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In the heart of Burkina Faso, families are taking action to halt the deterioration of the rural Sahel. Wooded boundary areas help reconfigure the poorly-managed landscape, challenging extensive farming techniques and reinstating more efficient methods in harmony with the local environment.
Rural landscapes in the Sahel are maltreated and damaged: bush fires, unregulated wood-cutting and over-grazing are exhausting the soil, harming the region’s biodiversity and pauperising the local population. The development of jointly owned wooded boundary areas tackles the problem as a whole. The technique was first implemented by a pilot farm in Guié, in the 1990s. In recent years, the not-for-profit association SEL has supported the farm’s project to install new wooded boundary zones elsewhere. The project involves land consolidation over a specified area. Hedges, low dykes and ponds protect vegetation, crops and livestock, and collect rainwater in dedicated plots. The technique promotes soil regeneration, structures the landscape and enhances crop yields. The scheme pays careful attention to the preservation of the local environment, with a three-pronged approach: experimentation with new farming techniques, training for qualified workers and direct support for local agriculturalists.
This reorganised approach to land management is now spreading across the region, as a vital model for rural development. In Konkoos-Raogo, a 155-hectare wooded boundary area has been created in response to a collective request from local families, prior to the establishment of a joint property fund.
The project is supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of the second edition of our H³ programme (Heart – Head – Hand).