We don’t plant trees, we develop forests!
Sorry, but we take our time. . .
There is a transition zone at the north and south side of the Sahara: the Sahel. Something can still grow there, but on bare patches, the alternating heat and hard rain makes the ground hard as rock. Seeds can no longer germinate there, and rain no longer seeps into the soil. This causes remaining vegetation in the area to be lost, soon followed by the trees. What follows is erosion, further degrading the land...
Nature can no longer cope on its own here. That's why OZG has been working on reforestation with positive impacts for both people and climate, since 10 years ago.
We make agreements with the local population, and then we can get started. We cut open the ground with a specialized plow, creating half moons in the earth crust. Next, we pay a team of local women to sow seeds in them, just before the rainy season. The half moons serve as water reservoir for the young trees, grasses and herbs.
With this methodology, we realize a range of positive impacts. Biodiversity increases, both in flora and fauna. The ground water level increases, allowing better wells, giving children more time for school as they no longer have to walk for miles to get water. The crops are used for food, both for own needs as well as for sale. There is a excess of grasses, allowing cattle to graze as much as they like, allowing them to grow fatter, which in turn makes them more valuable on the market. Grasses are also processed into baskets, mats and brushes; honey is collected, gum production can start up; etcera... In short: a young economy is created, truly creating prosperity.
We have successfully developed a sustainable reforestation project in Burkina Faso from 2007 to 2017. This project is now continued by a local organisation, as we are starting up in our next country: Senegal.
Read about the range of positive impacts that are realized:
Our forests form a green buffer zone. The trees, shrubs, grasses and herbs reduce wind and water erosion of the soil , and the trees provide shadow, protecting the soils against drying out.
The vegetation improves soil permeability resulting in more rainwater infiltration and less runoff. This enhances vegetation growth again improving soil permeability. This cycle of better captation of rain water reduces the need of irrigation which typically is taken out of the fossil water layers, safeguarding this fossil water for future generations.
The biodiversity increases enormously. Both in flora and fauna: ants, termites, birds, the Sulcata tortoise (a threatened animal), rabbits, hares, other small rodents... Even the wild cat and the hyena, not seen for a long time, return to their original habitat.
Agriculture is made possible thanks to the lower temperatures in the forest, the improved water management and the enhanced fertility of the soil. This agriculture provides more food, which also reduces conflicts between farmers and nomads. The cows have enough grasses to graze on, preventing them from damaging the crop fields.
Vegetables, fruit and herbs are sold on the local markets. Cattle yields more meat And the production of honey, gum etc, as well as the refinement of forest products leads to a higher family budget.
Thanks to the higher living standards, mothers can afford the school money for their children. The vicious circle is broken: the younger generation can build their own future.
The labor on the land is greatly depending on women. Women are paid for harvesting the seed mix. They can support their families with it. Thanks to this financial independence, women get a bigger voice in the village. There are even indications that there is a decreasing influence on the birth rate.
Click here to support our project!
In addition to the countless conscientious citizens who support us, we also owe our success to the many companies and organisations that support us with a donation. Below you will find a selection of our donors. Is your company not listed? Then please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).