Making dry land
green again

Together with our partners, we jumpstart large scale landscape restoration projects by retaining rainwater for vegetation and preventing erosion, flooding and land degradation. This creates benefits for people, the environment and – eventually – our climate.

Why landscape restoration?

Land degradation and decreased vegetation are a vicious circle. With the disappearance of vegetation, the return of new vegetation becomes increasingly difficult: there are fewer nutrients in the soil and water infiltration is inhibited due to the dry, hard top layer of the soil. 

By using a diverse range of landscape restoration techniques, we can give nature a hand and bring back vegetation in these degraded areas. The presence of vegetation keeps the soil healthy and fertile, which allows plants and trees to keep on growing. When vegetation returns, it can help to restore an entire area!

Benefits of regreening

  • Vegetation cools
  • Restoring the water cycle
  • Increasing water availability in the soil
  • Improving soil quality
  • Preventing erosion
  • Carbon sequestration

Vegetation cools

The shade and transpiration from vegetation help to cool down the soil and the air around it. The impact of vegetation on the micro-climate can be clearly seen in this picture. The soil with the vegetation is much cooler than the soil without vegetation! 

Temperature difference vegetation soil

Restoring the water cycle

Transpiration (plants releasing moisture into the air) cools down the soil and increases moisture into the air, which helps to create clouds. This increases the chance of rain, especially at the beginning and end of the rainy season, helping to restore the water cycle.

rain

Increasing water availability in the soil

The root system of the vegetation makes the land more porous, enabling water to enter the ground more easily. The amount of water evaporating from the soil is reduced thanks to the shade provided by the vegetation of plants and trees. This increased infiltration and decreased evaporation increases the water availability in the soil.

Roots plant

Improving soil quality

Increased vegetation also means more organic matter and more nutrients in the soil. The roots of the vegetation help to retain nutrients in the soil. Improving soil quality like this is important for supporting tree and plant growth.

Preventing erosion

The roots of plants and trees also help to retain the upper layer of soil during intense rainfall. This prevents the erosion of fertile soil.

Erosion gully Tanzania

Carbon sequestration

Besides a cooling effect on the micro-climate, vegetation also has a cooling effect on the regional and even global climate. By removing CO₂ from the air, the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere decreases, subsequently reducing the greenhouse effect. On a large scale, this has a positive impact on global warming.

Choosing the
right technique

We restore degraded landscapes by using sustainable land management techniques. This will lead to the regrowth of vegetation. Within our projects, we select a combination of the most suitable interventions for our project areas in close collaboration with our local partners.

The decision is based on physical conditions (land use, climate, soil conditions, slope) and social conditions (socio-economic structures and purpose of the land). We mainly use two techniques: Rainwater harvesting (for example by digging bunds or adding stone lines) and bringing back trees through Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (Kisiki Hai)

Sustainability in
solutions

Of course, it is really vital that our re-greened areas stay green.

To make our work sustainable, we ensure there is a clear socio-economic benefit for the community attached to each intervention. The interventions are designed and implemented in partnership with communities and local NGOs, to benefit from their networks and knowledge and make sure we’re delivering sustainable solutions.

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Applying the Fanya Yuu & Fanya Chini technique, Tanzania

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