Plan Vivo Project Idea Note:
Restoration of degraded ecosystems in the Sahel Burkina Faso
Submitted by Ondernemers Zonder Grenzen (OZG) Approved by the Plan Vivo Foundation
PROJECT LOCATION :
Country: Burkina Faso Region: Sahel Province: Oudalan Municipality: Gorom-gorom
PROJECT COORDINATION: Applicant organization: This project is an initiative of the Belgian NGO «Ondernemers zonder Grenzen» (OZG) (translation in English: Entrepreneurs without Borders): The person responsible for coordination is the President of this association: Werner SELS Address: Ondernemers Zonder Grenzen St. Bavoplein 4 B-2530 Boechout Belgium Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel.: 00-32-495770600 OZG collaborates with the population of Lilingo, a village in the municipality of GoromGorom. Lilingo is an administratively recognized village of the Municipality of Gorom-Gorom. The village is represented by Mr. Makmoud AG AZOUMATE, Chairman of the Village Development Council (CVD) and member of the City Council. The land reclamation activities undertaken by OZG with the villagers of Lilingo are done so with the agreement and under the responsibility of the Mayor of Gorom-Gorom, Moussa Diallo.
Table of Contents OBJECTIVES AND PROJECT ACTIVITIES .............................................................................. 3 TARGET GROUPS AND PARTNERS ........................................................................................... 5 DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA OF PROJECT INTERVENTION ........................................... 6 CARBON AND LAND RIGHTS ...................................................................................................... 7 DESCRIPTION OF ORGANIZATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE .................. 8 COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN ...................................................................................................... 8 LEGAL COMPLIANCE AND NOTIFICATION OF COMPETENT INSTITUTIONS ........... 9 SOURCES OF START-UP FUNDING............................................................................................ 9
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED ACTIVITIES: The project plans to restore and maintain the Sahelian woodland in the northern region of Burkina Faso in close collaboration with communities of farmers whose livelihoods are based on it. SUMMARY OF THE TARGET GROUPS: 1. Local communities of livestock farmers and agro-pastoralists Kel Tamashek and Fulani. 2. Transhumant herders in the area. 3. Users (man and female) of timber and non-timber forest products.
OBJECTIVES AND PROJECT ACTIVITIES Rationale : The project is part of the efforts undertaken by the Burkinabe government, local authorities, local communities and NGOs to combat desertification in the Sahel, to strengthen sustainable use of natural resources by pastoralists and farmers living in the Northern part of Burkina Faso. This specifically aims to restore vegetation in areas used as grazing pasture by livestock farmers and agro-pastoralists. The Sahelian forest consist naturally of a stratum with trees and shrubs and an important grassy cover, provides various services to local people: food for men, highly nutritious forage for livestock, hay for the dry season, fences for fields, construction materials and raw materials for handicrafts, medicinal plants are only a few primary services it provides. However, for three decades, due to drought and overexploitation, the forests have been severely degraded and some areas up to several hundred hectares are completely bare. General Objective : To restore these degraded ecosystems and enhance the productivity of the vegetation as pasture for the benefit of farmers and agro-pastoralists. To effectuate this, OZG will develop the following activities: 1. Identification, with representatives of the local population, of degraded areas to be treated. These are generally old grazing lands degraded and having no or only degraded vegetation Topsoil is characterized by a clogged, hardened, impenetrable surface.
Photo 1: Example of a degraded area, with a hardened surface and ephemeral plant cover without trees.
2. Scarification of the soil surface with a hydraulic plow (type "delfino") by varying the depth of plowing it is possible to dig catchment basins, with a volume of about 1,000 liters in a "half moon"-shape, disposed along the contour-lines. Soils suitable for treatment should not be too sandy or too rocky to allow the mechanized tillage. (see photo on page 1)
Photo 2: Scarification along contour lines, digging "half-moon" reservoirs.
3. Natural regeneration of vegetation on ripped land is assisted by direct seeding of trees,
shrubs and herbaceous local. The seeds used were collected locally by the population, or come from a certified supplier (e.g. National Centre for Tree Seeds - CNSF).
Photo 3 : Direct sowing of tree seeds, previously collected by the population.
The species were selected and propagated by people for their great value to humans and livestock. These are the main species, all native : Scientific Name Acacia albida Acacia nilotica Acacia senegal Acacia seyal Acacia tortilis Balanites aegyptiaca Ziziphus mauritiana
Utility and uses for the local population Primary Secondary Forage (leaves, fruit) Soil Fertility, timber. Forage (leaves, fruit) Fencing, Firewood Forage (leaves, fruit) Gum Forage (leaves, fruit) Gum Forage (leaves, fruit) Fencing, Firewood Nutrition (fruits, huile) Lumber, Soil Protection Nutrition (fruits) Forage
4. Organization of farmers and other resource users, to protect restored forest against fire, browsing livestock, excessive cutting, etc. ... and to ensure sustainable use.
