WeForest Project


India Sirumalai

Empowering communities through reforestation
Area restored
7 ha

Project Summary

The project engaged local communities in the reforestation programme, planting a variety of species to restore the forest to a healthy biodiverse habitat, bringing life back to the barren soils and empowering communities. Jobs associated with the restoration activities were reserved for women, to empower them in providing for their children and sending them to school. Local school children joined conservation clubs to get involved in the planting efforts. Fruit trees were among the species planted for income growth and better nutrition for local people and fuel efficient cooking stoves were introduced to the communities to reduce pressure on the forest. Through training and education, the project helped to empower underprivileged women and children while restoring the area's forest.


Sirumalai Hills

Project Status


Project Partners

The SAWED Trust


Atrorcarpus, Acascia, Aillanthus, Azadridicta, Bambusa, Ceiba, Tamarnidus, Bassica, Tectonia

Project Goals

Restore native forest and promote biodiversity
Promote economic development
Empower women Increase food security

Why is intervention needed?

The vegetation ranges from tropical thorn forest to mixed deciduous forest, dry evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest and semi-evergreen forest, all severely degraded. The major causes of deforestation are expansion of farmland, charcoal and fuel wood production, utilization of wood for construction and grazing by cattle. Out of all these, the major one is the population pressure, compelling farmers to encroach on the few remaining forested areas for farmland. As a result, land degradation, wild life extinction, over-grazing and fodder shortage have occurred. These in turn have led to low agricultural productivity, food and water shortage and major changes in the surrounding ecosystems. 82% of the population live in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture for their subsistence leading to recurring food insecurity.