TREE AID is an international development organisation which helps villagers living in the drylands of Africa unlock the potential of trees to reduce poverty and protect the environment.
TREE AID has offices in Bristol,UK, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in Segou, Mali and in Tamale, Ghana. It currently has programmes running in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Niger.
TREE AID was established in 1987 by a group of foresters in response to the famine in Africa brought to public attention by Band Aid and Live Aid. Its aim was to provide a long term solution to the challenges of poverty and environmental decline once the emergency relief efforts ended. TREE AID’s work is informed by the notion that small scale development, appropriate to local culture and environment that puts poor people’s needs first, is essential to the success and sustainability of any intervention to alleviate poverty. This thinking still informs the charity's work today.
Focus of Work
TREE AID's work seeks to link up an understanding of the technical aspects of natural resource management with a deep understanding of social context, motivation and community dynamics. The organisations' work also has a strong focus on addressing institutional and policy constraints. They are currently working directly with over 300 of some of the world’s poorest communities. The TREE AID programme is focused on four themes:
Access and Rights
Securing long-term access to natural resources for the poor and making rules and regulations clear and enforceable ensures that they have confidence in and can benefit from protecting and enhancing those resources.
Looking After the Environment
Building a greater understanding of how best to manage natural resources in order to protect and improve the environment, and making the benefits clear.
Nutrition and Food Security
Increasing crop yields and establishing an additional food supply from tree fruits helps poor communities produce more food, reducing hunger and malnutrition and increasing resilience in times of drought.
Enterprise and Trade
Supporting the poor to develop income sources from the sale of non-wood tree products provides cash to spend on immediate needs and creates the means to invest in their families’ future.
Where They Work
TREE AID works in the drylands of Africa, in some of the harshest places to survive on our planet. Life, already so hard, is becoming even tougher as agricultural land becomes drier and eventually turns to desert. It can then no longer be used to grow crops or trees and families are forced to migrate to survive.