WASHINGTON DC (September 20, 2022) – 60,000+ farmers across sub-Saharan Africa are using regenerative agroforestry practices to overcome challenges brought on by climate change.
“Farmers hold the key to long-term climate solutions,” says Trees for the Future CEO Tim McLellan. “If we want to address climate change and climate adaptation at scale, we need to focus on farmers and farmlands.”
Addressing Climate Change on the Farm
Trees for the Future (TREES) is working directly with farmers to establish agroforestry systems called Forest Gardens. The average TREES Forest Garden is roughly an acre in size and holds 2,500+ trees and dozens of tree and crop species. Farmers are increasingly facing challenges brought on by climate change: increased temperatures, drought, flooding, and new crop diseases. By planting both tree and vegetable crops, Forest Gardens help farmers adapt to these challenges through thoughtful land management and diversification.
“Forest Garden farmers are transforming their lands in preparation for every situation,” explains Director of Programs Brandy Lellou. “Trees cool the land and produce food and fodder. Their root structures prevent soil erosion and channel water back into the ground. Diverse cropping systems ensure year-round nutritious food supply and protection if one crop fails. Sustainable land management techniques build soil fertility, naturally control pests and conserve and retain water on the land. Combined, these practices insulate farmers from the unknown.”
“The climate has become unpredictable in recent times,” shares Kenyan farmer Alice Wangu Mwaura (pictured below). “But I am able to adjust… I’m able to continue with my farming despite the challenges of climate change.”
United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Partner
A UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration partner, TREES is committed to planting one billion trees with farmers by 2030. To date, the nonprofit organization has planted 280 million trees. While farmers are most immediately benefiting from practices that ensure climate adaptation and resilience, their efforts are also supporting longer term climate and landscape restoration.
Both trees and soil can sequester CO2 and store carbon. Each Forest Garden sequesters 144.64 metric tons of CO2 over 20 years – supporting the global effort to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
“We’re committed to farmers and our environment, and we recognize they are deeply connected,” says McLellan. “By supporting farmers with climate-smart solutions and the necessary seeds and resources, we are confident we can reach our climate goals and secure a better future for farming families across sub-Saharan Africa.”
McLellan and members of the TREES team will be in attendance at New York City Climate Week from September 19th – September 22nd. Email Lindsay@trees.org to coordinate a meeting or interview.
Trees for the Future (TREES) trains communities on sustainable land use so that they can grow vibrant economies, thriving food systems, and a healthier planet.