April 13, 2024

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Landscape restoration champions in Rwanda receive USD $3.6 million in financing from TerraFund for AFR100.

January 10, 2024 – Twenty organizations and enterprises working in Rwanda’s Western Province are set to receive USD $3.6 million in grants, loans and equity finance from TerraFund for AFR100, a fund for locally led landscape restoration projects operating in Africa.

They are part of a second cohort of investments, named TerraFund for AFR100 Landscapes, that are restoring land in three of the continent’s vital landscapes: the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Ghana Cocoa Belt; and the Greater Rift Valley of Kenya.

These landscapes were chosen because they provide food and water for millions of people and protect crucial biodiversity; yet they are suffering from decades of degradation.

“In the final analysis, climate action is local. I am delighted TerraFund for AFR100 and partners are mobilizing finance and capacity for restoration champions. We need both scale and speed for the restoration movement in Africa to improve the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers, their families and communities,” said Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director for Africa and Global Partnerships at World Resources Institute.

TerraFund will disburse USD $17.8 million to a total of 92 organizations. Aside from Rwanda, in Kenya, 36 champions will receive USD $7.5million; in Burundi, 11 organizations will receive USD $2.1 million; in the DRC, 10 projects will be awarded USD $1.9 million; and in Ghana, USD $2.7 million will go towards 15 projects.

These “restoration champions” were selected after TerraFund screened 601 applications gathered through an open call for proposals.

Through 2030, this new investment in Rwanda is projected to grow 3.2 million trees, restore 10,000 hectares of land, create 14,000 temporary and full-time jobs, and benefit 159,000 people living in these regions.

“Local groups are at the heart of Africa’s restoration movement but historically have been viewed as too small or risky for investment. The TerraFund champions are shattering this myth. Not only are these groups doing remarkable work on the ground, but they’re also utilizing new monitoring technologies, allowing us to track progress like never before,” said Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund.

TerraFund was established in September 2021 when it announced applications for its first cohort, the Top 100, which financed one hundred community organizations and businesses across 27 countries in Africa. Since May 2022, the Top 100 cohort has begun to grow 12.5 million trees, provided paid work to 36,000 people, and improved the livelihoods of 202,000 people.

Nature Rwanda, an organization working with local communities to restore wetlands and key landscapes in Rwanda, used their first TerraFund grant to grow 300,000 trees, restore 500 hectares of land and create 419 jobs. They are enthusiastic to continue with their projects in Bweyeye and Butare in this second phase.

“We aim to scale up restoration efforts to 726 hectares, engage more households in tree planting, and strengthen the capacity of our community tree stewards,” said Jean Claude Dusabimana, co-founder and Executive Director of Nature Rwanda.

They will also establish climate governance committees at the village level and create a community revolving fund to support community micro green projects.

To date, TerraFund for AFR100 has received 3,800 applications and has deployed $33 million in grants, loans, and equity investment to 192 landscape restoration projects in 27 African countries.

The impact of this investment is tracked through the TerraMatch platform, which uses cutting-edge monitoring, reporting, and verification techniques from Land and Carbon Lab that combine field-collected data with insights from satellite imagery.

By directly measuring the impact of their work, TerraFund is giving credit to these champions on the ground who are reversing the trend of degradation and building lasting resilience across Africa.

About TerraFund for AFR100

TerraFund for AFR100 deploys grants, loans, and equity investments to support non-profit community organizations and for-profit businesses in Africa that restore land by growing trees. It incubates hundreds of the continent’s locally led restoration champions by mobilizing and deploying finance and capacity to a pipeline of investable enterprises and non-profits. After implementation kicks off, it monitors and communicates the impacts of the investments to inspire action.

TerraFund is a partnership between World Resources Institute, One Tree Planted, Realize Impact and Barka Fund and was launched with an anchor investment from the Bezos Earth Fund. Part of the Restore Local project, it is delivering finance to support AFR100, a regional partnership with the ambitious goal of restoring 100 million hectares of land across the continent. Bezos Earth Fund and The Audacious Project are core financial partners of the TerraFund for AFR100 Landscapes cohort. To learn more about TerraFund for AFR100, visit www.africa.terramatch.org.

About World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization with offices in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, and regional offices for Africa and Europe. Our 1,700 staff work with partners to develop practical solutions that improve people’s lives and ensure nature can thrive.

Resources:

Consult the TerraFund website for more information: https://www.africa.terramatch.org/

• For the complete list of funded organizations, consult this list.

• For a video message from Wanjira Mathai and Andrew Steer, consult this link

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