Environment and Biodiversity
Mboro, region of Thiès, Senegal
€10,000 to the Selection Committee at 2011/01/18
Les Brigades Vertes
"This project fits into a much bigger plan launched by the President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, called the "great green wall". Designed as a 15 km wide green belt stretching from Dakar to Djibouti, and consisting of plant and animal species selected for their capacity to adapt to drought, the wall will be a formidable rampart against the encroachment of the desert. To succeed, it needs to be backed by initiatives like Les Brigades Vertes."
The founding members of the nonprofit "Les Brigades Vertes", founded in 2005, focus on three areas: creating tree nurseries and tree plantations; operational and educational participation in the fight against desertification and poverty in the Sahel (Senegal, Mali, Mauritania); and planting trees for reforestation and biodiversity in the rural and educational environment.
Galvanized by the "great green wall" plan launched by the president of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, Les Brigades Vertes are intensely involved in Senegal, with undeniable success: in just a few years, forty schools have been reforested.
The projects are conducted in partnership with students and teachers: the children participate actively in the reforestation operations, and then in the upkeep of the trees.
A significant local economic asset
The initiatives of Les Brigades Vertes are so highly appreciated that they now lack saplings to meet all the requests that are pouring in. They have therefore set up a new tree nursery project, to supplement the one they already have in Saint-Louis.
They picked the region of Thiès, and more specifically the village of Mboro, where they purchased 2 hectares of land.
This new project, which the Veolia Foundation has decided to help because of its tremendous environmental value, will be capable of permanently supplying some 20,000 saplings. It will feature a seed arboretum for the conservation and renewal of the biodiversity, as well as a seed bank for grains. It is also equipped to accommodate school children as trainees, as well as students and young trainee adults.
In addition, to inject an emphatic economic dimension into the project, Les Brigades Vertes plan to create local jobs in partnership with the cadres of the rural communes, by developing activities designed to guarantee food self-sufficiency of the neighboring populations, and by helping fight desertification. The creation of community orchards and vegetable gardens is also planned, plus the restoration of hedges, groves and country woods.