Tony Rinaudo



We are sorry to inform you that the Right Livelihood College and Coastal Science & Policy Program lecture featuring “forest maker” Tony Rinaudo, Australian agronomist and principal advisor for Natural Resources Management at World Vision Australia, has been canceled due to health concerns. Admission refunds will be distributed in 5-7 business days. If you do not receive your refund within that time frame, please reach out to David Shaw at




Right Livelihood College and Coastal Science & Policy Co-Present 

Tony Rinaudo

Re-Greening Degraded Landscapes:
Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration

Monday, March 9th, 7:00 PM @ Coastal Biology Building Lecture Hall 


Advance registration required. 
$10 general admission tickets, free for students. 
Free parking after 5:00 PM. 

Questions? Email


The Australian agronomist Tony Rinaudo is known as the “forest maker”. Having lived and worked in Africa for several decades he has discovered and put in practice a solution to the extreme deforestation and desertification of the Sahel region. With a simple set of management practices, farmers regenerate and protect existing local vegetation which has helped to improve the livelihoods of millions. 

Rinaudo has pioneered a technique that involves growing up trees from existing root systems which are often still intact and which Rinaudo refers to as an “underground forest”. By choosing the right plants and by pruning and protecting them in a certain way they soon grow into trees, Rinaudo realized that if it was people who had reduced the forest to a barren landscape it would require people to restore it. Changing attitudes has been key to Rinaudo’s successful work. 

Rinaudo’s Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) method has restored 50000 km2 of land with over 200 million trees in Niger alone. It has the potential to restore currently degraded drylands with an area the combined size of India. What Rinaudo has created is much more than an agricultural technique he has inspired a farmer-led movement regreening land in the Sahel region.


About Tony Rinaudo

Tony Rinaudo is Principal Advisor for Natural Resources Management at World Vision Australia, He has decades of experience in the development and promotion of agricultural-forestry-pastoral systems across a range of environments, including 18 years spent in the Niger managing a long-term agricultural development program.

He is one of the key figures in the development of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (or FMNR), a low-cost land restoration technique that was introduced in 1983 in the Niger area. Championed by Tony, it has spread over 18 countries in the Sahel and beyond. The impact of FMNR cannot be understated, being linked to the regrowth of 200 million trees on five million hectares of degraded farmland in Niger alone.

Rather than planting new trees, this technique relies on nurturing the regrowth of local trees and shrubs from existing tree stumps, roots and seeds. Through systematic regeneration and management work, the farmers bolster the growth of trees and connect them with their agricultural systems, with mutual benefits. Part of these results come from the work of NGOs like World Vision Australia and others, but also from the farmers themselves, who have adopted and spread the technique between themselves once the conditions were in place.

Thank you!


This event is sponsored by the Right Livelihood College at UC Santa Cruz and the Coastal Science & Policy Program.

The Right Livelihood College links faculty & students with 'Alternative Nobel Prize' winners for research & education about proven solutions to the world's most pressing global problems.

The interdisciplinary graduate program in Coastal Science & Policy at UC Santa Cruz prepares students to design and implement solutions to the complex social, ecological, and technological problems facing the world’s coastal communities and ecosystems.