Initiative for the Reconciliation of the Fight against Poverty and Environmental Protection Phase II
APFA Phase II
Duration of the project
In collaboration with
- Cantons of Geneva and Basel-Stadt
- Lottery funds of the cantons Bern, Argovia, Grisons, Glarus and Appenzell-Ausserhoden
- Paul Schiller and Margaretha & Rudolf Gsell Foundation, Share for Food
- French Embassy in Togo (Contribution via local NGO)
Despite the economic growth, the living conditions of the Togolese people have hardly improved in recent years and many of the country’s rural areas in particular, continue to suffer from enormous poverty and malnutrition is widespread. In the struggle for daily survival, marginalized populations keep on invading the precious forests of the country and exploit their natural resources by cutting down trees for coal production, poaching and looking for pastures and water for their herds. This is also the case in the Abdoulaye forest in the Région Centrale, which was declared a natural reserve by the Togolese government in 2004. The forests is known for its biodiversity, which is why its preservation is particularly important. In dialogue with local organisations, VSF-Suisse has recognised that after the declaration of the protected area, it is important to show the population alternatives to the overexploitation of the forest.
In order to simultaneously protect the Abdoulaye forest and improve the living conditions of the inhabitants, VSF-Suisse launched the project APFA in 2014. In this three-year project, our team showed the affected population alternative ways of generating food and income, that don’t damage the forest.
Since the sustainability of our interventions is essential for VSF-Suisse, we continue the project APFA in a second phase, thus assuring the continuance of the achieved results and strengthening their impact. This is also achieved by extending the project activities to other villages, so that six villages are currently included in the project.
Through the project APFA II, VSF-Suisse improves the living conditions in six villages around the Abdoulaye forest and protects and promotes the biodiversity of the forest.
In the first part of the project (APFA we have assisted small farmers in forming farmers associations so that they can strengthen their representation. In this part of the project (APFA we will consolidate these farmers associations in organizational, institutional and technical terms. We also support them in marketing their products by introducing them to suppliers, dealers and microcredit institutions.
In order to support the breeders and Farmers in their agricultural and livestock production and thus improve their food security and income, VSF-Suisse strengthens the services of the Institute of Agricultural Counseling (ICAT), private veterinarians and trained lay-veterinarians on site. In addition, smallholders get targeted support in increasing their productivity, for example in breeding of small livestock, honey and vegetable production as well as in shea nut processing.
We support the farmers associations and small farmers in the marketing of their products and we identify reliable sales channels, in order to distribute income fairly along the value-chain. We support the farmers associations and small farmers in the marketing of their products and we identify reliable sales channels, in order to distribute income fairly along the value-chain. Women who have developed alternative income strategies to charcoal production as part of the project APFA I and who now earn their living by collecting and processing shea nuts are supported in the marketing of their products. In this way, the project makes an important contribution to combating deforestation.
In order to raise public awareness about the importance of sustainable forest use, we hold information events. These events also serve to draw the public’s attention to the routes defined for nomadic pastoralists. The nomads also stay in the Abdoulaye forest region during the dry season and in search of pastures and water for their herd, they often find themselves in conflict with local small farmers. Thus, these paths are an efficient mean of conflict prevention.
In order to avoid conflicts caused by water scarcity, VSF-Suisse planned new water points and wells together with the small farmers and nomads and made existing wells usable again In addition, newly formed committees for the management of forests natural resources will promote continuous dialogue between the livestock breeders and the farmers.