The Desa’a Forest is one of the oldest remaining dry afromontane forests in Ethiopia and the largest in the Tigray and Afar Regions. Directly threatened by desertification, 74% of it has already disappeared and the remaining 26% is already severely degraded. It is so important that the Ethiopian government has deemed it a priority area for conservation.

With 85% of Ethiopia’s growing population engaged in traditional agriculture, the level of deforestation for the expansion of cropland, firewood or charcoal is growing, causing extensive soil erosion. As a result, soil fertility has declined to such an extent that local people now struggle to grow crops and raise livestock.  

The incredible biodiversity and natural habitats of Rwanda are under pressure from the resource demands of a growing population and considerable rural poverty. Home to endangered species like the Grey-Crowned Crane, wetlands in particular are under threat as people search to expand their farms to feed their families and make a living. To help address these challenges, the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) is growing trees with local communities to restore these natural habitats while buildi

For decades, vast areas of forests in Ethiopia have been cleared as agriculture expands. This has led to droughts, the loss of unique species and declining soil fertility.

At the same time, Ethiopia’s population has doubled in the past 30 years. This brings big challenges, such as the increasing demand for housing, employment, and food. But trees can offer a solution to these challenges.

In the green hills of Rwanda, coffee farmers are working hard to restore their land while increasing their crop yields. To help them, One Tree Planted partnered with Kula, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating poverty by empowering women entrepreneurs. 

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita income of $280 USD and about half of the population living below the poverty line. The land in Mpwapwa, in the country’s Dodoma region, was once a forested sanctuary for wildlife and people. But in the past 50 years, unsustainable farming practices and the increasing demand for charcoal for cooking have degraded most of the region’s forests. The result is severe erosion, depleted water basins, and dry rivers.

Nearly all – 96 percent – of Malawi’s rapidly growing population depends on wood or charcoal for cooking. Meanwhile, land is continuously being cleared to grow crops, since nearly 80 percent of Malawians rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

In South Africa’s poor, densely populated townships, there are few trees. Contrast that with the country’s richer communities, where leafy, shaded streets greet the passers-by.  

After decades of unsustainable agricultural practices and deforestation, the consequences of land degradation became more and more visible in Tanzania’s semi-arid Dodoma Region. Increasing temperatures during the dry seasons and erratic rainfall patterns during the rainy season cause problems for millions of people, mostly farmers and herders. In this complex system, the large-scale regeneration of trees can restore these lost ecosystem services and regulate the climate.  

Between 1990 and 2010, Kenya’s forest cover decreased from 12 percent to only 6 percent. The country has now committed to bring it back to 10 percent by 2030. In Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), deforestation is largely driven by increasing local demand for wood for construction and cooking, overgrazing, and grass fires. Deforestation and land degradation are especially serious in areas where droughts, exacerbated by climate change, are threatening already limited water supplies.