John Keells Foundation’s tree planting project adds and sustains 3000 trees over five years

A tree planting project which was initiated by John Keells Foundation (JKF) in collaboration with Tea Smallholder Factories PLC (TSF) and Carbon Consulting Company (Pvt) Ltd (CCC) in 2013 has succeeded in growing and sustaining 3000 trees within a five-year period.

Under the project, 3000 plants were distributed among 31 tea smallholder farmlands and tea factory premises in Halwitigala, Kurupanawa, Neluwa and Hingalgoda of the Galle District, covering an area of 15.3 acres.

The objective of this project was to uplift the livelihood of the smallholders in the area while preserving their natural habitat and biodiversity by facilitating a wider vegetation coverage in the selected regions. Engaging smallholders in the project allowed them to benefit from payments for ecosystem services including plant maintenance for the duration of the project.

CCC has been monitoring the trees since 2014 while conducting casualty replanting to replace the dead plants. Following CCC’s eighth monitoring visit conducted in February 2018, an average survival rate of 98% was reported. It was also observed that the farmers were pleased that trees such as guava, cocoa, star fruit, orange and rambutan were bearing fruit while forest trees such as Keluna, Bulu, Hora, Halmilla, Yakahalu-Dun and Nedun provided under the project were also thriving.

Following the achievement of the project objective within the contract term, a closure forum was held on 28th September 2018 with the participation of representatives of JKF, TSF, CCC and the smallholder community.

The project was funded by JKF as an initiative furthering both biodiversity conservation as well as livelihood development and was fully supported by TSF through the facilitation of tea smallholder engagement and general oversight.

Mr. Jayaratne Gamage, Smallholder beneficiary of the Neluwa Medagama Tea Factory
Mrs. B Nandawathi, a participant from Neluwa sharing her experience
Smallholders at the handover ceremony

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