Anthony Rinaudo AM believes that when you work with nature, miracles are possible. In 40 years, his ‘farmer-managed natural regeneration’ (FMNR) technique has contributed to the restoration of millions of hectares of degraded land in at least 29 countries across Africa and Asia.
With FMNR, farmers actively manage regrowth from living stumps, roots and seedlings in badly degraded land.
Anthony hit on the idea in the 1980s after a disappointing tree-planting project in Niger. He and 12 local farmers instead nurtured the straggly plants that remained. It inspired a farmer-led regreening movement accounting for 200 million trees regenerated on five million hectares of farmland over a twenty-year period.
By partnering with World Vision, Anthony aims to eventually regenerate one billion hectares of land. The biggest change he can make, he says, is the restoration of hope.
In 2019, he was awarded an Order of Australia for services to conservation.