45,000 tree saplings will be planted on rural roads in Bangladesh. Legal agreements will ensure that 60% tree wealth created will belong to the poorest families (45 kms.x15=675 families). Local government and PEP each receive 20% tree wealth. 45 poor rural women & 3 local social workers will be employed for 3 years to nurture the young saplings, receiving a monthly salary. With only 8% of the desired 25% land under tree coverage, the project will improve environment.
With about 170 million people in a country of 144,000 square kilometers, tree coverage is now only 8% compared to 25% desirable amount. Likewise numbers of landless rural families are increasing rapidly with rise in extreme poverty, lack of employment opportunities and economic assets.
Rural roadsides and site of canals planted with tree saplings help to prevent erosion, increase tree coverage and health of the environment. The 45 landless poor women get three years employment as caretakers, while 675 poorest families get 60% ownership of the planted trees, giving some regular income from pruning and trees toppled in storms.
Besides helping to reforest local areas, preventing erosion and stabilizing weather patterns, timber is produced for furniture, housing construction and firewood. The 45 women employed for three years help support their families and save part salary to invest in economic assets such as land rental and livestock rearing. When trees are harvested, families often receive $250-500 which helps them buy land or add major economic assets to come out of poverty.