Monitoring and Measurement
Project data are submitted by the small groups participating in the program. TIST auditors then make visits to the small groups. These visits are an opportunity for sharing information and for encouragement. The group's trees are also surveyed. Tree data is logged by GPS location into a PDA based database. Data is managed locally and sent to overseas analysts.
TIST provides detailed and regular accounting of the location, size, and species of trees being planted. TIST also is assessing the impact of the program on food supply, health, and other human factors. Analysis of all data are provided to help improve program operations and to report to stakeholders.
Present models show that the trees planted through the pilot program Phase III alone should achieve between 500,000 tons and 3,000,000 tons of CO2 sequestration. Accurate assessment of this requires careful counting of the trees, and monitoring of groves with TIST trees over years.
Workers from the local area have been trained in the use of GPS technology, measurement, and 3 -Com’s Palm-Pilot technology in order to collect information that is being used to quantify these tons based on the growth and age of the trees. They are referred to as “Quantifiers”. As the program grows, more people will be trained and used to help in the data collection efforts needed, and quantification will occur retrospectively. In addition, the quantifiers themselves plant trees and serve as a small group.
TIST is implementing a strategy to assess the impacts of the conservation farming on food supply and carbon dioxide sequestration, and to assess impacts of the total TIST program on other human factors. TIST should have several positive impacts on families and local communities including health, nutrition, and economic well being. Small groups, the very organizing unit for TIST participation, also will strengthen the sense of community and mutuality that is already a cornerstone of the local culture.