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Protecting forests

Protecting forests through phase one of our forest governance programme.

The project

Since 2007, Tree Aid has been working with communities across Burkina Faso to manage, protect and use forests. This is known as our forest governance programme. In this phase, we supported communities to restore and protect 22,800 hectares of landThe project focused on supporting women — who are often excluded from forest management — increasing their participation from 24% to 71%. 

With this phase being such a success, we are now scaling-up the project into more communities in Burkina Faso. Read about the next phase of this project. 

Why is this project needed?

Over 70% of people in Burkina Faso live rurally and rely on the land and trees to get food to eat and products to sell for an income. But the effects of the climate crisis and deforestation are causing the land to rapidly lose its fertility. As a result, poverty and hunger are major issues here. 

To make matters worse, communities that rely on the forests don’t always know who is in charge of them. This means people are often unable to manage and protect forests in the way that they need. 

Two members of a women's shea butter enterprise group are making shea butter.

Our aims

This project aimed to reduce poverty and hunger for people across Burkina Faso. We supported communities to set up forest management plans and learn how to restore and protect their environment. The project also focused on supporting people — particularly women — to process and sell tree products like shea butter to improve their income. 

But it doesn’t stop there. This project is now being rolled out into even more communities through phase two of the project.  

Clsoe up of Somowaga, a forest guard in Burkina Faso, holding a tree sapling.

“I patrol the forest making sure that it is not being misused. During meetings, we all discuss how we can make saving and growing the forest the job of the whole village. We all need to care for the forest so we can use it.” Somowaga, volunteer forest guard, Burkina Faso

Learn more about our Forest Governance approach

Our impact

We supported communities to restore and protect over 22,800 hectares of land. We helped people to gain access to trees and set up forest management plans to protect the forests for the future. We also encouraged women to in engage forest management and increased female participation from 24% to 71%. 

With equipment and business training, women's enterprise groups were supported to improve the quantity and quality of their shea butter and increased their income from it. 

  • 0

    hectares of land restored

  • 0

    enterprise groups supported

  • 0

    people trained in enterprise skills

Our partners

The first phase of this project was funded by the UK Department for International Development’s Civil Society Challenge Fund. The second phase was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, who are also funding the scale-up of the project. We worked with other partners including UNCDF, SNV, MEEVCC, and GAGF.