Restoring Forest Landscapes and Revitalizing Economies for Lasting Impact Across Africa
Thanks to our long-standing partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI), One Tree Planted is honored to be a technical partner of AFR100. What does this mean? One Tree Planted, along with nearly 40 other organizations, helps enhance technical support and coordination of restoration activities across Africa, chipping away at AFR100’s target of restoring 100 million hectares of land by 2030.
One way we are doing this is through TerraFund for AFR100, where we are supporting AFR100 in its critical work of restoring landscapes across Africa through 100+ inspiring projects. While TerraFund for AFR100 encompasses a number of projects across the diverse continent of Africa, each one has a unique story to tell. Together, they form an incredible mosaic of action that will transform lives and improve landscape connectivity, allowing biodiversity to take up space, migrate, and thrive again.
Participating as tree planters, nursery technicians, and monitoring specialists will allow individuals to develop new skills and improve their lives. From planting trees to growing economic security — which makes it possible to send kids to school, build homes, and strengthen communities — TerraFund for AFR100’s projects are creating profound, intergenerational ripple effects that will transform Africa forever.
What Is TerraFund for AFR100?
Managed by the World Resources Institute, One Tree Planted, and Realize Impact, Terrafund for AFR100 is the first concrete investment into the second phase of AFR100. Funders include Bezos Earth Fund, Facebook, Good Energies Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, DOEN Foundation, AKO Foundation, GiveOne, and Caterpillar Foundation.
Through Terrafund for AFR1oo, a first cohort of 100 non-profit organizations and small businesses have been selected to receive direct investments that range from $50,000 to $500,000. In the first 2 weeks after opening up applications, we received over 3,200 applicants, demonstrating the incredible level of commitment and energy on the ground to build a greener future for Africa. This movement and inspiration at the local level is vital because communities manage nearly 70% of African land — and have first-hand knowledge of what is needed in their communities.
Terrafund for AFR100 is a powerful consortium that allows us to make an incredible impact by working with a diversity of partners, in regions that we would not otherwise be able to.
What Is AFR100?
If you need a refresher, AFR100, or the African Forest Landscape Restoration initiative, is a massive, country-led effort to bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. AFR100 contributes to the Bonn Challenge, the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), the African Union Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals, and other targets. Together, they’re working to accelerate restoration across Africa so that they can enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation, and combat rural poverty.
How did it come about? 6 years ago, African leaders recognized that the degradation of 65% of Africa’s agricultural land posed a grave threat to the livelihoods of millions of farmers across the continent. Coupled with the growing impacts of climate change — including lower crop yields, erratic rainfall and prolonged droughts — the need for large-scale action was clear.
Today, AFR100 includes 32 participating countries, along with local communities, public and private sector partners, and international development programs. It’s a truly monumental undertaking and we’re honored to help support them in their work.
Here are a few Terrafund for AFR100 Projects We Love
Every TerraFund for AFR100 project has a unique story to tell, and we are honored to be able to help share them with the world. And across the board, projects are underway: some are doing their community engagement and pre-planting activities, while others have already have begun planting. Here are 3 projects that we are particularly inspired by:
Mount Kenya Environmental Conservation (Kenya)
In Northern Kenya, women often dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to finding and transporting firewood for cooking. This project, which will work mostly with women volunteers, will provide fruit trees for agroforestry, as well as fast-growing trees that can be sustainably harvested for firewood. By planting sustainable firewood trees, women are empowered to learn more about sustainability, work with the fruit trees, and find their own sources of income. As a result, the surrounding environment will be better protected from degradation, and the participants will have buy-in to help ensure success over the long term.
SOS-Forêts (Côte d’Ivoire)
This project aims to create 150 hectares of community agroforests in Kouibly, Cote d’Ivoire, to empower women and combat climate change. The West of Côte d’Ivoire has large forests with incredible biodiversity, but that biodiversity is under threat. The forests surrounding the villages of Makaïbly, Pombly, Ouyably-Ngondro, Nyondrou, Taobly in the department of Kouibly have been degraded by cocoa farming, population growth, and the country’s 2011 post-election crisis. These factors have combined to negatively impact the structural and functional integrity of the ecosystems, which in turn has harmed farming families. Soil erosion and decreased agricultural yields have led to decreased income and food shortages. Since the rural forests no longer exist, the local communities have been forced to exploit the only protected area in the region, the Mount Tia protected area.
As the trees grow, they will provide food, fuel, livestock fodder, construction materials, and ultimately, improved income for farmers in an industry that has seen increasing demand and decreasing supply. By expanding into fruit trees, farmers are ensured a future where the seedlings planted today turn into food and income for many years to come.
Plant With Purpose (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Located within Uvira, Democratic Republic of the Congo, this planting area has been affected by a complicated history of conflict, disease, and hunger. Communities today continue to exist in a survival mode, with 65% of people living in multidimensional poverty. And although conflict has subsided to some extent, the emerging threat is an unhealthy environment with infertile soil and forests that have been severely degraded by fuelwood and charcoal collection, as well as agriculture clearing.
This project is special because it employs 70% women in an effort to build their capacity, improve gender equity, and ensure that they’re able to be involved in the decision-making for their environment moving forward. When women are engaged and taught these skills, they can impart them to their community members to engage even more individuals. And because this project has an agroforestry component, there is also a sustainable economic opportunity after the planting has commenced, since that fruit can provide income for years to come.
Phase 2 of AFR100 is just getting started, so stay tuned for more updates, inspirational stories, and opportunities to get involved. But it will also require your support! You can plant trees as part of a holistic restoration strategy that has people and landscapes at the heart of a vision for a greener Africa.