Tony Awarded Order of Australia

Australian agronomist Tony Rinaudo has gained global recognition as ‘The Forest Maker’, through his Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) method. Since 1983, Tony has demonstrated on a grand scale how drylands can be regreened at minimal cost, providing a solution to address extreme deforestation and desertification across the Sahel region of Africa.  With a simple set of management, regeneration and protection practises, Tony has helped improve the livelihoods of millions of the world’s poorest farmers.    

Order of Australia 

We are immensely proud to announce Tony has recently been appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia, published in the Australia Day Honours List on 26th January 2019. This highly prestigious award recognises Tony as an outstanding Australian, who has made a significant contribution to conservation as a pioneer in international reforestation programs. This recognition acknowledges his efforts in creating much more than an agricultural technique, but rather inspiring a farmer-led movement to regreen and restore the productivity of degraded land across the Sahel and in other regions around the world. This well-deserved award provides further visibility to Tony’s achievements, and elevates him as a role model for all Australians.   

 Outstanding Practises in Agroecology Award 

The past 6 months has been an exciting period, with Tony and his work receiving a series of international awards and prizes.  Only a few weeks ago, the World Future Council officially recognised Tony’s FMNR approach with an ‘Outstanding Practises in Agroecology 2019 award, which highlights outstanding practises advancing the transition towards agroecology in the global South. The award was presented to FMNR in late January 2019 – the practice having been selected by internationally renowned experts from 77 nominations in 44 countries. Shantanu Mathur, one of the experts on the World Future Council panel, highlighted the important global contribution of the selected projects and practises saying, 

 “These 15 Outstanding Practises in Agroecology 2019 are exemplary in that they empower small-scale food producers, nurture sustainable food systems and promote resilient agricultural practises. I proudly served on the jury of this recognition and call all decision-makers to learn from these unique initiatives” – Lead Adviser, Global Engagement and Multilateral Relations Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

 Of the 15 selected practices, FMNR was the only practice to be nominated for world-wide application. 

 The Right Livelihood Award 

The triumphs continue, with Tony additionally being awarded the globally renowned ‘The Right Livelihood Award’ in Stockholm in late November 2018, which has widely become known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. We are extremely proud of Tony for being honoured as a global trailblazer, offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of poverty. Tony is one of 4 Laureates presented with the award for 2018, joining the ranks of 174 Laureates awarded from 70 countries since 1980.  

 Words from Tony 

Tony is honoured to receive these recognitions and feels privileged to represent the work of millions of poor small holder farmers and hundreds of World Vision Colleagues. He expresses humility and wishes to highlight the simplicity of the technique and its applicability across the globe:  

The awards recognise the significance of this simple technique. Bill Mollison said that the solutions to the world’s problems are embarrassingly simple. It is my hope that this increased attention will shine a spotlight onto FMNR at this critical point in history when we have very few years left to halt climate change, there is massive biodiversity loss, 40% of the world’s soils are degraded and people can no longer make a dignified living off the land, contributing to increased migration and conflict, and hope in many quarters has become a scarce commodity.” 

 Tony wishes to encourage people to do whatever it is within their ability to make a difference, no matter how small it seems.