What is the project?
Climate change and migration are seen as the biggest challenges of our century. They’re also interlinked: migration often occurs because of climate change, and refugee camps often increase the stress on the environment and local communities. I’ve taken up the challenge to turn the interlinkage of migration and climate change into a wicked opportunity. My goal is to provide income opportunities for refugees and local communities through agroforestry practices which contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. In agroforestry practices, trees provide the essential water management, erosion control and fodder for agriculture, livestock and humans to thrive. In practice, imagine a camp where refugees are involved in planting trees outside the camp. For this they will receive an income. The trees capture carbon, become eligible for carbon credit sales and provide the necessary environmental conditions for local communities to engage in livestock – and agricultural production. This builds the local economy and increases incomes.
Why is it unique?
This project is unique in the sense that it links refugee support and reforestation to local economy building (by adopting agroforestry practices). This also turns the project into a financially sustainable business case, as revenue streams can come in via agricultural – and livestock production, and carbon credit sales. The result? A win-win scenario where refugees and local communities increase their income, the planted trees capture carbon, and FMO realizes its SDG targets.
What are the most important results?
Impact on consumers: this project pro-actively includes the excluded refugee populations. The planting of trees will provide them with an income opportunity and alleviate poverty (SDG 10 – Reducing inequalities). The trees planted will improve the earth’s water management systems and provide an enabling environment for the local community of Kakuma to increase the production of local crops such as tomatoes, maize, sorghum, honey, and livestock. This will increase their annual income (SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth).
Impact on society: the trees planted will sequester carbon (totaling ~18,000 tons annually) and help in climate change adaptation by mitigating the effects of drought, preventing desertification and restoring degraded soils (SDG 13 – Climate Action).
What is the ambition?
I am looking forward to pilot this idea when I move to Kenya next month. I will be based in the country for six months and aim to use this time to kickstart the project with local partners. When the outcomes of the pilot prove successful, the higher ambition is to create a blueprint which can be used next to other refugee camps.