This collection of 12 stories from women and men in nine countries in different parts of Africa shines a light on the efforts of communities, some of them decades-long, in restoring degraded forests and landscapes. The stories are not generated through any rigorous scientific process, but are nonetheless illustrative of the opportunities communities create as they solve their own problems, and of the many entry points we have for supporting and accelerating community effort. The stories show that leadership, social capital and cooperation, clear property rights/tenure, and supportive governance are important for successful community-based restoration.
From the perspectives of communities, “success” is not only about the number of trees planted and standing over a certain terrain: it is also about the ability to secure and enhance livelihoods; to strengthen existing community relationships and to build new ones with other actors; to develop a conservation ethic among younger generations; and, in some cases, to expand the rights of excluded individuals and groups. This collection is about amplifying the voices of local people in global policy debates.
Foreword. Communities restoring landscapes: Stories of resilience and success
Story 1. Holding back the desert: One farmer’s story of restoring degraded land in the Sahel region in Burkina Faso
Story 2. Women gaining ground through reforestation on the Cameroonian coast
Story 3. Building resilience to climate change through community forest restoration in Ghana
Story 4. Thinking in tomorrow: Women leading forest restoration in Mt Kenya and beyond
Story 5. Mikoko Pamoja: Carbon credits and community-based reforestation in Kenya’s mangroves
Story 6. Rights, responsibilities and collaboration: The Ogiek and tree growing in the Mau
Story 7. Restoring Madagascar’s mangroves: Community-led conservation makes for multiple benefits
Story 8. Flood recovery, livelihood protection and mangrove reforestation in the Limpopo River Estuary, Mozambique
Story 9. Regaining their lost paradise: Communities rehabilitating mangrove forests in the drought-affected Saloum Delta, Senegal
Story 10. From the grass roots to the corridors of power: Scaling up efforts for conservation and reforestation in Senegal
Story 11. Taming the rising tide: Keeping the ocean at bay through community reforestation on Kisiwa Panza island, Tanzania
Story 12. Shaking the tree: Challenging gender, tenure and leadership norms through collaborative reforestation in Central Uganda