Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) in Burkina Faso has improved provision of forest products for local people. ANR, in this case, involves construction of fences around areas of savanna, excluding grazing animals and allowing natural forest to regenerate. ‘Cultivation bands’ for agroforestry are also formed around the periphery of the exclosures, providing an additional source of forest products. Together, the system provides food, fodder for livestock, seeds for making oil, construction wood, medicinal plants and other products. About 70% of the products produced are self-consumed, the remainder being sold for income.
In addition to these livelihood benefits, ANR has improved local biodiversity, with a 5-fold increase in the number of trees and 2-fold increase in the number of tree species, on average, compared to paired areas outside the reserves after 9 years or less of protection.
NewTree, a Swiss NGO, runs this project in collaboration with local families and farmer groups. They have had more demand for initiating ANR sites than they can meet, supporting the proposition that ANR is improving the lives of participants and meeting their needs. The main barrier to the practice being adopted more widely in Burkina Faso, is the financial cost of fencing meaning that projects are reliant on initial investment from a third party.
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