Fellow Since 2007
This description of Opa Cissokho's work was prepared when Opa Cissokho was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
Opa Cissokho is providing farmers with incentives to be agents in forest conservation. In the Tambacounda region, much of the coal and wood used for household fuel comes from felling trees. Forests are disappearing because of ignorance about the environmental consequences, as well as a lack of natural resource management systems. Opa trains farmers to become agroforest agents and generate additional income from forest products such as Arabic gum. Through this understanding, farmers discover new potential in trees and forests, and in their own economic citizenship. Opa, a native of the area, supports the initiative but it is maintained by local farmers.
The New Idea