RECOFTC Thailand launches Trees4All monitoring website, linking farmers with tree sponsors
As RECOFTC Thailand unveiled trees4allthailand.org, tree sponsors can now track the location and growth of their trees, the names of the farmers who planted their trees and estimated amount of carbon sequestration.
Trees4All is a crowdfunding initiative for tree planting to restore the forest ecosystem in Santisuk District, Nan Province. With financial support from crowdfunding via taejai.com, smallholder farmers in Santisuk grow native plant species in their farmlands, transitioning from monoculture to diversified farming. Apart from restoring the ecosystem, the project builds sustainable livelihoods.
Since its kick-off on 24 February 2022, Trees4All has received more than 750,000 Thai baht (USD 22,000) in donations from individuals and private entities. More than 4,000 trees have been planted by 33 farmers. The project aims to earn at least 2.2 million Thai baht (USD 64,500) by the end of December 2023.
How Trees4All monitoring system works
“Farmers and sponsors find the monitoring system design easy to use,” said Arpaporn Thongsangiam, Trees4All Project Coordinator, during the trees4allthailand.org launch event held at RECOFTC in Bangkok on 31 March 2023.
“Farmers are trained to conduct basic tree growth measurement and record the data through the system,” said Thongsangiam. “They measure the tree growth every six months throughout the three-year duration of the project.”
After tree sponsors donate, the system generates a username and password for them to log in to the website and view the following information:
- Donation amount and number of trees planted through their money (100 Thai baht = 1 tree)
- GPS location of each tree
- Photos and satellite images of the trees and surrounding areas
- Profile of each tree, including species, names of farmers who planted and are taking care of the trees, height and girth
- Estimated area of tree cover in rai (a unit of area equal to 1,600 m2)
- Health condition of each tree, rated on the 0-3 scale (3 = healthy, 2 = partly healthy, 1 = poor health, 0 = dead, the farmer is to plant a new tree)
- Estimated amount of carbon sequestration of each tree.
Tracking trees, building commitment
The monitoring system makes Trees4All stand out from other tree planting initiatives as it provides evidence to tree sponsors that their donations have reached the farmers growing the trees.
Family lifestyle influencer and tree sponsor Benjakorn Toongsooksai applauded RECOFTC and project partners ChangeFusion, Faculty of Forestry at Kasetsart University, and Rak Santisuk Group, and the web developers’ team from Faculty of Engineering at Kasetsart University for coming up with the monitoring system. “Tracking the growth of the trees was like watching my child grow up,” said Toongsooksai. “It’s fulfilling to see that our contribution yields results.”
The availability of information about each tree’s location and the farmer’s name on trees4allthailand.org inspired Toongsooksai to visit the trees and farmers. She saw the trip as an opportunity for her daughter to learn about the importance of trees, the environment, and the coexistence of people and forests.
For Ada Chirapaisarnkul, Chief Executive Officer of taejai.com and tree sponsor, the monitoring system was an essential part of crowdfunding for social causes. “At taejai.com we believe that making donations can help solve social and environmental problems,” Chirapaisarnkul said. “We needed a reliable monitoring system to track the donations and the project outcomes.”
“I am thrilled to see that every 100 Thai baht of my donation turned into a tree,” she said. “It’s good to see them grow over the next three years and how the ecosystem would be restored. The system also lets me know who planted my trees. Trips to visit the trees and farmers could help boost economic growth in Nan.”
Warangkana Rattanarat, RECOFTC Thailand Director, said tree planting was one of the easiest ways to restore ecosystem and combat climate change. But, to achieve that, planted trees must be able to survive and thrive well, which was challenging.
“Farmers play a leading role in Trees4All as they are the ones who plant and take care of the trees. We need to make sure that money from tree sponsors reach their hands,” Warangkana said. “If we succeed in linking tree sponsors with farmers, we will see more trees in Nan and the watershed ecosystem restored, which will benefit us all.”
This story is produced with the financial support of Global EbA Fund and Wyss Academy for Nature. Its content is the sole responsibility of RECOFTC and it does not necessarily reflect the views of Global EbA Fund and Wyss Academy for Nature. To find out more about this and other activities under Trees4All, visit the project page.