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TIST India, Tamil Nadu

Since 1999, The International Small Group & Tree Planting Program (TIST) has helped Small Groups of subsistence farmers in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and India to reverse the devastating effects of deforestation, drought and famine. TIST provides a communication and administrative structure that addresses education, helath (including HIV/AIDS) and nutrition needs for its members.

Carbon Clear supports TIST's acitvities in india as we believe that they meet our guidelines for efficency, additionality and long-term benefit to society. We particularly like the TIST approach because it works on a holistic socio-economic level, with greenhouse gas credits seen as an enabler for other social benefits, rather than an end in itself. Since 2002 the Small groups orgnanised and funded by TIST have plante over 500,000 trees in India alone.

Shakti Small Group, IndiaShakti Small Group joined TIST in tamil Nadi in June 2003 with four male and female members. With the farming and Small Group management training that they have received from TIST, their Group has since planted 1,051 trees in their two to three acres of land. These include 340 neem, 531 teak and 37 drumstck trees, as well as vairous sapota, pala, mango and guava trees.

The trees that Small Groups plan often have a wide variety of nutrituional, medicinal and agricultural uses. For example the seeds of the drumstick trees (moring oleifera) contain a potent antibiotic and fungicide effective against particular skin-infecting bacteria. The flowersa provide a cold remedy. The gum is used for asthma and the oil for scurvy and as an excellent cooking or lubricating oil. the roots and bark are used for inflammation, cardiac and circulatory problems. Its leaves are edible and a good source or protein, vitamin A, B and C, Calcium , iron and amino acids. The bark fibre is used to make small ropes and mats, the wood is used as a blue dye, the leaves make an excellent fertilizer and a suspension of the ground seed can be used to clarify water.

Shakthi Small Group has ivnested their entire last tree planting income in erecting fences to protect their tree groves from cattle, overhauling their bore-hole well motor and improving the quality of their soil, to help create a more sustainable farming environment.

Prior to joining TIST, the member of Sindhukavi Small Group of Chitoor village found that the barren land and low rainfall failed to support even quick growing crops. Sinde joining TIST innApril 2004, the group has planted nearly 15,000 trees and received enough in tree payments to feed themselves as well as invest in other income creating activities. Mr Sundaram, for example, has used his TIST money as capital for a small business in household electrical repairs.

Trough TIST Mr sumdaram and other members have transformed their land, crop yields, food security, income and standard of living. Through this programme they have climbed the first rung of the ladder out of poverty.

Shakti Small Group, India - Barren Land  Shakti Small Group, India - Fields

Transforming the landscape: the photos represent the situation before and after
TIST planting in fields near Chitoor village.

Raphael and Jesca Chinolo, Tanzania

Raphael and Jesca Chinolo live in Chamkoloma village in the Mpwapwa district in Central Tanzania. Their village is just off the dry and nearly treeless plains in a beutiful setting where the hills begin to rise gently. However much of this land in and around CHamkoloma has long been too barren to support farming. Four years ago Raphael and Jesca joined TIST to form their Small Group "Mazingira". with the farming and Small Group management training that they have received from TIST, their Groupd has since planted 44 tree groves containing over 2700 trees of 25 different species.

As Raphael walks around his tree groves, he is able to point out multiple nutritious, medicinal or agricultural uses for each of the tree species. For example, Azadirachta Indica or Neem, is drought resistant, provides excellent shade, creates dry season fodder, helps improve the efficienty of nitrogen fising plants, acts as a natrual insect repellent for crops, and can suppress Salmonella Typhosa bacteria. Parts of the Neem tree are also used to treat boils, pimples, eye diseases, hepatitis, leprosy, rheumatism, ringworm, ulcers and mlaria. In additon, Neem twigs function as disease-preventing toothbrushes and Neem oil as a powerful spermicide which isused as an inexpensive birth control methods.

In addition to tree planting Raphael has also implemented TIST's conservation farming techniques. No matter how weak the rains, he states, he now always gets a bumper crop maize. He has dug fish ponds, started keeping honey bees and cross-bred crops to create better barieties of vegetable and fruit plants. More recently he has invested the cash incentive tree payments from TIST towards building a small bio-gas reactor. This powers a few electric light bulbs that his family can now use to read by after dark.

Raphaels' family have transformed their land, crop yields, food security, income and standard of living. Through this programme they have inspired other villagers to join in; today chamkoloma has 21 Small Groups and over 18,279 trees to its credit.

Tanzania,Small Group, Barren Land  Tanzania Small Group, Tree Grove

Transforming the landscape into woodland. The first photo shows the view up a hill. The second shows the same hill from the other side, looking down at one of the Maingira Small Group tree groves.

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