The TREES OUTSIDE THE FOREST project (2008-2009) has raised awareness of the potential of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) techniques to increase on-farm tree cover and bring multiple benefits to rural people including better cereal harvests and more abundant firewood and fodder. A 15 minute film based on the sucessful experience of the Barahogon associaiton in Bankass was watched by over 400 farmers & local officials in 4 districts in the Mopti region and the message was reinforced through local language booklets and radio programmes. In July 2009, 233 farmers in 89 villages said they had adopted FMNR techniques, as a result of the project. Through the Web and at conferences, the Barahogon success story has been shared with NGOs, researchers, policy makers & donors working on climate change and sustainable land management in the Sahel. After watching the film the Malian Forest Directorate took part in a televised debate alongside Sahel Eco and the National Farmers Federation, publicly acknowledging the achievements of the Barahogon for the first time.
However, whilst initial results are encouraging, the total number of farmers in Mali who actively manage their own farm trees, remains low. Much work remains to be done over the next few years to promote widespread and sustainable adoption of FMNR and help impoverished rural communities to improve food security, reduce poverty and adapt to climate change.
Sahel Eco continues to promote FMNR through the Sahel Regreening Initiative.Visitez le site francophone du Reverdir le Sahel www.reverdirlesahel.ning.com.
The Trees Outside the Forest project was supported by the International Tree Foundation.