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Tony Rinaudo

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) Tony taught famers how to nurture the root shoots back into strong trees. Rather than spending millions on traditional reforestation techniques with poor results.

Tony Rinaudo Under Niger's arid soil there is an underground forest: a vast network of sprouting tree roots that have survived the the harsh deforestation that has crept across the country. It is the same landscape that Tony Rinaudo has seen devastate communities; working in Niger since 1980, he has provided relief through five separate years of famine. The existence and the potential of a living plant system just under the dry earth was a revelation. Tony taught famers how to nurture the root shoots back into strong trees. Rather than spending millions on traditional reforestation techniques with poor results, Tony's method, known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), has given subsistence farmers a way to take control of their own land and bring it back to life. Villages practicing FMNR across Niger now have 10 to 20 times more trees than 20 years ago and are reviving an estimated 1.25 million trees each year. As a result, Niger is the only country in Africa experiencing rapid reforestation.

In 1999, Tony joined World Vision Australia and was able to spread awareness and design wider 're-greening' projects. FMNR is now present in 16 countries with 9 more countries planned for 2014 including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Similar movements are unfolding in East Timor and East Sumba (Indonesia), and activities have started in Myanmar, India and Philippines. In Senegal, 50,000 hectares have been reforested in just four years.

Tony's insight, coupled with his dedication to sharing this model of reforestation, has had a direct impact on the increase in food security and decrease the risk of floods and drought in the countries using FMNR. While he is quick to acknowledge existing indigenous awareness of re-greening methods, his efforts to share the practice across vast networks of farming communities has prompted a powerful movement that will protect countless lives and livelihoods.

-This Information was gathered from TheGuardian.com.

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