Trees literally mean life in the Sahel. They improve crop yields, slow desiccating winds, reduce temperatures and they provide most of the food and other resources that people need. In Mali, people do not own land, but they do own trees as they are so valuable.
We are restoring tree cover in four ways: through tree planting from nurseries, through promoting natural regeneration, through rewilding and by managing existing tree resources.
Tree planting from nursery grown trees
The seedlings are grown from local seeds in beds of home-made, peat-free compost, and are sold in recycled bags
In the last 7 years, we have trained 80 nursery managers in 15 districts. In that time 1,620,458 nursery saplings of 65 different species have been successfully grown.
Yakoundia Guindo, Nurseryman in Bereli:
'Almost every day people come to buy seedlings and I now have a permanent source of income. Thanks to this income we now have two oxen, a plough, a donkey and twenty goats. This has made me an important person in the neighborhood.'
Allaye Guindo, Nurseryman in Goro:
'I was the poorest person of my village. I could not feed my family and we suffered a lot. I left the village to be a Gold Miner but it did not work. Since I became a Nurseryman all my problems are over. I have been able to buy a donkey cart and two ploughing oxen.
We now have sheep, goats and 10 cattle, all earned through the nursery. I have paid for my daughter's education. I will be eternally grateful to Joliba who trained and equipped me. My clients who buy the trees are World Vision, Joliba, and many local people.'
Baobab leaves provide a staple food resource that is eaten daily with millet. The fruit is used as a healing sherbert and the fibres are used for making ropes. 88,786 people already consume baobab leaves from the trees they have planted
Fatoumata Togo, Goro:
'In our area there were almost no baobab trees left. We had to buy the leaves at Derou market at £7.50 a bag. Thanks to Joliba we no longer have to buy baobab leaves and consume the leaves of our own trees.'
Salimata Dama, Enè:
'Four years ago we planted 2,500 baobab seedlings in my village. Thanks to this planting, our problem with finding the money to buy baobab leaves is over. In our family, we needed 20 bags which cost £150-180 a year.
'Now we have fresh leaves for 3 months and dried leaves for 9 months. The whole village is supplied with baobab leaves. This is a very successful project that meets our needs.'
The trees that people plant are chosen for the following purposes:
To increase crop yields in field plots; to stabilise dunes; to assist rewilding; and to provide shade in schools, well areas, markets, and village squares
Fruit trees are grown to improve nutrition and household income. These include grafted jujube, pomegranate, sugar apple, papaya and guava. These species are fast-growing and undemanding.
To introduce valuable new species and to improve biodiversity
To provide species that can be sustainably harvested for firewood
In addition to tree planting, in the last 10 years, activities to promote tree regeneration have taken place in 80 villages in the districts of Bondo, Dioungani, Koporo-pen, Kani-bonzon, Madougou, Youdiou, and Barapireli.
1,590 volunteers have been trained in identification and protection of seedling germination and in pruning techniques. This has resulted in the growth of over 2,318,666 new trees.
A third of the women in these districts have developed small businesses selling Acacia raddiana, Zizyphus, and Acacia albida fruits.
Please Support Tree Planting!
People would like to plant a lot more trees and we have a huge waiting list for tree planting.
It costs just 15p to plant and maintain a tree that will improve crop yields, prevent desertification, and provide livestock fodder and food resources to people. It costs just 75p to provide a grafted fruit tree to provide significant income for women and young people!
Bare land beginning to recover
In an extraordinary act of faith in this project, Herders and Farmers have given a vast area of 5,195,582 hectares (12,838,563 acres) to rewilding to regenerate the tree and pasture resources they need. This is in 39 sites in the districts of Dioungani, Pignari, Barassara, Bondo and Madougou.
These areas are protected from grazing and from harvesting of wood and natural resources. The results of the rewilding have been impressive. Within ten years, each hectare now has diverse pasture, and between 500-2000 new trees per hectare are growing. The rewilding in the set aside areas is allowing a recovery of over 250 million new trees a year. Biodiverse pasture is also returning. The recovery of the land and its tree cover with such speed provides tremendous hope.
Herders now have pasture to feed their livestock throughout the year, and important species are recovering.
Soumaila Niangaly says:
‘There has been a big change since 2011 when we began the protected area as the forest cover has come back naturally. We have planted Palm trees and Acacia raddiana to add to our resources. Thanks to Joliba, this has become our grazing area and there is plenty to feed our animals’
Old trees are protected and allowed to fruit
Boukary Bamadio, Ombo:
‘Our protected area has become dense forest. The women collect Balanites fruits which fall at night. We used to see hares only once or twice a year. Now they are jumping about everywhere. I have also seen porcupines, hedgehogs and wild ducks’
Daniel Douyon, Tourou:
‘I am a Village Councillor and at the same time a Herbal Therapist. The land our village gave for regeneration was dead land with nothing growing. Now it is coming back to life. Almost every morning now I go to look for medicinal roots, leaves, bark and fruit to treat sick people in the surrounding villages.
‘There was a medicinal herb that had completely disappeared in the locality called ‘dedjou’. Today it has reappeared. It does not grow on poor soil, which means that the land is becoming fertile. What impresses me most is the regeneration of important trees and pasture.’
Whatever you give will make a big difference.