The Gula Gula Food Forest program (GGFFP) - located in the Singkarak river basin in West Sumatra province - restores degraded land by integrating Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) techniques with planted agroforestry species. Carbon income and the processing of agroforestry products boosts local income and employment opportunities. 


Benefits that Gula Gula Food Forest Program (GGFFP) provides



Start date 2019
Coordinator COOperate BV
Project website Gula Gula

Afforestation/reforestation, improved land management

Participants 285 smallholder households
PVCs issued to-date



The detail

The flagship project of the Gula Gula Food Forest program is being implemented in the Singkarak river basin of West Sumatra province. Past deforestation and inappropriate land use practices have cleared most of the trees. It turned the village-owned upland areas into a degraded state where Imperata grasslands and ferny landscapes are the climax vegetation.

Investing private sector carbon offsetting funds, CO2 Operate, its local partner RPL (Rimbo Pangan Lestari) and the local farming communities have developed a highly effective, cheap method to restore tree cover on these degraded areas. Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) techniques are integrated with the planting of economic valuable trees. All planted trees are chosen by the local community to fit their needs and preferences. By working with nature, rather than against nature, a biodiverse and productive food forest  builds up in 5 years.

The restoration method is accessible to even the poorest farmers. The only tools needed are a lodging board to press the imperata grasslands and/or slash the ferns using a machete to reduce competition for existing and planted trees. Training in good and organic tree management practices, and supplementary village-based processing adds value to the food forest products and boosts local incomes and rural employment for all.





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The documents




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SDG details

See how the project provides benefits beyond carbon and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainable Development Goal How the project contributes
  • The aim of Gula Gula is to reach more than the official minimum wage of West Sumatra for the farmers (above 150 euro's/month on average).

  • Building village-based processing units adds value to the agricultural products. This increases prices and hence incomes for the producers. 

  • The project builds partnerships between governments and private and public bodies, bringing Gula Gula's goals closer to achievement.

  • Employment relationships and opportunities are based on the principle of equal opportunity and fair treatment. 

  • Local processing provides growing employment opportunities for everyone. 
  • The project sets up democratic, local association development (cooperatives). 

  • The project works towards responsible value chains.  

  • The project promotes responsible consumption for all.  

  • Organic certification is the goal for the products Gula Gula process.
  • Climate change mitigation: the project focuses on carbon sequestration, restoring degraded lands to forested landscapes, because net carbon benefits per ha are highest.

  • Climate change adaptation: Restoration of tree cover improves the water retention capacity. Increasing tree cover is also a climate adaptation strategy, as increasingly intensive and irregular rainfall can be absorbed better by a forested landscape, which reduces risks of impacts from heavy rains (floods, erosion).

  • Ecosystem restoration: bringing back forested landscapes and its associated biodiversity on degraded land.

  • The project has adopted practices that integrate conservation needs (ANR) and development priorities (planting of economic valuable trees) to ensure environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources.

  • The project builds partnerships between governments, private and public bodies to bring Gula Gula's goals closer to achievement.  
  • Collaborating to access to global markets strengthens partnerships between farmers, the private sector and end consumers.

  • The project sets up democratic, local association development (cooperatives).



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