Australian missionary agronomists Tony and Liz Rinaudo arrived at the edge of the Sahara in 1981 to plant trees. Few trees survived in the hostile terrain, and those that did were cut down. While contemplating the futility of their endeavours, Tony discovered an embarrassingly simple method of restoring degraded landscape without planting a single tree. Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), the sustainable system of land management that Tony pioneered, has revolutionised reforestation across Africa and beyond. In Niger alone, local farmers embracing FMNR have rehabilitated over six million hectares of ruined land and doubled their crop yields and income. Tony is a Right Livelihood Award Laureate and Principal Climate Action Advisor with World Vision.
In his 17 years in Niger, missionary agronomist Tony Rinaudo discovered an embarrassingly simple method of regreening land without planting a single tree. This is not some green fantasy. The technique he pioneered – together with local farmers – came to be known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, or FMNR. It has since regreened more than 25 million hectares of land across 27 countries, reduced our carbon footprint, and transformed millions of lives and livelihoods. For his influential contributions, Tony has received the Right Livelihood Award and was appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia. He is now the Principal Climate Action Advisor with World Vision.