We are QR coding 100,000 trees (and counting) in our forests!

First things first.

Turns out, this blog is coming out at quite a prescient time. For a while now we have been planning to document and share some cool things we have been experimenting with on-the-field to track and account for each tree we plant, in order to accurately measure tree survival rates and health . This blog does that, but will also inadvertently address some of the concerns raised in a recent research study that is getting a lot of attention (not planned at all, we promise).

Teak monoculture plantation (on the left) in Western Ghats, India. Monoculture plantations of fast growing trees like teak are “green deserts” that are terrible for the environment (Source: Conservation India)

Now back to the original point of this blog post

By the end of this financial year, F4F will complete planting and actively be taking care of ~120,000 trees across ~150 acres. We’re thrilled that we have been able to meet our scale-up objectives, but also a little nervous. With fewer trees, it was easy for us to keep track of them and our impact manually. Now as we inch closer to the hundreds of thousands range, manual counting has become an onerous task.

Output data from DeepForest estimating number of trees in a program area
Drone shot of our recently planted saplings in Ahmednagar District (Maharashtra)

To solve some of these problems, we’ve been experimenting with a QR code system for tracking trees.

QR code after being pinned to the bamboo support of a sapling in our Raigad reforestation area
Screenshot of part of our dashboard that keeps track of survival rates of our trees (according to species)for our afforestation projects

We know this work is hard and tedious.

Piloting the QR code system in Raigad District. F4F team member scanning the QR codes using a mobile phone to ensure they work

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Farmers for Forests

A not-for-profit organization committed to helping farmers increase and protect India’s biodiverse forest cover to fight #climatechange and #poverty