Land degradation is a pressing issue, affecting over 45% of Africa's land area, with 55% at high or very high risk of further degradation. This degradation contributes significantly to climate change
The risk of having further degradation is attributed but not limited to deforestation, poor land use and rangelands management and overexploitation of natural resources.
To address this issue, past and ongoing efforts have focused on tackling the root causes of land degradation and developing strategies of prevention and rehabilitation.
ILC Africa's regional platform on locally managed ecosystems uses the Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) method to restore dryland ecosystems. This method has shown promise in averting and even reversing the bleak future of further degradation.
Restoration of degraded land in Central Mali, West Africa. (Photo credit SahelEco)
Over the past five years, the platform has already restored 600,000 hectares of degraded land and conserved over seven million ha for communities in Western and Eastern Africa.
“The restoration of degraded lands and the conservation of landscapes changes lives of about 1,330,000 people primarily smallholder farmers, in more than ten African countries south of the Sahara,” says Antoine Kalinganire, the platform’s facilitator and a CIFOR-ICRAF Senior Tree Scientist
“The restoration of degraded lands and the conservation of landscapes changes lives of about 1,330,000 people primarily smallholder farmers, in more than ten African countries south of the Sahara,” says Antoine Kalinganire, the platform’s facilitator and a CIFOR-ICRAF Senior Tree Scientist.
Platform members used advocacy and campaigns to educate communities and political entities about the importance of using FMNR technology for restoration. "Campaigns resulted in intensive plantings, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) practices, and comprehensive protection of current forest lands, (FMNR) practices, and thorough protection of current forest lands.” Added Antoine.
Why is the restoration important to the platform?
The restored lands and landscapes contribute to the long-term viability of target ecosystems, the livelihoods of local communities and indigenous peoples, and carbon sequestration for climate change mitigation. Additionally, they improve tenure security, as well as land rights and primarily smallholder farmers.
The platform also wants to use its members' capacity to help local communities protect the land rights of regenerated landscapes.
“Members of ILC are on the front lines of conserving the ecosystems on which they rely. Recognizing their tenure rights cuts deforestation tremendously. It's a win for the environment, but it's also the right thing to do - it's their land after all.” - Annalisa Mauro, Network and Operations Coordinator, ILC.
ILC is committed to ensuring that local communities and indigenous peoples are given a platform to share with the world their community-led restoration initiatives - agro-ecological practices, community-led forest and rangelands management.
This platform on locally managed ecosystems is hosted by ICRAF, an ILC global member.