Planting the Future: Women as the Drivers of Reforestation
In a region that, like many others, is beginning to feel the impacts of dwindling natural resources and climate change, women in the villages of Pagala-gare and Agouégan in Togo, Africa, are the protagonists of a much-needed transformation. They are part of a reforestation project run by the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests (REFACOF) that is currently underway.
In July 2020, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Soka Gakkai joined forces with REFACOF to support forest landscape restoration in Togo with the aim of empowering women to improve their livelihoods and increase the resilience of local landscapes in the face of climate change. In addition to providing the women with technical skills in nursery establishment and maintenance, agroforestry and food cropping, the project provides them with valuable organizational and managerial skills.
The project has demonstrated how individuals working together can create positive change. In a two-year span, REFACOF’s project resulted in more than 25,000 trees being planted and has helped more than 150 women become financially independent.