• Rebecca Stedham

Growing the Olympic Forest, Senegal and Mali

TLLG are supporting Tree Aid to develop a forest carbon project in the Sahel with the capacity to sequester 200,000 tCO2 equivalent over a 25 year period and restore c. 2,120ha of degraded agro-sylvo-pastoral lands through enrichment planting, and establishing agroforestry systems across. The project will include areas along a section of the Falémé River in North-East of Senegal and in the Tambacounda and Kayes regions of North-West Mali.


Land degradation is a major environmental issue affecting the Sahel region of Africa. Characterised by soil degradation mainly due to wind erosion, it is exacerbated by drought and diminishing rainfall, and compounded by anthropogenic factors such as population growth, agricultural intensification, and overgrazing. Declined soil fertility that results from land degradation leads to decreased crop yields and forces farmers to shorten the fallow time, expand to marginal lands, and to adopt non-sustainable practices, creating a negative feedback loop. Agroforestry, integrated farming and practices that promote vegetation cover provide soil stability and protect soils against agents of erosion, increasing agricultural productivity and diversifying farmers' sources of income, resulting in benefits for agricultural production and addressing land degradation.


The project will be certified under the Plan Vivo Standard which is designed for socially focused, community-based forest carbon projects that ensure livelihood and biodiversity benefits. It builds on Tree Aid’s ongoing restoration operations in West Africa and will work with Senegalese NGO La Lumiere who will manage operations in Senegal. TLLG, who have significant experience in the practical application of the Plan Vivo Standard, have been contracted as consultants to support Tree Aid with their approaches to the participatory design process as well as monitoring, reporting and verification processes.


The project is funded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – the owner of the Olympic Games and leader of the Olympic Movement, with the initial 200,000 tCO2 generated offsetting more than 100% of the IOC’s estimated 2021-2024 carbon footprint.


For more information, visit the Olympic Forest project page or Tree Aid CEO, Tom Skirrow’s blog.

Photo: Communities creating zai pits to conserve water and create fertile soil in one of Tree Aid's project sites in Burkina Faso.

Client: Tree Aid

Duration: April 2021 - December 2022

Location: Mali, Senegal