Reforestation Solution: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration

WED, AUG 17, 2022

Wednesday, August 17 - 6pm EST.

Register here

Tony Rinaudo is an Australian agronomist, who is widely known as the “forest maker.” Having lived and worked in African countries for many decades, he has discovered and put in practice a solution to the extreme deforestation and desertification of the Sahel region.

Using an elegantly simple set of management practices, farmers can grow new trees quickly by utilizing the root systems beneath existing tree stumps. He will describe the path to this solution to land degradation and the history, development and impact of the global movement called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration. The work he began in Niger in 1983 has now been linked to the regrowth of 200 million trees on five million hectares of degraded farmland in Niger alone.

More than an effective, low cost, rapid and scalable method of land and environmental restoration, FMNR is restoring livelihoods and food security across tens of thousands of communities and in the process, restoring hope.

Environmental journalist Judith D. Schwartz will be moderator for the event and will join Tony in conversation.

+ BIO: Tony Rinaudo

Tony Rinaudo is Principal Advisor for Natural Resources Management at World Vision Australia, He has decades of experience in the development and promotion of agricultural-forestry-pastoral systems across a range of environments, including 18 years spent in the Niger managing a long-term agricultural development program.

He is one of the key figures in the development of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (or FMNR), a low-cost land restoration technique that was introduced in 1983 in the Niger area. Championed by Tony, it has spread over 18 countries in the Sahel and beyond. The impact of FMNR cannot be understated, being linked to the regrowth of 200 million trees on five million hectares of degraded farmland in Niger alone.

Rather than planting new trees, this technique relies on nurturing the regrowth of local trees and shrubs from existing tree stumps, roots and seeds. Through systematic regeneration and management work, the farmers bolster the growth of trees and connect them with their agricultural systems, with mutual benefits. Part of these results come from the work of NGOs like World Vision Australia and others, but also from the farmers themselves, who have adopted and spread the technique between themselves once the conditions were in place

+ BIO: Judith D. Schwartz

Judith D. Schwartz is an author who tells stories to explore and illuminate scientific concepts and cultural nuance. She takes a clear-eyed look at global environmental, economic, and social challenges, and finds insights and solutions in natural systems. She writes for numerous publications, including The American Prospect, The Guardian, Discover, Scientific American, and YaleE360. Her latest book, “The Reindeer Chronicles”, is a global tour of earth repair, featuring stops in Norway, Spain, Hawai’i, New Mexico, and beyond.

Judy has a B.A. from Brown University, an M.S.J. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern. She lives and works on the side of a mountain in Vermont with her husband, author Tony Eprile, and cherishes visits from their musician son, Brendan. When it snows, she cross-country skis, and when ski season is over, she’s in the garden. Three times a week she trains in Uechi-Ryu karate, and has reached the rank of shodan. Whatever she’s doing, she will stop to listen to the song of the hermit thrush.

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