Releasing the “Underground Forest”

21 Jun 2021

The world has experienced severe land degradation due to deforestation, climate change, drought, desertification and unsustainable land uses. Consequently, the productivity and health of farmlands, grazing lands and forests is damaged, which in turn harms the individuals and communities who depend on these resources for their food supply, health and income. As a result, many rural populations in the developing world suffer from malnutrition, loss of opportunity, increased climate vulnerability and poverty.

Migration increases as workers move away to earn a living, which can also lead to family fragmentation and increased potential for conflict. This is not a safe or sustainable future for rural communities. Nor does it help the growth of nations reliant on primary industries, such as agriculture. But this is changing. Communities across the world are transforming their lives and reshaping their lands through a low-cost, simple and sustainable land regeneration practice called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). Through FMNR and their own efforts, communities can restore degraded lands to productivity relatively quickly and efficiently. FMNR has proven its potential in mobilizing and empowering local communities to restore their natural environment and consequently building resilience – of people, their lands and their livelihoods.

Join Tony Rinaudo (World Vision Senior Climate Action Advisor, pioneer of FMNR and Right Livelihood Award Laureate, 2018) and Irene Ojuok (Right Livelihood College PhD student at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and Global Evergreening Ambassador) as they discuss the FMNR approach from a global and Kenyan perspective.

Publisher: Global Landscapes Forum (GLF)

Language: English

Year: 2021

Keyword(s): climate change, community-led restoration, deforestation, desertification, drought, farmer managed natural regeneration, farmlands, FMNR, grazing lands, health, land degradation, local communities, UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, unsustainable land use

Ecosystem(s): Drylands and Rangelands

Location(s): Africa, Kenya

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • World Vision


  • Tony Rinaudo

    Principal Natural Resources Advisor, World Vision Australia

  • Irene Ojuok

    Environmentalist, Junior Researcher, Center for Research and Development ZEF - University of Bonn