Such a venture can only succeed if local communities are involved in the long-term, says writer Rachel Cernansky. “Newly planted trees can die of neglect when planners don’t engage communities from the start in discussions about which species to plant, as well as whether residents are willing and able to provide the water, fertilizer, and protection from grazing animals that saplings need.”
As WeForest’s projects have shown, farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) leads to greater tree cover and other ecological benefits, such as higher carbon content in the soil. Alongside FMNR’s own immediate benefits to crop yields, diet diversity and household incomes, other long-term, community-minded initiatives promoted as part of our projects – such as beekeeping and agroforestry – also provide local participants with alternative, sustainable livelihoods that don’t put pressure on the forest.
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