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In the Mopti region of Mali which lies in the Sahel region of West Africa villages are faced with problems resulting from deforestation and land degradation. In response to this several NGOs have been working together to raise awareness of a proven method which regenerates the land to be productive and full of resources.

The population of Ende have created an institution called Le Barahogon. Over the past 10 years they have been developing a strategy to regenerate land allowing them to grow trees while using it to grow important crops such as millet. In order for the scheme to work well, the whole population must respect the rules.

A 15 minute film has been made with local people (from villages of Horé Guendé and Endé) to illustrate the issues and give practical advice on "how to do" farmer managed natural regeneration. The film is available on DVD and VHS in four language versions so it is widely available to local people. (Voiceover in Peulo, and Bamanan, original recording (Peul, Dogon, Bamanan) with French subtitles, Voiceover in Bamanan with English subtitles.)

In this film, villagers from Horé Guendé go to see with their own eyes how people living in Endé are managing their land in a very impressive way. They go to learn about the regeneration techniques used by the Barahogon.

The film goes on to explain about the practical techniques the population of Ende use to achieve such impressive results.

A radio programme (based on the film) has also been recorded in 2 language versions (Bamanan and Peul). And finally, a seven page A5 format colour brochure (based on the video) has been published in three language versions (French, Peul, Bamanan).

The project is using successful experience of farmer managed natural regeneration as a case study and letting the farmers involved communicate directly to other farmers and in their own words. Highlighting the need for good governance (laws, bylaws) as well as promoting good tree management techniques is also an innovation in Mali.

Farming communities over 5 districts in Mopti region of Mali, are expected to view the film, hear radio programmes and use the brochures.

This film was produced by Sahel Eco with funding from The International Tree Foundation who are a UK charity.




Trees outside the Forest – Mali Project Update

 Significant success has been achieved in raising awareness of the potential of simple low-cost farm management techniques to increase tree cover and bring multiple benefits including more abundant firewood and fodder and protection of crops from erosion. 

A 15 minute film produced by the project, was watched by over 400 farmers & local officials in 4 districts in the Mopti region and the message was reinforced through local language booklets and radio programmes.

Immediately after the video sessions, Mr David Dara of the association Djoliba Travaux summed up the effect of the project in Koro in the following words: “The project has raised awareness and incited strong engagement from local farmers who have understood the message that environmental degradation is not a fatality but something that can be addressed with simple techniques such as those used by the Barahogon, which merit wider dissemination”.


Project Beneficiaries:

Justin Sagara, Coordinator of the NGO Harmonie du Développement au Sahel

“The cooperation between Sahel Eco and HDS has enabled us to hold workshops to disseminate the Barahogon Association’s experience of farmer managed natural regeneration in the communes of Timiniri, Ségué-Iré and Ondougou using an audio-visual support.  Even if people notice in a general way the changes in the flora of their environment, watching the images of the daily life of the inhabitants of Horéguéndé, where because of the advanced degradation of the vegetation they have to use cow dung for cooking, made the workshop participants face the fact that their resources may run out completely if they don’t take care and that they need to take action as quickly as possible. Today it is more than urgent for everyone (local people, NGOs, financial partners) to commit to action to avoid extreme degradation of the flora.  Re-greening the Sahel is possible; all it requires is the decision to act”


 Salif Aly Guindo, President of the Barahogon Association:

 “Thanks to the production and diffusion of the film about our experience of farmer managed  natural regeneration the Barahogon are known today both inside and outside Mali. This is shown by the number of visits which we have received since January 2009. These have included visits by: staff of the NGO Djoliba Travaux from Koro and farmers they work with; 4 staff from the NGO HDS; 60 members and leaders of 4 farmers organisations from the Tominian District; a delegation of 20 people accompanied by the Réseau MARP from Burkina Faso. We are frequently invited to local meetings on NRM issues, to talk about our experience. Although this gives us great feelings of satisfaction we are also aware of the many challenges that we still face including reaching 100% adoption of FMNR in Barahogon member villages, enforcing local by laws and strengthening the patrols of our village lands.”


In Mali, there is very little wood available and therefore people (usually Women) are forced to walk for hours to reach wood. Trees are being cut down unsustainably to be used for cooking fuel and other human uses. The price of fire wood has soared which forces people to use cow dung which does not yield enough energy for cooking.


Our partner Sahel Eco are running the project which raises awareness of farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR) on tree resources which allow trees to regenerate whilst still providing wood for making fires needed for cooking.  The film, mentioned above has been made with local people to illustrate the issues and give practical advice on “how to do” FMNR. The film is being used to train the wider community in 6 districts and eventually broadcast on national TV. You can watch the film with English Subtitles below by simply clicking Play.