Wetlands, forests, and pastures in Niger play a significant role in the preservation of biodiversity, reducing gender inequality, and promoting resilience and economic opportunity. They specifically mitigate the effects of climate change by acting as carbon-stores and micro-climates promoting rainfall.

Amman Imman (AI) is the only NGO implementing a holistic nature-based solution in the northern Tahoua and southern Agadez regions, among the hardest-hit regions of the Sahel by desertification and water scarcity. AI is launching LRER, the first landscape restoration project in the region, to:

  • restore/create wetlands
  • restore pasturelands
  • replenish soils, catch/stock rainwater, and prevent pastureland/wetland erosion
  • utilize agroforestry/permaculture methodologies for reforestation and sustainable food production
  • train/mobilize local environmental leaders for project sustainability
  • educate and mobilize students in partner schools throughout the world on climate change and Africa’s Great Green Wall
  • serve as model to replicate throughout the Sahel and desertified regions worldwide


Approximately 40-years ago, the northern Tahoua and southern Agadez regions had abundant pastures, permanent ground-water, and large acacia forests thanks to a 5-month rainy season. Livestock and wildlife abounded.

Today, rains last approximately one month. Groundwater evaporates rapidly; forests and pasturelands have all-but disappeared. Livestock has been decimated.

During the dry-season, villagers travel up to 50 km/day to find water; people subsist on less than 6 liters/water/person/day. 80% of livestock herds and biodiversity have dissipated. Infant mortality is at 25%, with rates of 14.7% child acute-malnutrition, and 37% chronic malnutrition (OCHA).

Climate-related geopolitical issues impact women and girls disproportionately. In the northern Tahoua region, women migrate 6-9 months/year to neighboring countries and large urban centers to supplement their income. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) counts over 100,000 climate refugees; 80% of which are women, vulnerable to slavery, prostitution, rape, and trafficking. Their children are often left alone in the villages, with no other option than to fend for themselves; in these circumstances, their morbidity and mortality is heightened as they are subjected to increased risk of disease, lack of water and malnutrition. Daylong chores searching for water make attending school nearly impossible -- particularly for girls -- explaining the 99% illiteracy rate in the region.

Ecosystem Restoration: A Nature-Based Solution

Amman Imman is launching our Landscape Restoration for Ecosystem Recovery (LRER) program in order to implement nature-based solutions (NBS) that will viably address Niger’s severe water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, and persistent desertification, beginning in the Tahoua and Agadez regions of Niger.

AI seeks 1.4million in seed funding to execute our NBS techniques, and conduct Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of the resulting CO2 removed, as well as more traditional Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). With our NBS, we intend to successfully achieve durable carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which would enable expansion and further phases of our ongoing work, both on-site and in new locations, to be self funded via the sale of carbon dioxide removal credits. Furthermore, a portion of the credit income will be reinvested into the stakeholder communities.

AI will contribute to Africa's Great Green Wall initiative by restoring landscapes -- forests, savannahs, pasturelands and watersheds -- that have been degraded by climate change.

Restored ecosystems will, among many other benefits, promote ecological and human resilience; replenish biodiversity; recharge under and above-ground water stores; enrich soils and prevent ecosystem erosion; rebuild effective carbon-stores; and create rainfall-inducing microclimates

Along with its environmental impact, LRER will promote economic opportunity, limit migration, create ideal conditions for rebuilding herds sustainably, and provide access to food and crops.

This initiative will improve conditions especially for women and girls who, once empowered with opportunities, can be resilient leaders for their communities. With time, we intend to scale our ecosystem restoration work throughout Niger and the Sahel, thereby supporting effective climate change remediation and contributing to Africa's Great Green Wall.


LRER will implement ecosystem restoration techniques, including: silvo-pastoral/silvo-arable agroforestry; forestry/permaculture; riparian tree-buffer-zone restoration; traditional and innovative techniques -- such as demi-lunes and Zai -- to prevent erosion and retain rainwater; watershed restoration; and assisted natural regeneration of trees in pasturelands and naturally-occurring forests.

Community stakeholders (environmental leaders and local farmers/pastoralists) will be taught restoration/regeneration techniques. They will also be trained in the sustainable/non-invasive harvest of tree resources (leaves, fruits, medicinal bark), along with sustainable pastoral practices, for personal and profitable purposes. These community stakeholders, along with local traditional/political leaders, local reforestation/ecosystem restoration experts, and regional Departments of Agriculture, Environmental Protection, and Forestry will be involved in LRER design, implementation, training, MRV calibration and M&E. Community participation at all levels of program implementation will ascertain the stakeholder buy-in and participation.


AI’s initial phase for our LRER program covers approximately 40 000 hectares, affecting approximately 53 communities and around 150,000 people in designated zones of the northern Tahoua and southern Agadez regions of Niger. More specifically, the chosen pilot areas for LRER are located in the communes of Abalak, Tchintabaradène, and Ingal. Each of the zones are comprised of watersheds surrounded by a barrier zone of variably dense trees/forests that give way to pastures and savannah.

Our communities have requested Amman Imman’s support in implementing ecosystem restoration work. They understand that their future depends on high-impact climate mitigation strategies. They claim that, thanks to LRER they will be able to rely on sustainable food production resulting from agroforestry and improved pastoral management. They will improve their economic security with income from harvests, non-timber sales, livestock, and the production of plant-based traditional medicines and artisanal goods. Access to locally available economic opportunities will reduce climate-related migration, thereby promoting a foundation of stability for families, reducing the health and safety risks of all family members, particularly women and children. Increased and readily available access to water and food will allot more time for children to attend school. In essence, LRER will improve population health, education, access to basic resources such as food and water, and promote economic stability.

LRER aims to rebuild ecosystems (forests/pastures/savannah/watersheds) holistically, with the understanding that each affects the viability of the other. Restored ecosystems will: promote ecological/human resilience; replenish biodiversity; recharge under/above-ground water stores; enrich soils and prevent ecosystem erosion; rebuild effective carbon-stores; and create rainfall-inducing microclimates.

KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)

LRER scientific and sociological experts will develop an MRV and M&E plan and gather baseline measures to develop corresponding indicators. These will be used to evaluate project impact over the short, mid and long-term: biodiversity; local ecosystems and weather patterns; Above Ground Biomass (AGB); Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) human resilience. Monitoring will be ongoing. An internal evaluation and remote sensing based MRV of ecological indicators will take place yearly, while an external evaluation will be undertaken every 2 years. Resampling for confirmation and further calibration of the MRV will take place every 5 years.

Following are examples of sociological, ecological, and Carbon indicators and impact goals:

  • Jobs and other economic opportunity (goal: 35%increase over 3 years)
  • Flood and erosion prevention (35% decrease/5yrs)
  • Pastures restored (55% increase/5yrs)
  • CO2 removed and Carbon (C) durably stored in soils (Conservative estimate from sustainable pasture techniques alone: 273kgC/Ha/year (1tCO2/Ha/year), 200,000 tCO2 removed/5yrs)
  • Food production (65%increase/5yrs)
  • Livestock herds (55%increase/5yrs)
  • Rainfall quantity in and around restored sites (40%increase/5yrs)
  • Food availability/decreased acute child malnutrition (45%decreased malnutrition/5yrs)
  • Migration (50%reduction/5yrs)
  • Year-round groundwater existence in watersheds (70%increase/10years)
  • Water-table recharge (goal: 60% increase/10yrs)
  • Forests restored (75%increase/10yrs)
  • Local fauna (70%increase/10yrs)