Tony Rinaudo

We along with Tony Rinaudo are excited to let you know that his new autobiography The Forest Underground: Hope for a Planet in Crisis, will be published on April 30th 2022 by ISCAST–Christians in Science and Technology – see media release, first chapter sample, and product info sheet attached. FMNR video release

Tony Rinaudo received his Bachelor’s Degree, Rural Science University of New England Australia, and agronomy through the University of Armidale as well as attending the Bible College of New Zealand (Diploma in Bible and Missions).[1] Rinaudo is known for putting forward a deforestation management practice known as farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR). Following his marriage they ended up for 18 years in Niger, Africa which Rinaudo described as a “moonscape.”[1][2] Though many tree planting methods were tried the degraded land and the population were facing desert like conditions, famine, disease and drought. Though these degraded conditions exist, without resources for sustaining life FMNR provides sustainable land regeneration to restore Africa’s uplands.[3][4] Through FMNR, a means of pruning and management, the underground forest of roots catalyzed into trees above ground. Rinaudo worked with local farmers in Niger in the transformation of hectares of dry land.[5] He has worked as the Principal Natural Resources Advisor for World Vision Australia, and is currently the Senior Climate Action Advisor.[6][1] Rinaudo is recognized for both his environmental and humanitarian approaches for global initiatives.[7]



Early life

Rinaudo led his formative years in Victoria’s Oven’s Valley in Australia. He had first hand knowledge of land degradation as forests were cleared for plantations and cropping the land.[1] Marrying Liz, they had four children. They both were Serving in Mission (SIM) missionaries arriving in the Niger Republic in 1981 remaining there until 1999.[8] While there, Rinaudo was placed in charge of the Maradi Windbreak and Woodlot project.[9] The actual ground on arrival was so sandy, that vehicles could not be driven without letting air from the tires less they bog down. Rinaudo took to calling it a “Moonscape”. “I was in shock,” he [said]. “We had windstorms that would bury the seed or carry it away. We had a mouse plague. We had locust swarms—hatchlings moving across the ground like a carpet. We had crows who knew where the drill holes were. For a young agricultural adviser—I was born in 1957—it was just mind-boggling.”[10] “Farmers in the Sahel had learned from French colonists to clear land for agriculture and keep crops separate from trees. Under French colonial law and new laws that countries adopted after independence, any trees on a farmer’s property belonged to the government. Farmers who cut down a tree for fuel would be threatened with jail.”[11] Soon it was seen that the trees were nitrogen-fixing the soil, and drawing water up facilitating bio-irrigating. It was the crop yield which sent the technique viral. The micro climate of the forests was cooling the soil of the hot desert climate.[9]

When Rinaudo arrived, he attested that the water table was forty to sixty meters deep.[10] Rinaudo was familiar with the work of Richard St. Barbe Baker who wrote in his book Land of Tane (1954) “When the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear.” Trees raise the water table.

This no-cost method of FMNR, relying on labour turned around lives, and provided food security.[8] Rinaudo was able to combine an assessment of the landscape, permaculture principles with FMNR to literally turn deserts into “food bowls”. Rinaudo took the experimentation started in the Niger Republic, and it quickly spread to Ethiopia, Ghana, and Senegal. [12]

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration #GenerationRestoration hashtag and tag @UNEP and @FAO
UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration #GenerationRestoration hashtag and tag @UNEP and @FAO

Rinaudo worked with both the Forestry Service and the farmers, and soon farmers could benefit from trees regenerated on their own land enhancing the greening of the land.[13] Rinaudo began with an socio-geographical-ecological assessment of the land and area leading to opportunities to overcome, and the adoption of FMNR techniques.[14]

The technique now known as FMNR began under the term of “Dirty Fields” in contrast to the previously used system of “Clean Fields.” In this Dirty Field system, native trees and shrubs were encouraged. The name FMNR name was inspired by a another practice known as Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems. (FMIS) FMNR was featured in the Tenth World Forestry Congress of 1990. The countries across Africa utlizing FMNR and engaged in EverGreen Agricultural practices have continually increased. FMNR expanded with the implementation of other frameworks to increase success for the farmer. The Nature, Wealth and Power (NWP) framework, the SEED-SCALE Framework and the Climate Resilience Framework (CRF)[15] Garry Tappan, a U.S. Geological Survey geographer was blown away when he began to see green on satellite imagery. Comparing historical satellite imagery with current imagery, Tappan discovered that FMNR revitalized the Great Green Wall campaign.[11]

Rinaudo was the 2018 Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award[16] and bestowed the Member of the Order of Australia.[1] Rinaudo, the “alternative Nobel” winner was portrayed in a documentary “Forest Maker” created by German director and film maker Volker Schlöndorff’[17][11] Following the making of the film, a panel session went into the FMNR approach, and the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100)[18]

Australia’s ISCAST (The Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology) published his autobiography, entitled The Forest Underground: Hope for a Planet in Crisis.[9]


“Tony Rinaudo: “Against the odds: Reversing desertification in arid and semi arid lands” YouTube Video”. Knowledge Base. N.D.

