Most scalable ways to grow more forests?

There are numerous ways in which people are attempting rewilding. Paying for land for planting (buy, lease, pay annually for rights to set up and keep alive a forest), paying through carbon credits, and more.

Often these are expensive methods. Often the 10 year survival rates of planted saplings is lower than what grows naturally in a protected landscape.

What are some of the most scalable ways of creating “more forest everywhere” across farms, urban spaces, forests and more? What might the best incentives look like? What could scale to, say, an entire district of a couple of 1000 sqkm?

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We at Earth Army are awaring local farmers about climate change, and motivating them to plant trees on the peripheries of their agricultural land, we provide them with the native species of the plants. It has twofold benefits, such plantation keep the soil moist and retains the groundwater for their field and albeit this kind of plantation may not be dense forestry, but it’s scalable, hence huge amount of carbon sequestration.

Every acre of land can have 100-150 trees on it’s periphery. Most of the farming lands don’t have such plantation.

Another way is seed bombing, something we wish to work upon and are doing our research for the same. This is the only way to plant a trillion trees across the globe in 3-5 years of time span. First, we need to identify to location for afforestation/reforestation. Then raise funds to seed bomb those locations individually. We have partenered with one drone startup in India and have been following up with over 5 seed bombing startups based in different parts of the world.

Would like to hear your perspective about same.


Some efforts we’ve come across - please add more.

SayTrees - it’s one of the most prolific and active planting efforts in and around Bangalore. They started with Miyawaki forests, but are adopting agroforestry approaches as well.

Farmers For Forests : In a few districts in Maharashtra - getting farms to adopt agroforestry through payments for land.

Green Saviours - around Belgaum. Getting farmers to move away from monocropping and helping to do value addition, market connects. They do the initial funding for the planting.

SwaYYam’s 1000 Trees Project : creating farmers’ collectives in Bandipur to adopt agroforestry to greater degrees

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What is the scope of the work you;re doing, and in what geography? How do you convince the farmers, panchayat etc? What are the economics of the planting, and long term survival?

Last year we planted over 2300 trees in nearby villages of Rohtak(Haryana).

So basically, in most villages, there are 3-5 farmers that are the most influential, they have say in panchayat and as well as with the Sarpanch. We host a workshop/training session after the talks with those 3-5 farmers and mobilise all the farmers of the village, where we teach/train them about importance of ground water retention and how plantation around the periphery is a great way to achieve that while awaring them about the menace of the climate change.

This is just the beginning. We hope to be the one of the biggest organizations across the globe working towards afforestation and awaring masses about climate change.

We can be found at
We are not a registered entity yet. Soon, we are going to enroll ourselves as section-8 Non Profit.

I’d love to connect over a call in order to exchange ideas and learn as how we can scale our initiative fast.



Miyawaki are prone to failures cause they shorten the “rooting time”. Without experience I have seen several attempts not being able to sustain


Bharat, just a word here … Sec 8 is just that and it is for profit. It is not a non profit. The only difference between a privately held company of less than lets say 200 employees and a Sec 8 company could be inability to distribute dividends.

Sameer, a Hub and Spoke model maybe a good ploy. Let me explain this.

A good bare minimum to have a long term demonstration model is usually 300-500 acres. This could incorporate several livelihoods and socio economic strata to live, learn, earn livelihood from. Let us reduce these 300 acres to 100 acres for “capital sake”. Ideally 300 acres would make sense if this was completely degraded land, with cheap labour around (₹200/ day for a 7 hour work day), and if we wanted to work on top down approach. Top down approaches would make a centre of excellence out of this patch but the pressure to trickle the work over to other “spikes” from this “hub” would create unrest.

So let us say we took 70-100 acres land and tried to do 5 things there - natural resource management (water, soil, bio diversity), community working and living, food forests (long term play), cow rearing (think manure and butter milk for all), and organic farming, and allow this to happen organically for the investors as a slow burn, then a large chunk of this effort could go in building relationships with local panchayats etc.

