World Vision International
article • Wednesday, January 30th 2019

World Vision’s very own “Forest Maker” transformed 6 million hectares of African dry lands into over 200 million trees

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Award winner of Outstanding Practice in Agroecology 2019, Tony Rinaudo, also famously known as the ‘’Forest Maker,” has been hitting the headlines for what has been described as the largest positive environmental transformation in Africa. Through Farmer Managed Natural Reforestation (FMNR), lives have been transformed feeding millions across Africa.

World Vision has used the FMNR initiative to empower farmers in poor communities across Africa by encouraging them to take ownership of their deserted lands and invest in reforestation. A simple but effective farming practice that turns desert plains into reforested and productive farmland, providing a cost-effective solution to poor communities. The practice requires farmers to prune the regrowth sprouting from tree stumps and roots. The land is then revitalised, improving their harvest and livestock, productivity and increasing their income.  

With the backing of World Vision, Tony Rinaudo was one of the original champions of FMNR, promoting it in Niger in 1983. Since then, over 200 million trees have grown over five million hectares of degraded farmland.

Nigerien farmers are now producing an additional 500,000 tons of cereals a year – enough to feed 2.5 million people. In some communities, crop harvests have increased, significantly reducing the annual “hungry period” from six months to less than one month each year. The FMNR initiative further supports World Vision’s fight against malnutrition in children and is central to the 2030 Agenda.

Over the last 10 years, World Vision had promoted FMNR in other communities across Africa and Asia. To date, at least one million more hectares of land have been regenerated.

Want to know more?

  • Watch the recording of Tony Rinaudo at the Releasing the Underground Forestevent, engaging with Senior Commission Officials at the European Commission, to raise awareness on FMNR and the importance of EU investments.    
  • Join the conversation about sustainable food security through land regeneration at the 3rd Beating Famine Conference.  Dates: 26-28 February 2019 in Bamako, Mali – register here.
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