Across large areas of the Sahel region of West Africa, one of the poorest and most environmentally precarious areas of Africa, a decades-long revolution in agroecology has produced remarkable results in improving food security and reversing environmental degradation. It has been lauded for having been led and spread by numerous local farmers, although the story of success has not been as simple as that. This case study examines the interacting factors that have led to success. It highlights the fundamental connections between human, environmental and climatic impoverishment and warns that the progress made is fragile and in danger of being reversed by conflict, competition for land and the climate crisis. At the same time, in the light of the global alarm about human vulnerability to, and interlinkages between, the climate, environmental and health crises, there may never be a better opportunity to learn from what has been achieved, take its lessons forward and take this agroecological revolution to another level of scale.
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