The second poorest nation in the world, Niger faces a host of complex development issues.
Located at the southern edge of the Sahara desert, Niger’s overwhelmingly rural and agrarian population confronts frequent droughts and chronic food insecurity.
These factors have also led to a rise in land-use and natural resource-based conflicts, which successive governments have attempted to address since the country gained independence from France in 1960.
Under the French colonial government, all trees were State property, and farmers who felled or pruned trees, or sold tree products, could be fined or even imprisoned. Beginning in the 1990s, new laws and regulations strengthened local people's rights to benefit from trees. This inspired farmers to re-grow trees and other natural vegetation on their farms, which revitalized depleted soil and brought economic benefits to millions of people.
Niger’s Constitution asserts the right of all individuals to own property, and protects a variety of land-use rights.