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Protecting forests and land

Read about our forest governance approach.

"It is the one who sleeps in the house, who knows where the roof is leaking. The communities are at the forefront, they have the knowledge and great capacity to adapt"

Alexis Sompougdou – Tree Aid's Forest Governance Advisor



What is our forest governance approach?

We campaign for forests to be managed by the people who depend on them. We work with communities and local governments so they can agree rules for using forests and their resources. 

Our forest governance approach is key to achieving the goals of our new strategy.

By 2040, we want to see -

  • A thriving natural environment where deforestation and land degradation rates have been reversed.
  • Resilient communities who have the skills and tools needed to manage their landscapes and grow their businesses.
  • Decentralised forest governance policies that will put the control of local assets into local hands.

Why is this needed?

In Africa, trees are being cut down at a rate faster than anywhere else in the world. Forests are being cleared to make room for other things like farmland — this is known as deforestation. 

When you rely on trees for your food and income, it is essential that you can protect and manage them. For communities living in the drylands of Africa, this can be difficult if you don’t know who is in charge of the forests or land. As a result, many of the people that we work with are unable to manage and use trees in the way that they need. 

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    hectares of forest are lost every year across Africa

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    of deforestation in Africa is to clear land for agriculture

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    hectares of forests are already degraded in Africa

How do we help?

For lasting change, local people need to protect and manage the forests and land they depend on. Working with local people, organisations, and policymakers, we do everything we can to limit the damage of practice like cutting down forests for farms — known as deforestation. We also encourage things like allowing land to recover after animals have grazed on it.  

We also work to influence policy — locally, nationally, and internationally — pushing for change that protects trees, people, and our planet.  

Our impact in 2021/22

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    communities in Ghana supported to discuss and develop byelaws

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    people working on local budgets for natural resource management in Burkina Faso

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    hectares of severely degraded land closed off from destructive activities in Mali

Mouni, a volunteer forest guard, smiling in front of his local forest.

"It’s great to work with Tree Aid. Thanks to the project, everybody is involved in protecting the environment. Trees are no longer being destroyed and the forest is even being restored.” Mouni, volunteer forest guard, Burkina Faso

Read more about the project