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10 March 2021

Community-led efforts will be key to completing the Great Green Wall

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Image: ©ANM, WeForest

An article in Science confirms that farmer-managed natural regeneration is crucial to the success of Africa’s Great Green Wall, which aims to transform the lives of some 100 million people by planting trees, shrubs and grasses over 8000 kilometers by 2030.

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. 

Read the article here.