March 20, 2012

Regreening the Sahel: An Integrated Approach

World Resources Institute

Less than a decade ago, researchers became aware of a substantial effort by farmers in Niger and other Sahelian countries to protect and manage tree species on their land. This practice, which has been occurring for decades, improves water use efficiency and availability, increases crop yields, and protects soil from erosion. Not something completely novel, Chris Reij, Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute, notes how “trees are part of the agricultural production system.” He discusses how Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) of trees in the arid region of western Africa is contributing to the adaptation to climate change of these communities. But what is significant here is the scale at which these practices are occurring, and how favorable policy conditions and better alignment of incentives can contribute to further scaling of these practices.

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