Climate protection through soil rehabilitation

Restoring ecosystems in the Burkinabe Sahel, improving agro-pastoral productivity, fighting poverty and desertification.

This project is developed in Burkina Faso

The context

This climate project addresses a degrading biodiversity & agricultural situation leading to desertification, hunger & migration. The project applies clever yet simple agricultural restauration techniques giving another chance to grass, plants and trees. It regenerates flora allowing fauna to return and improves the life of the Sahel Burkinabè.

The Sahel region is the poorest of the country in terms of GDP/inhabitant. The vast majority of the population depends on modest income-generating crop and livestock farming activities for survival.

Pressures linked to poverty and population growth in the region, combined with droughts, have lead to overgrazing and excessive land cultivation. This has caused important soil denudation and destruction of the vegetation cover leading to serious desertification. As a result, the bare soils have become very vulnerable to water erosion, leading to significant land degradation.

The local communities are facing decreasing productivity of the land, characterised by a clogged, hardened and impenetrable surface. This leads to increasing pressures for the population in finding food and generating income. This is already leading to migratio

Contributing to the Great Green Wall Initiative

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Positive impacts

This project addresses the problems on three levels. Each level reduces the impact on the environment and improves living conditions for local populations.


Overgrazing, excessive land cultivation and desertification


​​Access to income and food thanks to an increase in agro-pastoral productivity


​​Enable the rehabilitation and restoration of the land

The Program


This ecosystem restoration project is unique as it is the very first climate project to be Plan Vivo certified in Burkina Faso. The climate project intervention aims to promote sustainable agro-pastoral practices and restore degraded pastures by re-establishing its structure, productivity and tree and grass species diversity.

All of this will enhance the productivity of the vegetation as pasture for the benefit of the pastoralists and agro-pastoralists.

Degraded pastures are identified in close collaboration with local communities. They are then worked using the Vallerani system with the Delfino plow.

The plow creates micro-catchments in “half-moon shape”, 4m long and 0.5 m wide with a volume of about 1000 litres.

These micro-basins collect rainwater, overflow and other resources available such as fine soil, organic matter, seeds…

This enhances water infiltration and retention, which will help plants grow and improves their access to nutrients.

The natural regeneration of vegetation is assisted by direct seeding of grass and tree species. Water is stored in the upper part of the soil, which is the root zone. Part of the water can be used by the restoring vegetation. As the system of micro-catchments is used over a wide area, there will be a significant groundwater recharge. The seed collection, conservation and direct seeding are organized with and by the local communities.

Sustainable Development Goals & co-benefits

Increased agro-pastoral productivity, regenerated land and more sustainable practices will lead to better living conditions for local communities and the protection of the region’s ecosystem.

he micro-catchments created through the Vallerani system with the Delfino plough collects water runoff and improves the infiltration of water into the soil and the retention of water for the plants growing in them. They also serve to loosen the soil and improve the plants access to nutrients. Water is stored in the upper part of the soil, which is the root zone. Part of the water can be used by the restoring vegetation. As the system of micro-catchments is used over a wide area, there will be a significant groundwater recharge.

Tree and grass seeds are trapped in the micro-catchments, which helps to build up the natural vegetation cover. Realized studies shows the positive impact on the dynamics of herbaceous and woody vegetation in terms of plant diversity, density and forage production.

In the Sahel, local communities in rural areas depend on livestock, a few crops and wild plants for survival. In daily life the Sahelian communities complement the diet through a collection of wild fruits and leaves for sauce, which are important supplements of vitamins and minerals to an otherwise monotonous diet. Wild fruits from woody plants are particularly important, because they are available in the dry season where other food products are insufficient. The increase of herbaceous biomass on rehabilitated pasture sites has a positive impact on the availability of forage for the livestock. In addition, the usage of tree and herbaceous species as pharmacopoeia is an important element in the Sahelian society, as most of the population relies almost entirely on traditional remedies for health care.

Carbon benefits are based on the sequestration of the woody biomass on the rehabilitated pasture sites.


The Burkinabe Green Sahel climate project contributes to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as :

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Facts & Figures


According to a study done by INERA12, the average additional output of dry matter in the form of herbaceous biomass is approximately 790kg/ha when the technique is applied, compared with less than 180kh/ha when it is not.


According to the same study, the average number of grass species increases in average from 7 to 10 species within two years of the project.


This project contributes to a larger goal of a total of 7250 hectares of land to rehabilitate, aimed by Lux Dev.


In a first stage, three villages with a total of 1688 inhabitants will benefit from the project. Other villages & inhabitants will join the project later on.

The partners