Burkina Faso: Communities engaged in the management of degraded land

In the heart of West Africa, Burkina Faso is at risk of desertification, which has a significant effect on the populations of the dry Sahelian regions. The State and its partners have in response committed to restore 5 million hectares of degraded land.

Among the actors most engaged is the Great Green Wall Initiative of the Sahara and the Sahel through projects like Action Contre la Désertification (ACD), carried out by the FAO. The most praiseworthy aspect of this project, which restores land in the Sahel, is the strong involvement of the beneficiaries themselves in the restoration process.

In the ACD project, the communities are deeply involved, from the baseline mapping process through the implementation of management committees for newly revitalized sites. In this same dynamic, a household-level approach has been implemented. With the support of local communities and the project implementers, fences have been installed around family properties. Inside those enclosures, the landholders reforest the land and boost agricultural yields by using restoration techniques like zaï, half-moons, and bunds.

Several thousand hectares have thus been revitalized. By mobilizing the local population, the ACD project is giving local people hope for a brighter future.