The initiative aims to reduce deforestation, land degradation and food insecurity in the Mopti district of Mali and will benefit almost 28,000 people in 29 villages, said the foundation, which was set up 89 years ago.
It is regreening land with partner group Sahel Eco and the Big Lottery Fund grant of £476,000 runs for four years. The federation will provide £50,000 to the initiative in the west African country where French troops are currently fighting Islamic rebels.
International Tree Foundation chairman Mike Turnbull said: "Big’s decision to support this project is a great endorsement of our work – particularly in view of the recent instability from which Mali is hopefully beginning to emerge."
The International Tree Foundation plants trees and protects and regenerates forests, and was founded in 1924 by Dr Richard St Barbe Baker.