The important challenges ahead

Drylands cover about 40% of the planet and are, almost without exception, highly degraded despite being areas that are densely populated by people dependent on their environment to survive. They are also home to unique and diverse ecosystems.

These issues are starkly apparent in Burkina Faso, notably in the central region, where the territories of Tanghin Dassouri and Kombissiri are located. Deforestation (for food and charcoal production), the wandering of small and large ruminants and extensive dry periods of 8 consecutive months each year are rampant there and these cumulative factors increase the country’s intense desertification and impact on the livelihoods of the local population.

A collaborative and financially attractive reforestation

The villagers of the communes of Tanghin Dassouri and Kombiri have been waiting for a major reforestation project for years and Treecolor Alliance and its local partner, Amurt, have decided to help them achieve this ambitious goal.

On these territories, the difficulties are varied and mainly affect women. All of the economic activities revolve around agriculture and livestock. The work in the fields takes place during the short rainy season and the whole family contributes. Despite this hard work, they are completely dependent on the weather conditions and often fail to cover the family’s yearly food requirements. As a result, subsistence and non-sustainable farming prevails.

This project aims to involve more than 100 villages in a large reforestation program. Each village would develop its own program according to the local social and environmental characteristics. The objectives are two-fold: restore forests and their ecosystems and to provide new and more sustainable sources of income for the villagers.

Not only are the local communities involved from the start, but women have a central role. Indeed, as guarantors of their children’s well-being, they generally have a remarkable sense of responsibility and aptitude for work, not to say sacrifice! They form very supportive “women’s groups” on which this project will rely.

A simple and cost-effective reforestation model 

Over the past 30 years, many reforestation projects have flourished in the country. The chosen model is based on methods that have proven their effectiveness.

Thus, each village looks after the development of a grove of about 2 hectares – 20,000m² – initially, using seeds harvested directly from local trees. The species are all indigenous, adapted to the climate and soil, and appreciated by the communities (notably for their medicinal qualities).

Organic waste from the livestock is used to help fertilise the soil and prepare it for the rainy season (like the zaï farming technique). The reforestation areas are also fenced off to prevent damage by the hooves and mouths of stray ruminants.

Within the forests, agroforestry gardens are created with trees and plants chosen for their added benefits, both in daily consumption and as part of a future production chain.

A double victory: environmental and societal

In the long run, both people and nature will benefit from the impact.


  • Rehabilitation of the degraded land
  • Help fighting the country’s desertification
  • Progressive return of biodiversity and forest cover


  • Sustainability of reforestation and agroforestry practices
  • Training of villagers and empowerment of women
  • Poverty reduction through job creation and the development of new sources of income

Treecolor Alliance is also active in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon and in Panama.