TIST Program in Uganda

TIST Program in Uganda

Combining reforestation and sustainable development to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.

SAFA Projects
city & Country
Bushenyi, Uganda
SAFA Projects
Project Owner
Clean Air Action Corporation
SAFA Projects
total Tonnes Co2 Available


The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST) is an innovative combined reforestation and sustainable development project carried out by subsistence farmers to combat the devastating effects of deforestation, poverty, and drought. The farmers plant trees on their land and retain ownership of the trees and their products, which is creating a potential long-term income stream, and developing sustainable environments and livelihoods.

How it works

The project involves direct tree planting of species selected by the individual Small Groups to meet their individual goals and needs. A list of suitable species is prepared based on input from local experts—Uganda Forestry Department and TIST members—and their benefits are discussed at TIST training meetingsTIST best practices call for Small Groups to acquire seeds and develop their own nurseries using either seedbeds or pots made from plastic bags. Some Small Groups acquire seedlings from other groups, other individuals, and local forest servicesTree planting is accomplished by manual methods using hand tools. TIST best practices call for farmers to dig individual holes that are 45 cm wide, 45 cm deep, spaced 2.5 m to 3.5 m apart for each seedling and fertilized using natural fertilizers. TIST does not own any fossil fuel vehicles or equipment to be used for tree plantingTIST has deployed an innovative and award-winning data collection system that consists of battery-operated Palm computers, GPS receivers, data and image uploads through laptops or internet access points to monitor project activitiesAfter five years of tree growth, tree mass and the volume of carbon stored in the trees can be calculated, the carbon captured is verified to international standards, and carbon credits can be offered for sale

Why this project

The loss of trees and the continuing use of some agricultural practices hurt the land and threaten the lives of subsistence farmers. Hence, deforestation is a major cause of poverty and global climate change. TIST has proven that farmers can reverse deforestation, improve their lives, and combat climate change. The program is recognised as a leading carbon offsetting program and has developed an award-winning monitoring system, using third-party verified standards to ensure carbon emission reductions are real.


  • 7,787 tonnes of CO₂ is mitigated on average per year through reforestation/revegetation and sequester atmospheric CO₂ in live above-ground and below-ground biomass
  • 22,998 indigenous trees planted from 2012-2018 which reduce erosion, stabilise and enrich the soil, and will soon be providing shade. In the future, they will provide other benefits, including edible fruits and nuts, medicines, windbreaks, firewood, and timber
  • Creating 81 jobs and training of local staff
  • The participants receive $3,937 in average financial benefits per TIST member, providing a new source of income
  • Health and sanitation training for 3,937 members including HIV/AIDS, malaria, clean water, hygiene, and indoor air pollution
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sustainable Development Goals
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