Sharing knowledge and building capacity to mitigate climate change through irrigation-free indigenous tree establishment project


Dryland Northern Nigeria is subject to land degradation and desertification, driven by both climate change and unsustainable land use practices. Agriculture is the backbone of the regional economy, with nearly 70% of the population involved, making it a key barrier to sustainable development.

The region has the highest poverty rates in Nigeria and land degradation is exacerbated by migration, conflict and low recognition of the rights and roles of women.  Women have prominent roles in farming households, engage mainly in unskilled, labour-intensive agricultural work and lack access to finance, training and decision-making and as a result are disproportionately impacted by poverty and land degradation.

The Nigerian government prioritise farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) and irrigation-free indigenous tree restoration practices (IFITR) as key to mitigating climate change and sustainable development. 

Aims and Objectives

This project is a collaboration between the University of Leeds, the University of York and Bayero University Kano.

By promoting the uptake of FMNR and IFITR the project aims to help mitigate climate change and deliver livelihood and poverty reduction benefits to smallholder farming communities in dryland Northern Nigeria.  

Through innovative training to enhance local indigenous tree restoration and planting skills, and to build capacity within smallholder farms in northern Nigeria, the project aims to: 

  • Improve awareness of the potential of indigenous trees to contribute to local development, green recovery, and climate change mitigation
  • Accelerate emissions reductions due to increased indigenous tree cover and wider uptake, facilitating access to finance
  • Diversify livelihoods and improve gender equality, contributing to a green recovery via enhanced value chains and employment


Professor Lindsay Stringer, YESI Director, Dept of Environment and Geography

Principal Investigator

Prof Martin Dallimer, University of Leeds


Dr Nicola Favretto, University of Leeds

Prof Lindsay Stringer, University of York

Dr. Aliyu Salisu Barau, Bayero University, Kano

Prof. Ibrahim Baba Yakubu, Bayero University, Kano

Prof. Jibrin M. Jibrin, Bayero University, Kano

Dr Saminu Ado Wangara, Bayero University, Kano



UK PACT Green Recovery Challenge Fund

University of Leeds

Bayero University Kano (BUK), Nigeria