How do we do it?

How is degraded land turned into a flourishing food forest? In collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, we have developed a unique and simple method to revitalize degraded land and make it productive again by spurring the natural restoration processes of forests. This approach of “letting nature work for you” offers an opportunity to the local population to use the land once again with fewer and cheaper resources.

Step one

Our method, Assisted Natural Regeneration (or ANR), is an ecological approach to ecosystem restoration. On the degraded lands, a tough grass called Imperata cylindrica has established this grass outcompetes and replaces other plants. Water surface run off is also said to increase where this grass establishes.

The Gula Gula lodging board

The first step taken is using bamboo sticks to mark small, naturally occurring trees that are present in the Imperata grasses, but compete with the grasses for survival. Usually, these are indigenous trees, of which the seeds were dispersed by wind, birds or other animals. The next step involves the Gula Gula lodging board: a simple and cheap tool to kick start natural regeneration of the present (small) trees. Local people flatten the grass with the lodging board. This allows the indigenous, small trees to grow easily without competition from surrounding vegetation. Within two years these trees provide good micro-climatic conditions for tree seedlings with an economic value to be intercropped.

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The impact of carbon off setting

ANR—letting nature work—means that costs remain very low. This allows companies and organizations to achieve significant and visible impacts through carbon off-setting or direct investment in restoration activities. This leads to significant impacts on both the ecosystem and its associated biodiversity, as well as on the livelihoods of the local people.  Several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are supported at the same time.


Do you want to know more about the ways to contribute to the Gula Gula Food Forest by CO2 compensation? Please click below to read more.

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