India Khasi Hills
The Khasi Hills in the Indian ecoregion of Meghalaya are known as the wettest place on earth, as well as for unique biodiversity. The villagers are Khasi tribes who have asked WeForest to help them restore their forests. Training, alternative sources of fuel and new farming techniques are key if we want to stop further forest degradation. WeForest is also distributing fuel-efficient cookers to further improve forest and family health.
Restore native forest
Promote economic development
Build livelihood resilience
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Why is intervention needed?
The Khasi people are traditionally a forest-dependent community, using the native cloud forest for shelter, firewood, medicine, food and even for spiritual traditions. Meghalaya state, or "the abode of clouds" in Sanskrit, is of international importance, recognized as one of the wettest places on earth and a biodiversity hotspot. However, the area and the communities are now at risk as the forest is being cleared by charcoal production, stone quarrying and animal grazing.
WeForest partners with indigenous governments and Khasi villages to restore the forests, using methods like Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) and enrichment planting. The local communities play a key role in the restoration: they manage the tree nurseries, perform the required thinning and weeding, establish natural fire lines, and delimit the no-go zones to protect the forest from animal grazing and human interference.
By supporting self-help groups and farmer’s clubs, WeForest empowers them to tackle poverty, unsustainable forest exploitation and to take ownership in restoring their forests. This is done through training and financial support for ecotourism initiatives, animal husbandry, tree nurseries and subsidies for fuel efficient cooking stoves to encourage a reduction in fuelwood consumption.
Direct employment opportunities are created for regional community facilitators, forestry managers, accountants, project assistants and others. The Khasi are one of the world’s few matrilineal societies, so women are well represented in the project.