Meet our user: Kijani Forestry

Meet our user: Kijani Forestry

“By utilizing the Arboreal Tree Height app, this takes the guesswork out of the measurements”

Kijani Forestry is a social enterprise with headquarters in Gulu, Uganda, dedicated to combating deforestation by facilitating climate-smart agricultural practices that empower farmers for local economic development.

They plant a diversity of tree species that are economically viable as a tool to empower smallholder farmers to break the cycle of poverty for the generations to come. 94% of Ugandans rely on unsustainably sourced charcoal or firewood. This demand is causing nearly 500,000 acres per year of deforestation with the majority coming from national forests or private land of impoverished farmers.

Kijani Forestry is partnering with those farmers to plant dedicated woodlots that can preserve native forests from being clear-cut and produce charcoal with trees that regenerate from the same rootstructure after being harvested. This creates a cyclical rotational harvest and long-term source of income for the farmers while continually decreasing demand elsewhere.

Kijani works through a “Nursery Hub” model, where they establish many rural nurseries to grow seedlings and provide training to groups of farmers looking to partner with us. so far have worked with over 1,000 households to plant over 1.2 million trees and are looking to expand to 7,000 households in 2022.

In order to make this program effective and bring confidence to the work they are doing, they need to verify the results  by comparing with different research or similar species. The great thing is that the indigenous trees grow extremely quickly – some over 7m in the first year!

Kijani seek to expand the biodiversity in planting while taking a scientific approach and measuring growth rates and compiling research for our species. This process is quite time consuming by manual methods and is also inaccurate due to poor visibility of the tree tops.

– By utilizing the Arboreal Tree Height app, this takes the guesswork out of the measurements and allows us to take data all across our programs throughout Northern Uganda, says Beau Miliken at Kijani Forestry. We true let the data to be dictate the decisions and producing results that can be used for other projects and contexts.