Sarah Toumi

2016 Young Laureate, Environment
France, Tunisia, Born 1987

Project Goal

Combat desertification and reduce poverty among farmers in Tunisia 

Location: Tunisia

"Within 10 years rich farmers became worse off, and in 10 years from now they will be poor. I wanted to stop the desert in its tracks.”

As a girl Sarah Toumi dreamed of changing the world: today she is working towards it, by driving back the Sahara Desert with a sustainable army of hardy trees. Visiting her father’s homeland, Tunisia, Toumi quickly realized that farming methods had to change. In 2012, she founded Acacias for All, to spread the adoption of these tough but valuable trees as a barrier against the encroaching desert and salinization. Today, her botanical army consists of 20 kinds of trees, plus vegetables and medicinal plants, which are putting new income into poor farmers’ pockets, as well as reclaiming the “sandscape”. She plans to plant a million trees by 2018, regreen 50,000 hectares of lost land, and spread her message to Algeria and Morocco.


Acacia trees planted on 20 pilot farms in 2016

3 million

Acacia trees needed to protect Tunisia’s arable spaces

Other 2016 Young Laureates