Today, the farmer, who is also known as “The Man Who Stopped the Desert”, demonstrates to visitors how soil can be made fertile again. 

Tony Rinaudo, a natural resources management specialist with World Vision, focused his keynote address on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) of degraded soils and making use of things that were already in the ground. Rinaudo maintained that vast areas of unused land existed that contained living stumps, roots and other living material. Restoring vegetation cover in such areas was an approach that was now being adopted by millions and represented a low-cost, people-driven way to revitalise degraded land. FMNR has already proved to be a viable approach to raising food security in the Sahel region, and it is now being promoted in East Timor, Indonesia and Myanmar. 

A wide range of issues were addressed in side-events held in parallel during the two-day meeting. For example, one session focused on sustainable wood energy production in Sub-Saharan Africa in the context of the Global Bioenergy Partnership, set up to promote bioenergy for sustainable development.