Big change is required and it can start in small but significant ways. That was the message that the development agency World Vision issued for World Environment Day 2009, highlighting one project which symobolises part of the way forward.
The Christian-backed agency marked the day of global environmental concern with a celebration at the Humbo Farmers Managed Natural Regeneration Project site in Ethiopia.
Before the start of the project in 2006, the lands around Humbo were highly degraded by soil erosion and landslides in a region where people had been suffering from an inadequate food supply for years.
The communities and the NGO worked together to establish the project with the goals of rehabilitating the degraded area and contributing to the food security of the villages adjacent to the 2728 hectare project site.
The site has been closed to grazing and the communities have participated in managing the land in a way which promotes natural regeneration of vegetation. Participating villages have also worked to plant trees.
World Vision and the villages hosted representatives from the Ethiopia government and from other non-governmental organisations to highlight grassroots ways of addressing food and land concerns.
More on World Vision International: http://www.wvi.org