Enabling the restoration and sustainable management of degraded ecosystems
GRABE-Benin is a non-government organisation located in Benin, in the Department of Oueme. It works to ensure that degraded parts of sacred forests are restored so that the natural habitat for wildlife is reclaimed. Although protected by cultural and religious traditions, sacred forests in Benin are currently suffering major deforestation owing to demand for firewood and charcoal energy sources, unsustainable farming practice, and increasing socio-economic pressures. As a result communities experience incidences of extreme weather events, food insecurity, changes in flood risk, desertification and prevalence of human diseases.
The project will work with communities in the Avrankou commune, which is situated in the southeast of Benin and covers a total area of 110 km2 and contains 52 villages. The aim is to protect, regenerate and expand sacred forest situated around the villages of Avrankou as well as protect the remaining wetland forest. 15,000 trees will be planted in the commune. The project will enhance the emergence of an alliance of traditional healers, Ecoguards clubs and local government agencies committed to improving upon traditional knowledge and to employ endogenous solutions to challenges facing them. It will also facilitate community-learning dialogues between elders and youth to identify viable culture-based practices to recuperate the ecosystem.