The Food Security and Climate Change team’s work in Africa


We have a strong and rapidly growing presence in Africa. The African continent is one of the regions of the world where climate change and food insecurity have a more dramatic impact. We work with the communities to tackle these challenges through several field projects with the aim of fighting desertification, improving energy access and increasing agricultural yields. This work has already brought significant benefits to the local communities, lifting people out of poverty while contributing to build a model of sustainable development.

In East Africa,the threat of desertification has led World Vision  to establish long-term forestry projects with communities managing their own forest. The flagship project that started our work in Africa is the Humbo forestry project in Ethiopia, 480km southwest of Addis Ababa. As the first carbon forestry and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in Africa, Humbo forestry illustrates our innovative approach and our contribution to the diffusion of the award-winning farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) techniques to other areas of the continent.

Access to sustainable and reliable energy sources is another key problem for isolated populations all over Africa. That is why we have devised projects to support the distribution of energy efficient stoves and solar lights. Our work extends to the Sahel region, helping local farmers to develop innovative agricultural techniques. In the harsh Sub-Saharan climate and environment, the introduction of Australian desert Acacias has proved successful, offering a nutritious alternative to conventional crops, a source of timber and firewood and a possibility for farmers to generate income.

East Africa: proven evidence-based solution for chronically food insecure regions

Vast areas of East Africa have become so degraded that they no longer sustain agriculture. Yet, more than 70 percent of the population are subsistence farmers relying on this degraded resource base for their food and livelihoods. Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) is a cost-effective sustainable agriculture system which yields rapid, large-scale results: providing timber for building, cooking and heating, restoring degraded soils and helping communities adapt to climate change. This project aims to reforest five million hectares over five years in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with the support of national governments and of the World Agroforestry Centre. (read more)

Ethiopia: Efficient stoves save carbon, reduce the workload of women, and improve air quality

In Ethiopia, wood is the most important energy source for household cooking. Wood consumption is particularly high in rural areas, where the use of inefficient open fires wastes wood and exacerbates health problems associated with indoor air pollution. Health problems are particularly prevalent among young children, who tend to spend a large proportion of their time close to their mothers while they are cooking. The use of improved fuel-efficient stoves can reduce the production of smoke and harmful gasses within households, reduce the use of biomass and create significant household safety and labour-saving benefits. (read more)

Ethiopia: Africa’s first large-scale CDM forestry project, providing socio-economic development from carbon sequestration in the compliance market

We have implemented the Humbo community-based natural regeneration project, Africa’s first large-scale CDM reforestation project, in partnership with the World Bank. This project has restored 2,728 hectares of degraded native forests and brought social, economic and ecological benefits to participating communities. Within just two years of implementation, communities were collecting wild fruits, firewood and fodder. They reported that wildlife had returned and erosion and flooding had declined. Participating communities are now receiving income from carbon trading through this project. (read more)

Ethiopia: clean light for the rural poor of Africa

Only a small percentage of Ethiopia’s rural population have access to electricity. Most rely on kerosene lamps, which are expensive, extremely flammable and provide poor lighting. The project aims to provide 3,000 households with access to solar lighting and start 30 cooperative societies. The solar lights will replace kerosene burning lamps with a clean, renewable source of energy, leading to far-reaching health, social, environmental and economic benefits. The pilot will also undertake a carbon feasibility study to help determine the relevance of carbon credits to a self-sustaining social enterprise model. (read more)

Ethiopia: A community-led carbon project in the voluntary market, with social benefits

World Vision Australia has partnered with World Vision Ethiopia to restore and protect the high montane forest on the slopes of Mt Damota, in this highlands of southern Ethiopia. The project involves local Soddo communities in environmental training and education programs, site rehabilitation, forest establishment, job creation initiatives and collaboration with the zonal government. Through a combination of tree planting and natural regeneration to reestablish the natural ecosystem, the project intends to sell carbon credits in order to guarantee its long-term sustainability. (read more)

Sub-Saharan Africa: nutritious Australian energy food supporting life in the harshest African environments

The seeds of certain Australian Acacia species have historically formed a part of the traditional diets of Australian Aborigines. The sub-tropical, arid and semi-arid climate of parts of Australia corresponds with many parts of the world that are subject to periodic or chronic famine, such as the Sahelian zone of Sub-Saharan Africa. Certain Acacia species from Australia’s hot, dry regions can withstand a high level of drought, thriving under adverse conditions in which annual plants barely survive. The seeds are tasty, safe to consume and nutritious. This makes Acacia ideal for increasing reliable access to food in Africa and reducing poverty through the sale of its seeds. (read more)

Senegal: ensuring food security in a changing climate

The Beyastol (Work the Land) project realised the adoption of FMNR on over 50,000 hectares of farmland within a four-year period. The successful pilot project in the Kaffrine and Diourbel regions was a response to increasing levels of food insecurity and poverty, linked to severe deforestation and resultant land degradation. Following the failure of conventional reforestation approaches, despite great persistence and investment, FMNR was introduced to local farmers. Their initial resistance was quickly replaced by enthusiasm as the benefits of FMNR became apparent. The project is now being scaled up. (read more)

Mozambique: enhancing food security and children’s nutritional status

Children in the Nampula Province of Mozambique suffer some of the highest rates of malnutrition in the country. The region frequently experiences partial or total crop failure, with farmers having little to no diversity of food and cash crops. The Oruwerya food security project aims to enhance food security and children’s nutritional status by increasing and diversifying agricultural production, improving the capacity of farmers in agribusiness development and improving participation of women in the leadership of farmer groups. (read more)

Ghana: farmer-managed natural regeneration

The Talensi farmer-managed natural regeneration FMNR project was a pioneering collaboration between World Vision Australia and World Vision Ghana. In the long-term, the project aimed to improve the livelihoods of people in the Talensi Area Development Program by increasing income levels and the number of households with food all year round. In order to achieve this goal, the project encouraged farmers to adopt sound natural resource management practices. These practices aimed to rebuild household resilience by reversing losses in forest cover, indigenous biodiversity and soil fertility. The project succeeded in achieving high levels of FMNR adoption and tangible livelihood improvements. (read more)