International Small Group and Tree Planting Program
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The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program, or TIST, is a comprehensive sustainable development program for developing-world locations. TIST was started in 2000 and exists in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) and India. The TIST program has three separate but related aims: development, commercial opportunity, and replication.
The development goal of the TIST program is to empower and equip subsistence farmers to restore their natural environment, increase soil fertility, create jobs, strengthen the local community, and move from famine to surplus.
TIST trains and encourages small groups to develop and share "best practices." TIST introduces improved farming and land use techniques to isolated subsistence farmers who are now planting millions of new trees. Using a combination of small group development and training programs and providing small stipends to groups, TIST helps local farmers meet their economic needs, even during severe dry seasons.
Small groups agree to meet the program requirements and assure tree survival and use of improved, sustainable land use techniques for years to come. The improved farming practices and tree planting will improve local welfare by stabilizing the local food supply and by providing families with additional income from TIST tree benefits and payments.
TIST small groups are also educated about HIV/AIDS and equipped to formulate a response to this pandemic at the group and village level. Adopting conservation farming techniques increases food and decreases annual physical effort after the first seedbeds are created. Family members can continue to plant in these seedbeds year after year and have food.
Many of the 86,000 TIST farmer participants were currently using the traditional 3-stone cook stoves or handmade mud stoves. Through work with Envirofit International, TIST has been able to bring healthy cook stoves and the training necessary for an effective replacement for their traditional stoves to many of TIST members.
- Project areas
TIST currently operates in four countries:
- Scholz, Sebastian M. (2009). "Case study: The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program". Rural development through carbon finance. Peter Lang. pp. 27–70. ISBN 978-3-631-59250-2.
- "Country profile: India". TIST.
- "Country profile: Kenya". TIST.
- "Country profile: Tanzania". TIST.
- "Country profile: Uganda". TIST.
- Official website
- USAID Partner TIST: First In The World! http://issuu.com/mitimagazine/docs/miti-12, page 21
- “Farmers form TIST Small Groups. The Small Groups plant trees. Trees create carbon credits. Carbon credits are sold. Farmers make money. The idea is straightforward -- the results are remarkable.” http://issuu.com/mitimagazine/docs/miti19, page 10-11
- “Farmers in the Meru and Nyeri areas of the Mt. Kenya Region are ahead of many African farmers in innovations to take advantage of global climate change efforts.” Enock W. Kanyanya, USAID Kenya
- http://issuu.com/mitimagazine/docs/miti-7, page 12
- "Rarely do you find a business that attacks two big problems–global poverty and climate change–at the same time." Marc Gunther 2010, http://theenergycollective.com/marcgunther/33010/fighting-poverty-and-global-warming-africa
- TIST has made large, long-term corporate investments in engaging 50,000 Kenyan farmers in a carbon enterprise. This private enterprise model, alongside the donor/philanthropic one, is clearly a valid and useful approach to pioneering forest carbon activities that can bring livelihood benefits to local communities. (page 64) http://theredddesk.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdf/east_africa_study.pdf
- A striking feature of TIST is its scale and rapid growth with more than 50,000 farmer participants and six million trees planted (in Kenya) at the time of the study field work. (page 22) http://www.tist.org/i2/kenyagrowth.php
- Aggregate benefits are the incentive package that motivates carbon sequestration activities in both the immediate and long-term. At current carbon prices, carbon revenues seem insufficient to provide adequate inventive for tree-planting. Co-benefits alone seem to provide sufficient rewards to compensate and exceed tree-planting costs for many, but carbon revenue is important as an organizing principle and a behavioral incentive to each tree-grower. (page 60) http://theredddesk.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdf/east_africa_study.pdf
- New Perimeter provided a range of pro bono legal services to small groups of subsistence farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in coordination with the International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST). http://www.newperimeter.org/export/sites/new-perimeter/downloads/main/New-Perimeter-Africa-Overview-Brochure_082013_FINAL.pdf