The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

Forest and Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Land Management in the Sahel

In the Sahel, the increasing degradation of forests and landscapes is a threat to local populations whose livelihoods depend heavily on the resources they generate. The latter, are subject to strong biophysical constraints (low and irregular rainfall, high temperatures, high aridity and often poor and easily degradable soils), which are increased by anthropic pressures (population increases, climate change, deterioration of security, weak governance). In this context, forest and landscape restoration (FLR) aims to transform degraded or barren lands into healthy and fertile landscapes where communities, ecosystems and other stakeholders can coexist within a Sustainable Land Management (SLM) framework.

Over a period of five years, the project, funded mainly by the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), helps implement several restoration actions in six rural communes (three in Burkina Faso and three in the Niger) with the cooperation of key local, regional and national institutions.

A team of researchers is in charge of analysing and quantifying changes in biodiversity by developing comparative analyses on selected sites. The team estimates the biophysical and socio-economic impacts of these changes (food availability, carbon sequestration, control of soil erosion, etc.) and identify the economic opportunities that are created.

Regional, national and global support is provided to the project, in particular for the monitoring and evaluation component, as well as the dissemination of lessons learned from case studies, and policy capacity building activities in FLR.

Decentralized services and national entities such as the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahel and the Sahara, the environmental ministries of both countries, as well as regional institutions and FAO are providing technical support to the project. In agreement with the representatives of the beneficiary countries, some actions have already been put in place focusing on the preparation of restoration plans and the creation of income-generating activities at the municipal level.