A success story : Synergy between UNCCD, UNCBD and UNFCCC


Published in a supplement of the CBD NEWS back in 2002

Biological Diversity of Dry and sub-humid Lands, a Remarkable Example in Burkina Faso

by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem – Ghent University, Belgium

President of the former TC-Dialogue Foundation

Biodiversity and Sustainable Development.jpeg

Biodiversity and Sustainable Development 1

Biodiversity and Sustainable Development 2


Photo WVC – 1988-07-Before the start of the project in Arbolle (Burkina Faso).jpg
Photo WVC – 1988-07-Planting saplings with TerraCottem soil conditioner.jpg
Photo WVC – 1988-12-Measuring sapling growth 5 months later.jpg
Photo WVC – 1988-12-Young saplings with different dosage of TerraCottem soil conditioner.jpg
Photo WVC – 1989-04-Tree growth evaluation and first appearance of weeds around the trees 9 months after plantation.jpg
1990-04-Arbolle.Fratern copy
Photo WVC – 1990-04-Arbolle Bois de la Fraternisation after 2 years without any irrigation.jpg
Photo WVC – 1990-07-Two year old Acacia nilotica.jpg
1990-07-Splendid-growth copy
Photo WVC – 1990-07-Splendid growth of trees and invasion of herbaceous plants – Local people started gardening.jpg
1994-07-Wood-01 copy
Photo WVC – 6 years after planting with TerraCottem soil conditioner – A real success story for reforestation and improving biodiversity.jpg
1994-07-Wood-02 copy
Photo WVC – 1994-07-Six years old wood with a lot of new species in flora and fauna – Soil improvement.jpg
1998-12  Wood 05
Photo WVC – Fraternisation Wood in Arbolle is 10 years old. Remarkable sustainable development of flora and fauna.jpg
Photo Willemien Lenders – The same wood in Arbolle, but now in the dry season of 2009, 21 years after planting.jpg


Please remember: one single action in July 1988: planting saplings with 100 g of TerraCottem soil conditioner per plantpit (30cmx30x30) WITHOUT IRRIGATION (only rainfed at 300 mm per year).

A success story that deserves to be multiplied at the largest scale in the drylands of all continents.  This is combating desertification and poverty at its best.  And we don’t forget the improvement of biodiversity.

Still looking for a good method to combat desertification ?  Just give it a try !





Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.