Supporting low-cost innovations in tree, land and water management for improved food security, poverty reduction and climate resilience.
Drylands, which are defined by their water scarcity, cover 55% of Sub-Saharan Africa, and are home to 390 million people. In many African countries with drylands, farmers and their livelihoods are threatened by climate change, declining soil fertility, stagnant crop yields, and rapid population growth. We work to support farmer innovations based around trees that increase farmers’ incomes, reduce food insecurity, and increase resilience to climate change.
Re-greening is a process in which farmers protect and manage trees that naturally regenerate on their land, rather than cut them down. Regenerated trees and shrubs help restore degraded lands and provide many benefits – from increased crop yields, recharging groundwater, providing fodder and firewood, and storing carbon. Agroforestry, where on-farm trees are managed with crops and/or animal production systems, is a cost-effective and "climate-smart" way to intensify and diversify agriculture. Innovative farmers have also developed water harvesting techniques and other improved practices that restore the productivity of degraded lands and contribute to landscape level re-greening. Through the African Re-Greening Initiatives and other endeavors, WRI works with local partners to develop a strategy for scaling up re-greening successes that have already taken place in many parts of Africa.