about Lignaverda


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Lignaverda, driven by Entrepreneurs without frontiers, is building a world in which people affected by climate change and advancing desertification increase resilience and improve their livelihoods while at the same time improving the local and global environment. We achieve this through afforestation initiatives which reverse the landscape degradation trend in African semi-arid regions and lead to Land Degradation Neutrality (SDG15).

2007 – 2009

In the beginning

After being inspired by climate disasters to make a positive contribution to the planet, Werner Sels and Wim Jacobs founded Lignaverda in 2007. They searched for an impactful project and found themselves in the Sahelian north of Burkina Faso, where they witnessed vast expanses of degraded land. To address this, they sought the advice of Prof. Patrick Van Damme, an expert in tropical agriculture at Ghent University, who confirmed that it was possible to restore degraded semi-arid landscapes through tree planting.

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2010 – 2017

10,000 ha of new forest
in Burkina Faso

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In 2010, Lignaverda started planting trees in Burkina Faso, creating agroforests in response to climate disturbance. By the end of 2017, almost 10,000 hectares of new forest had been created, demonstrating a proof of concept. This not only stopped desertification but also restored soil fertility, increased biodiversity, enabled children to go to school and improved gender equality and the independence of women. Moreover, by planting forests on the edge of the desert, Lignaverda tackled the root causes of migration and its consequences on human health and well-being.

2018 – NOW

New challenges
in Senegal and Namibia

Since 2018, Lignaverda has been implementing reforestation projects in Senegal, using a similar approach to their work in Burkina Faso. They have successfully afforested around 4000 hectares of degraded land in the Great Green Wall of Africa. Their goal is to create 2000 hectares of forest per year starting in 2023. In addition, Lignaverda is also setting up a pilot project in the north of Namibia to step up afforestation efforts in the region. 

Lignaverda’s journey has been driven by a commitment of their stakeholders to making a positive and structural contribution to the planet through reforestation activities. With our unique vision and approach, we are succeeding in tackling climate change in Africa through reforestation projects in both the northern and southern hemispheres.