What is the humanitarian challenge?
The hosting areas in Sudan are among the poorest and most environmentally degraded in the region. The presence of South Sudanese refugees in White Nile State has resulted in increasing unsustainable demand on forest resources. Both refugee and host communities depend completely on scarce fuel wood for cooking, with the most marginalised people spending 9-13 hours at a time searching for firewood that they cannot afford to buy. This scarcity often results in tensions and resource conflicts between the refugees and the hosting communities.
What is innovative about this project?
The traditional approach to mitigate these challenges has been to support planting and management of threes. These approaches, however, have showed limited successes due to poor technical capacity and the physical environment in many refugee hosting regions. UNCHR therefore partnered up with Land Life Company, a social enterprise that uses cutting edge reforestation techniques, for innovating better solutions. Together, they have developed a technology that boosts survival of young tress, while reducing water usage and reforestation costs. The results are healthy trees that improve tree survivorships in humanitarian settings from an average of 0-20 % to between 75-95%.
What are the expected outcomes?
The Humanitarian Innovation Programme is now supporting UNCHR's journey to scale and will implement the technological restoration approach in 9 refugee camps in White Nile State over the next two years.
The project aims to directly restore 100 ha of land through tree planting techniques and other technology to create a sustainable agroforestry system. They will also provide education and capacity building for refugees and local partners, including the National Forestry Corporation (F.N.C). This capacity building aims to support F.N.C. to successfully restore a further 1900 ha of degraded land over the next two years. UNHCR will further monitor restoration success using remote technologies to inform long term adaptive land management.