Photo 4: reforested and protected area, six years after planting (Gorom-Gorom)
The population, which has the customary right over the land, commits itself, by signing a cooperation agreement signed by the Mayor of the town, to protect newly afforested land and thus to maximize the overall volume of organic matter accumulated over a period of twenty years minimum. This approach allows the forest to regenerate naturally and to keep it over a long enough period to store a quantity of carbon, estimated between 2 and 30 tons per hectare, of which a major part underground. The carbon thus fixed will be offered for sale to companies in Belgium and other countries in the Annex 1 list of the Kyoto Protocol, in the form of VERs (Voluntary Emission Reduction). Revenues from the sale of VERs will be reinvested in the villages concerned, in other reforestation projects, but also in social investments, according to the needs identified by the population, such as watering points (boreholes, dams) and gardening sites. The payments are PES staged and the performance indicators are the survival and growth of the trees.
TARGET GROUPS AND PARTNERS This project concept note or "PIN" was developed by OZG in partnership with the community of the village of Lilingo. This village is an administrative entity recognized the town of GoromGorom. The first beneficiaries are the local communities (nearly all Tamachek and Fulani people) of this county, living mostly on livestock. Production of cereals (millet and sorghum) rarely covers the requirements, because yields are low and arable land is scarce. On lighter soils it is even possible, after plowing with the "delfino", to sow millet for a period of two to three years between the lines of the regenerated vegetation. Women also benefit from the restoration of non-timber forest resources, raw material for handicrafts. The recovery of land for agrosilvopastoral raises an obvious interest on the part of the whole population. The villagers are led by Mr. AG Makmoud AZOUMATE their Chairman of the Village Development Council (CVD) and member (elected in municipal elections of May 2006) of the Municipal Council of Gorom-Gorom; he is a true “champion” for the environmental cause. The work of land reclamation is done in collaboration with the town of Gorom-Gorom that involves and informs the service of the Ministry of Environment and Quality of Life (MECV). The NGO REACH-BF, having a base in Gorom-Gorom, is an important technical partner of OZG, supporting the preparation and execution of the work. Since 1998, Reach Burkina Faso began a program to recover degraded areas. Since then nearly 5,000 ha have been recovered in the province of Oudalan. Several organizations have provided funding for this work. In 2010, OZG was thus able to treat a total area of approximately 105 ha in Lilingo and other
degraded sites have been identified, for a total area estimated at a minimum of 1,000 ha. Potentially, subject to the availability of sufficient financial means, the approach proposed land reclamation could be extended to other villages of Gorom-Gorom, and other municipalities as Markoye and Oursi or even the entire Sahel region and even adjacent regions of Mali and Niger (South of the Niger River).
DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA OF PROJECT INTERVENTION The area of intervention for the project is located in northeastern Burkina Faso, the Sahel region, especially in the town of Gorom-Gorom (see map below). Most of the rainfall occurs in JulyAugust with an average annual rainfall of 400 mm, but large interannual variations ranging from 200-600 mm. The spatial distribution of rainfall is also very random, which explains the priority that people continue to give to mobility as a way of managing livestock and forage resources. The landscape is characterized by a peneplain between 280 and 350 m above sea level, dominated by a few granite rock formations and laterite hills. The soils are sandy clay loam with a dune system that runs through the town on W-E axis. Flood water is gathered in a system of undeep, temporary thalwegs, flowing out in local depressions with permanent or temporary ponds.
Lilingo village In the region, livestock is the predominant economic activity, even if people have learned to diversify their income through agriculture, handicrafts, small trade and seasonal work. The family herd consists of cattle, sheep and goats, as well as camels and donkeys for transport. The size and composition of the family herd varies greatly from one family to another depending on the social position of the family head, of its knowledge, the family composition (number of employees) and, ultimately, external factors such as climate, input prices, the price of cattle on the market and security in the grazing areas, to mention only the most important. In the rainy season, families grow grain: sorghum in the lowlands associated with millet and
legumes (cowpeas, Bambara groundnut) on dune lands. Agricultural production is constrained by the limited availability of arable land and low yield, which varies depending on the weather. Furthermore, the fields must be protected from livestock by a hedge of thorny branches. The sale of livestock is essential to meet the basic food needs, but also to meet other major expenses of family life (schooling, health, social and economic investment). Women are active in the business of milk in the wet season and early dry season, when there is a surplus. In the dry season, they are also involved in handicraft production from local resources: mats, baskets, various containers. Women therefore have a strong interest in restoring the forest. Past thirty years, savannas and shrublands with a rich biodiversity typical of the Sahel and southern Sahara, experienced widespread degradation caused by recurrent droughts, reinforced by unsustainable forms of exploitation of resources such as grazing and mining and timber logging. The spontaneous restoration of ecosystems is compromised by the phenomenon of compaction of the top-soil, in particular on "glacis", i.e. soft sloping sandy-loam and clay-loam soils. Clogging of the soil surface creates an obstacle to spontaneous seed germination and alters the water cycle with reduced infiltration, surface runoff and installing erosion. This vicious cycle greatly reduces the productive potential of resources, because of the scarcity of vegetation, weakening of the remaining trees, and reduction of soil biological activity and loss of species. The method of soil restoration implemented by OZG and its partners allows regenerating vegetation in a relatively short period of time (5 to 7 years), whereas a spontaneous restoration of the forest would take decades. Land treated this way improves from the first year on and the return of several species (hares, guinea-fowl) has been observed by the population.