This model should be good but the problem of having community less options is that the islands of excellence never reach out a lot, albeit Timbaktu is exceptional and Babloo is one in a million gem material.

Hence, starting with a few key “locations”, with a few “influential” local farmers, with “authentic” relationships could be the key.

It should be clear if we intend to give back to investors in 10 years or are really setting a resource rich way to tackle so many ills around us.

Like my advisor would tell me - what is the problem statement ?

Thank you.

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Kunal, I need to get on a call and decode much of this :slight_smile: @erbdex @Santhosh we should talk to Kunal.

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Also recommend Hiware Bazar in Maharashtra (I think near Ahmadnagar). Pretty stunning recovery

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WoTR has done some good work and one of the key people there to mobilise resources is Sushil Bajpai and he is a mentor. He vouches for all activities to be “community driven”. He is based out of Pune and has implemented communities in the realm of “gliding” (started his community driving activities in gliding from Jamshedpur in 1987), and I have seen how Bio Diversity saving tourism has been utilised As a immediate revenue generator to show “value” where the context is “full stomachs”. We could invite more such diverse people and thoughts when you feel like. Thank you

PS: also know a couple of Bio Div implementors who have worked with WoTR in Maharashtra and now in Arunachal, Sikkim, Assam.


Sure SS. Would love to converse on this

Please do invite them here. We have so much to learn from their experiences.

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Will call them and get this started. Thank you

Sameer, is there a translation version on here? I mean into at least Hindi? I know a lot of local farmers who have had water shed training, have represented India abroad in farm fairs, doing organic, developing landscapes where water conservation is essential, and yet they are all scattered. If language can be taken care of Sameer bhai, could we invite some of these ground folks?

Also, Alok Aggarwal (IIT Kanpur, Narmada aandolan, AAP, and now working with farmers near Omkareshwar), and Chitrupa (Narmada aandolan and Tribal rehabilitation) would make sense to be gotten here? Am just pensive about their tech adoption, tech interest and sensitivity to be a part of this online forum. And hence in case someone from rain matter could interact & talk to these folks, it would help get them onboarded . Do let me know.

Is open schooling in natural surroundings while living in a community and generating local employment an interesting topic? Check out what Mad Man’s Farm is doing near Narmada in Konda Deori. I know a couple of key folks there, and again, they are very hands on folks and we could benefit from them. Only deal is their lack of wanting to be part of online forums for long. These are smart people and if you could talk to them and inspire them, they could deliver nuggets online here.

Let me know if this sounds promising to you or would you think talking to them is a liability.

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Sameer, I have individually worked on planting 2500+ trees (native) in Bengaluru in a gated community of 250 acres. I spent time educating the association and residents on why we should just have mini-forests rather than landscaped gardens. Showed them a value of how even water can be retained in the ground when the mini-forests caught up. Has been a success working in my community. I feel we should start educating urban communities and associations of having small forests in the space they have with a walking path and get more green cover. Reforest India is an NGO which supported me and is doing significant work in this area too.

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Reforest India is doing lot of work in Bangalore and surrounding areas for last 12+

What’s the model and economics of it? Who are the stakeholders and how do they get convinced about sustaining/conserving the forests?

The owners associations Hony. President/Hony. Secy are the stake holders. This would be applicable to large gated communities. I think many are aware of the importance of having trees but do not know where and how to approach. If we could target the big real-estate companies and the leading gated communities with a proposal of how this can help in the long run - less water needed for maintaining lawns Vs having trees, Water retention by roots of these trees there by increasing the ground water and reducing the soil erosion. We could weave a story and actual success stories happening across the world with reforestation being done.

Apart, there are many vacant plots for years (in BBMP limits) in Bangalore (example). We could grow fruit trees which could help poor people or birds/animals to feed on them and thus also helping us to increase the green cover.

All the tree saplings need to be watered for the initial 1 year and thereafter we could just dig some small 3X3 ft pits wherever possible for rain water to be collected and percolate to the earth.

Interesting approach using desalination plants to nurture drawdown forests.

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