Forest and landscape restoration and sustainable land management in the Sahel: FAO equips six rural communities in Burkina Faso and Niger

Forest and landscape restoration and sustainable land management in the Sahel: FAO equips six rural communities in Burkina Faso and Niger

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25 manure pits in the villages of Bidigou and Namoantiari, the construction of half-moons in the villages of Tchelel and Alalel as well as the construction of stone barriers in the villages of Terbiel and Ouro Hoyendé, covering an area of 29 hectares in Burkina Faso, and the realisation of land restoration works in Kollo, Illéla and Soucoucoutane in Niger, covering an area of 646 hectares, are just some of the achievements of the interventions of FAO and its partners in the two countries. These achievements are part of the implementation of the project “Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in the Sahel” funded by the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM).

Since 2018, the rural communes of Bani, Yamba and Coalla in Burkina Faso and Kollo, Illéla, Soucoucoutane in Niger have been benefiting from technical support from FAO and its partners to transform degraded or barren land into healthy and fertile landscapes where people, ecosystems and other stakeholders cohabit in a sustainable land management framework.

To fill the gap caused by the weak capacity of rural communes and the low level of decentralisation that prevails in some localities, tools have been developed and made available to municipal representatives. Various other supports have led to the operationalisation of specific windows for RFP/GDT investments in the communes of Bani and Coalla in Burkina Faso. Other support led to the development of 15 hectares of stone barriers, the selection and construction of 42 manure pits in the villages of Soula, Bambrigoani, Coalla, Banidjoari and Thiongori in Burkina Faso.

In Niger, sixty people, including seventeen women, benefited from a training session on RFP/GDT techniques (agricultural half-moons and stone cordon).

In order to support the restoration of landscapes and forests in Niger, local groups have been trained in the technique of making improved fireplaces from banco to save energy wood. In total, 15 technical agents and 45 endogenous animators (9 women's groups) were trained and a monitoring system was set up in each village, led by the president of the groups' unions.

One of the particularities of the project in favour of the two countries was the support to the organisations of the territorial authorities which in turn made it possible to identify and respond to the needs of the six communes, in this case the Agence Nationale d'Appui aux Collectivités Territoriales (ACDT) in Burkina Faso and the Agence Nationale de Financement des Collectivités Territoriales (ANFICT) in Niger. Through these structures, technical and logistical support was provided to rural communes for the implementation of innovative and decentralised local actions.

In both countries, several training sessions were carried out in workshops and were based on the content of the Environmental and Social Safeguards module with a particular emphasis on the project's requirements in terms of environmental protection and preservation; respect for gender during the implementation of project activities; the mode of application and individual protective equipment… In total, 75 people, including 16 women, were trained and all the communes have a guide on Environmental Safeguard Measures (ESM).

In addition, the partners on the ground in Niger took an active part in the celebration of the tree days with a contribution of 300 mango seedlings, 200 Azadiractcha indica seedlings and 500 Moringa olifera seedlings purchased and distributed to the population for planting in the concessions and in the courtyard of the village primary school.

At the regional level, significant results have been achieved. These include the adaptation of the Open Foris (CEOF) Collect Earth tool to the Sahelian context, the sharing of knowledge through the strengthening of the CILSS sub-regional platform on CC and SLM/FRM (the platform is functional and online with 800 references), the strengthening of the capacities of the Agrhymet Regional Centre for the use of a drone with a multi-spectral sensor, the mobilisation of the drone, and the synthesis of the main steps in the use and the key functionalities of the Pix4Dag software. 

The project's actors and partners shared the results of their interventions in the field during the last Steering Committee meeting held on 10 February 2022. It was noted that in 2021, the security and health crises due to Covid 19 greatly hampered the implementation of activities in the field, but the populations nevertheless benefited from multi-faceted support to achieve better management of their land and restore their forests.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.

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