fuel-efficient cookers, with subsidies for the majority, target the 5000 households in the project area to reduce fuelwood consumption and improve forest and family health. Changes in farming techniques and nutrition are also an essential part of the project activities.

Why Khasi Hills?

The Khasi are traditionally a forest-dependent people, relying on the native cloud forest for shelter, firewood, medicine and food. The Khasi also value their forest for its role in protecting springs and stream beds and conserving wildlife and attach spiritual significance to areas of forest identified as sacred groves. These communities are now at risk as their valuable forest is cleared for charcoal making, stone quarrying and grazing. The 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.

Project Goals

  • Restore native forest
  • Promote economic development
  • Empowering female leadership
  • Soil Protection
  • Extension of woodland cover
  • Increasing livelihood for endangered species

Carbon Calculation

In East Khasi Hills the total above-ground biomass is estimated to average 104 tons of CO2 per hectare over a period of 20 years. This carbon figure is based on on-site measurements in 2017 according to methodology as compliant with REDD+.

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