Communities regreen
the Sahel

Partner since 2017



in cooperation with:
• Burkina Faso: SPONG, INERA, APIL, APEDR, ASMADE, Tiipaalga, Réseau MARP, M.Ec.B.
• Senegal: IED Afrique, ISRA-CNRF, ENDA Pronat, ENDA Energie, JIG-JAM, URAPD, Jambaar, RECODEF


In the drylands of the Sahel, land degradation is one of the biggest threats to the traditional livelihoods of millions of people. Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal are countries that are highly affected by droughts and food insecurity. Here, the loss of productive and fertile land threatens the livelihoods of both farming communities and pastoralists. Unsustainable agricultural practices as well as overgrazing are major drivers of land degradation. This process is exacerbated by changes in climate that result in even more erratic rainfall patterns, longer periods of drought and unpredictable growing seasons.

This program supports local communities with a sustainable and low-cost method of farming known as Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). Through FMNR, farmers in the Sahel can regreen their land by allowing the dormant but still active ‘underground forest’ of roots, stubs and seeds to sprout spontaneously and manage it efficiently. Farmers are supported and trained to foster the natural growth of native plants. The regenerated plants will increase soil fertility and water holding capacity while serving as a source of food and income for the local population.

Next to the regreening itself, the program supports farmers in improving their production methods and increased access to markets by establishing and strengthening farmers’ cooperatives. Finally, it also includes advocacy work at the local, national and international level to ensure that government policies, legislation and budgets enable the up-scaling of FMNR throughout the Sahel. This work is accompanied by continuous field research to systematically identify the social and environmental benefits of FMNR.

Results so far include the adoption of FMNR by 16,500 farmers in 40 municipalities and a regreened total surface of 55,000 hectares.


Working towards

Restoration of a total area of 200,000 hectares divided over three countries (80,000 hectares in Niger and 60,000 hectares in Senegal and Burkina Faso respectively) through Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) by and for communities.


  • Advocacy for laws, policies and support programmes that support FMNR in all three countries as well as internationally;
  • Make sure that farmers applying FMNR are organized, can improve their production methods and have access to markets for their (added-value) products.

Empowering communities to regreen their Sahel

In this program, our partners successfully apply Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration. This means it is fully led and owned by the local community, including farmers, cattle-herders, women and the younger generation.

– All photo’s © Both ENDS