Valley in Bhutan

The Million Trees Initiative in Bhutan

In September 2022, we completed a SAVi assessment for the Million Trees Initiative in Bhutan. This assessment was conducted in collaboration with the Bhutan Ecological Society (BES), which aims to plant 1,000,000 high-value plantation trees to regenerate fallow land and restore degraded forest. The objective is for these trees to support rural livelihoods and landscapes by providing income (from fruit, timber, and fodder), creating jobs in nurseries, sequestering carbon, mitigating flooding and reducing landslides and erosion.

Over 5 years, trees will be planted on 809 hectares of fallow land and 1,214 hectares of degraded forest. The project will support over 5,000 smallholder farmers, including at least 2,500 men and 2,500 women, with the possibility that the project could be scaled to restore more land.

The SAVi assessment used outputs from a spatially explicit analysis, a system dynamics model, and an agent-based model to quantify the social and environmental externalities of establishing fruit and timber plantations across Bhutan. The report indicates that plantations can boost rural income, reduce the area of fallow land, and slow rural population decline in Bhutan.

Read the full report here.