Zwahlen, Robert (Jan. 3, 2022). “Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Hydropower Projects”. Springer Nature. Google Books.


  1. Hooker, Dave (November 5, 2021). “The Aussie Forest Maker Helping to Heal the Planet”. Eternity News. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  2. “Tony Rinaudo, Principal Advisor Natural Resources at World Vision Australia”. Reforestation World. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  3. “Releasing the “underground forest””. Global Landscape. June 3, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  4. “The Roots of Restoration: Sustainability through community-based forest landscape restoration”. Global Landscapes. June 3, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  5. “The Forest Maker”. World Vision. 2022. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  6. “Tony Rinaudo Principal Natural Resources Advisor for World Vision Australia”. Linked In. Tony Rinaudo. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  7. “Tony Rinaudo”. 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  8. “Growing an Underground Forest”. Farmer’s Dialogue. October 17, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  9. “Tony Rinaudo: The missionary forest maker”. ISCAST. March 4, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  10. Bilger, Burkhard (December 11, 2011). “The Great Oasis. Can a wall of trees stop the Sahara from spreading?”. Star Phoenix. Press Display. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  11. Morrison, Jim (August 23, 2016). “The “Great Green Wall” Didn’t Stop Desertification, but it Evolved Into Something That Might”. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  12. Rinaudo, Tony (September 29, 2011). “Natural Resources Scoping Visit to Lebanon”. World Vision. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  13. Lappé, Frances Moore (2022). “Seeing Answers to the Climate Crisis Right Under Our Feet”. Humans and Nature. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  14. Liniger, Rima Mekdaschi Studer, Christine Hauert, Mats Gurtner, Hanspeter (2011). “Sustainable Land Management in Practice Guidelines and Best Practices for Sub-Saharan Africa. Field Application”. World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). A TerrAfrica Partnership Publication. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  15. Taylor, George F. (2015). “Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration – A “Green Revolution in the West Africa Sahara. Who are the development experts?”. Academia. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  16. “Tony Rinaudo”. Right Livelihood. 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  17. Greb, Verena (April 5, 2022). “Documentary ‘The Forest Maker’ portrays a reforestation pioneer”. DW. Press Display. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  18. “The Film-maker meets the Forest-maker – The story behind FMNR and its role for restoration of African landscapes!”. Global Landscape. November 5, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2022.

Celebrate 50 years! Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional park were planted to trees in 1972, 50 years ago. Come out and say Happy Birthday!

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park
For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
For more information:
Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits
NEW P4G District Official Community Plan
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page:
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)?with map
Pinterest richardstbarbeb
Blogger: FriendsAfforestation
Tumblr friendsafforestation.tumblr.comFacebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park
Facebook: StBarbeBaker Afforestation Area
Facebook for the non profit Charity Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. FriendsAreas
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Reddit: FriendsAfforestation
Twitter: St Barbe Baker Charity Twitter:FriendsAreas
Mix: friendsareas


Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail / e-transfers )Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year). Please donate by paypal or by using e-transfers Please and thank you! Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated. Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

Donations can be made through Paypal, Canada Helps, Contact Donate A Car Canada, SARCAN Drop & Go 106100594 for the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.

United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

“Be like a tree in pursuit of your cause. Stand firm, grip hard, thrust upward. Bend to the winds of heaven..”

Richard St. Barbe Baker

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Author: stbarbebaker

This website is about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area - an urban regional park of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The hosts are the stewards of the afforestation area. The afforestation area received its name in honour of the great humanitarian, Richard St. Barbe Baker. Richard St. Barbe Baker (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) was an English forester, environmental activist and author, who contributed greatly to worldwide reforestation efforts. As a leader, he founded an organization, Men of the Trees, still active today, whose many chapters carry out reforestation internationally. {Wikipedia} Email is StBarbeBaker AT to reach the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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