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Restoring African Drylands-Farmer and community-managed restoration

At the beginning of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, this 60th issue of ETFRN News is very timely, with the preface signed by UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, reflecting a focus on drylands that cover some 40% of the world’s land area and contain some of the most severely degraded landscapes on Earth. ” .

They are also home to a third of the world’s population and a disproportionate number of the poorest people, along with unique ecosystems and biodiversity. And these issues are more acute in Africa than in any other continent.

  • ETFRN News 60 focuses on dryland restoration in the Sahel and the Greater Horn of Africa where levels of poverty, land degradation and out-migration are acute.
  • It collates 36 articles from more than 100 contributors, including some long-term analyses of remarkable increases in tree cover and improved agricultural yields over large areas of the Western Sahel never published before, landscape restoration in Ethiopia, and examples from many other countries.
  • These provide new insights into what has led to the documented successes, summarizes the ‘top ten’ key findings, and offer recommendations to a much-needed change in focus if we are to achieve the ambitious commitments made by African countries to Land Degradation Neutrality targets, the Bonn Challenge, the African Forest Landscape Initiative, and the Great Green Wall, amongst others.
  • The overriding story is that farmer and community-led initiatives are the main driver of dryland restoration that have been adopted at scale, and at low cost.
  • These include simple water harvesting techniques, encouraging natural regeneration, and locally-managed control over resources.
  • Key factors include bylaws made with and enforced by local institutions and communities, the inclusion of women and youth, and effective support from projects and programmes, and national and international policies.
  • Large-scale projects have also played a role, and private sector investments are limited but expanding.

Farmer and community-managed restoration

 1.1 Restoration of agricultural landscapes and dry forests in Senegal Gray Tappan, Mike McGahuey & Robert Winterbottom

1.2 Post-project impacts of restoring degraded land in Tahoua, Niger Abdou Hassane & Chris Reij

1.3 Successful landscape restoration in Abreha We Atsbeha watershed, Tigray, Ethiopia Mitiku Haile & Dawit Gebregziabher

1.4 History and impacts of dryland restoration in Yatenga, Burkina Faso Adama Belemviré, Mathieu Ouedraogo, Chris Reij & Gray Tappan

1.5 Two decades of farmer managed natural regeneration on the Seno plain, Mali Mary Allen, Mamadou Diakhite & Drissa Gana

In brief (i): Farmers working together to restore their degraded land and diversify production Beverly Mugure Gichiri

1.6 Adoption of farmer managed natural regeneration in Senegal Robert Winterbottom, Mike McGahuey & Gray Tappan

1.7 Farmers’ strategies for adapting to climate change in Niger Soulé Moussa & Abasse Tougiani

1.8 The climate-smart village approach: communities at the heart of restoration in Senegal Diaminatou Sanogo, Moussa Sall, Baba Ansoumana Camara, Mouhamadou Diop, Marcel Badji & Halimatou Sadyane Ba

1.9 Large-scale regreening in Niger: lessons for policy and practice Adam Toudou, Abasse Tougiani & Chris Reij

More details , the top 10 key findings, recommendations for a change, commitments made you may wish to find in here, 24 pages synthesis   .

The publication Restoring African Drylands   is included in our library collection for your ease of future reference.

ABOUT: Established in 1991, the European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN) aims to ensure that European research contributes to conservation and sustainable use of forest and tree resources in tropical and subtropical countries. ETFRN promotes a dialogue between researchers, policy-makers and forest users, the increased coherence of European tropical forest research, and increased collaboration with researchers in developing countries.

The full text publication you can find here, all 36 individual articles are available here