Chris Reij: a Drylands Champion

October 10, 2013

On the awards night of the COP11, Chris Reij was honoured with a Drylands Champion Award. Chris has campaigned tirelessly around the world to lift the Sahel Regreening story from obscurity to global prominence, now being a recognized success story which is being held up as an example and is being replicated in many other parts of Africa and the world.

Chris Reij is a Sustainable Land Management specialist of the Centre for International Cooperation, VU University Amsterdam and a Senior Fellow of the World Resources Institute in Washington.

He has worked in Africa since 1978. Although he has maintained a focus on the West African Sahel, Chris Reij has been involved in numerous studies and consultancies in Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. His main fields of research and writing are related to soil and water conservation in drylands, farmer innovation in agriculture, long-term trends in agriculture and environment and analysis of successes in agriculture and land management in Africa. He is currently the facilitator of “African Re-greening Initiatives”, which supports farmers in adapting to climate change and in developing more productive and sustainable farming systems. This initiative was launched to help scale up proven successes in re-greening by individual farmers and communities. It is operational in Burkina Faso and Mali, and is expanding to other African countries. It collaborates with the World Wide Web Foundation and VU University’s Network Institute in a Web Alliance for Re-greening Africa.