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Restoring the environment

Read about our natural resource management approach.

We support people to use trees to improve the fertility of the soil and manage land in a way that helps them deal with the effects of the climate crisis. This helps keep the environment healthy and productive, for now, and for the future.

This is our natural resource management approach.

Why is this needed?

In the drylands of Africa where we work, land is rapidly losing its fertility. Soil that was once rich in nutrients is no longer able to support life. This is made worse by the effects of the climate crisis. As a result, local people can’t grow enough food anymore and poverty is increasing.  

Every day, millions of people’s lives and livelihoods are devastated by the climate crisis. That’s why we support them to adapt today, and influence change for tomorrow.

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    hectares of forests are already degraded in Africa

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    people are affected by the climate crisis in Africa's Sahel region

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    hectares of forest are lost every year across Africa

How do we help?

We grow and protect trees so that people can live from them for years to come. We don’t just plant trees and walk away. We work with local people to make sure they have the training and tools needed to make each tree to thrive.

Trees mean stability. Their roots stop the ground being washed away in floods. They also store water when there’s no rain and help the land to stay fertile so other crops can grow. Trees also protect the planet, absorbing carbon dioxide, a cause of the climate crisis.  

Our impact in 2018/19

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    trees grown

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    fuel-saving stoves distributed

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    hectares of land protected

Fire management

The communities that we work with need to find firewood to cook their food. But with more trees being cut down to make room for things like farmland, this is becoming difficult. We work with local people to make and distribute a new type of cooking stove that uses half as much wood as traditional stoves.

We train people on how to prevent bushfires from spreading with techniques like building firebreaks. This is vital in Africa's drylands where bushfires can spread rapidly.  

"The forest cover has been depleted and the trees are no longer available like they used to be. Harvesting firewood is very difficult." Kachana, Nakolo, Ghana

An aerial shot of a large pit of water in the land surrounded by trees - this is a boulis.

Conserving water

In the drylands of Africa, rain only comes over a short period of time known as the rainy season. For the rest of the year, the climate is hot and dry and water is limited and trees and crops often fail to grow. We make sure that communities have the training and tools they need to conserve water to use all year round. 

In Burkina Faso, we built 145 water-conserving pits in the soil, known as boulis, which can each hold as much water as an Olympic swimming pool.