CARBON AND LAND RIGHTS Grazing land is not formally owned by the herders, but local toponomy is proof of a long-lasting presence of the two predominant ethnic groups, Tamashek and Fulani, who have customary rights to land. This customary land ownership is recognized by the law of Burkina Faso, even though the state remains as the ultimate owner of any "undeveloped" land. Access to pasture is considered by people as free and is not – for the time being - governed by rules of formal ownership. This is mainly explained by the variable growth conditions of the vegetation, subject to strong variations in space and time. Custom dictates that all breeders, thus including the transhumant “coming from afar”, have the right to move towards and use the fodder resources available when needed. This is particularly important in the beginning of the rainy season, when good pasture is still rare. On the other hand, the hospitality is a duty for all, because if "you're lucky enough to have resources on your land this year, it may be totally different next year". In this context, individual appropriation (or even by the community) does not make much sense. There are exceptions to this rule. • Firstly, the fences, made of thorny branches are used to isolate fields and gardens of the rest of the landscape. These fences protect crops against cattle grazing and thus make it possible to keep the resources for extended use. At Lilingo, some old gardens, protected I this way for years, retain a remarkable plant and animal biodiversity. • On the other hand, it is important to note that the traditional way of cattle management, based on pastoralism, transhumance and movement of livestock over long distances is beginning to be questioned. More and more livestock farmers want to invest in the quality of their cattle rather than in quantity. They think about different forms of livestock and forage management. The reclaimed land with the support of Reach and OZG could be among the first resources "to be managed differently." This farmer research should be accompanied by OZG to ensure the sustainable use of forest areas. One thing must be stated clearly: OZG has not obtained and does not attempt to obtain property
rights on lands covered by the tilling and reforestation program. Local communities have land rights on these lands. The carbon emission rights to be acquired through the recovery of land will be sold for their benefit. It is worth mentioning that the area of project intervention is in the Sahel Region which has been gazetted since 9 December 1970 as a silvo-pastoral and partial wildlife Reserve called "Réserve du Sahel". This area of about 1,600,000 ha, comprising circles Djibo, Dori, Gorom-Gorom, and the subdivision of Aribinda is protected to preserve its rich biodiversity, though - it was primarily established to regulate the hunting there. In practice, this classification was not followed by an effective implementation in the field due to limited personnel and material resources, compared to the enormous extent of the reserve and the difficulties of access. Close collaboration with the local population is the only approach that can lead to tangible results for conservation of biodiversity.
DESCRIPTION OF ORGANIZATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE The Belgian NGO “Ondernemers Zonder Grenzen” - Entrepreneurs Without Borders - or OZG was established in 2006 as a nonprofit organization. OZG sees peasants as socio-economic actors in their own right and not as objects of charity. They are partners working to achieve a satisfactory standard of living and do on the basis of livelihoods that are available to them. They do not need help but the means to invest in improving their production methods. OZG mission is to establish a link between economic actors, entrepreneurs in North and South. Some contractors in the industrialized world are interested to invest in VER ('s Voluntary Emission Reductions). OZG is also in contact with several mining companies which are interested in shares with the people to reclaim land in their concessions.
COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN The Mayor of Gorom-Gorom, Mr. Diallo, who is the administrative head over the whole territory of the commune, has signed a protocol with OZG, recognizing the work done with the support of OZG . He also pledged, on behalf of the town, save the reclaimed land over a period of twenty years. The Municipality of Gorom-Gorom has a municipal development plan, but that only covers the urban area. An extension of the PDC to rural areas is being formulated for the entire territory of the Commune. OZG be associated with the phase of reflection on the PDC. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Technical Coordinator in Burkina Faso: OZG in Burkina Faso is represented by: Peter TORREKENS 02 BP 6026 Ouagadougou 02 Burkina Faso Mail: email@example.com Tel.: + 226-76 07 81 28 Mr. Torrekens is Agronomist, independent expert on natural resource management with over 25 years experience in Africa.
LEGAL COMPLIANCE AND NOTIFICATION OF COMPETENT INSTITUTIONS For the time being, no specific rules for the registration / adoption / certification of reforestation projects for VER have been worked out under the CDM in Burkina Faso. However, the initiative OZG was presented to the competent authorities of Burkina Faso, including the secretariat of the Mechanism for Clean Development, whose coordinator is Mr. Isidiore ZONGO. He supported the OZG approach and all actions have been undertaken with the relevant departments of MECV.
SOURCES OF START‐UP FUNDING To date, the OZG conducted its equity shares, collected from donors in Belgium. Grants were also obtained from certain municipalities in Belgium. For more details, see the website of the organization: www.OZG.be