Development banks and states have pledged a total of $14.32 billion over the next four years to build a “Great Green Wall” to help contain desertification in Africa’s northern Sahel region.
Donors pledge $14 billion for Africa’s ‘Great Green Wall’
Donors pledge $14 bln for ‘Green Wall’ to hold back Sahara Development banks and states have pledged a total of $14.32 billion over the next four years to build a “Great Green Wall” to help contain desertification in Africa’s northern Sahel region, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday 11 January. — Reuters
The future of the Sahel region depends on the Great Green Wall
Speaking at an international biodiversity summit in Paris that his government is hosting, Macron said the pledges had exceeded the initial target of $10 billion.
Creeping desertification of land on the edges of the Sahara desert that used to be productive is plunging people into desperate poverty and driving some to migrate.
The project covers a strip of land stretching 8,000 km (5,000 miles) from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Trees and grasslands will be planted, and projects launched to create sustainable ecosystems, supporters of the initiative say.
“That’s 100 million hectares restored, 10 million jobs created, 250 million tonnes of carbon captured,” Macron said at the summit at the Elysee Palace, home of the French presidential administration.
The African Bank for Development (AfDB) said over 5 years it would mobilise $6.5 billion of the $14.32 billion pledged for the project.
“The future of the Sahel region depends on the Great Green Wall,” said AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina. “Without the Great Green Wall, the Sahel region as we know it may disappear.”
HOW THE GREAT GREEN WALL IS TAKING ROOT ACROSS AFRICA
The Great Green Wall is literally taking root in the Sahel region, at the southern edge of the Sahara desert — one of the poorest places on the planet. More than anywhere else on Earth, the Sahel is on the frontline of climate change and millions of locals are already facing its devastating impact.
Persistent droughts, lack of food, conflicts over fewer natural resources, and mass migration to Europe are some of the many consequences.
Yet, local people from Senegal in the West to Djibouti in the East are fighting back. Since the birth of the Great Green Wall initiative in 2007, life has started coming back to the land, bringing with it greater food security, jobs and stability to people’s lives.
The Great Green Wall isn’t just for the Sahel, say those behind the project. It is global symbol for humanity overcoming its biggest threat – our changing environment.
They say it shows that if we can work with nature, even in challenging places like in the Sahel, we can overcome adversity, and build a better world for generations to come.
More than growing trees and plants, the Great Green Wall is already transforming the lives of millions of people in the Sahel region.
STAGGERING STATISTICS AND KNOWN BENEFITS OF THE GREAT GREEN WALL
- At nine miles wide and 4,750 miles long, the vision for the project is as ambitious as it is necessary.
- So far, only 330 miles of greenery stands guard in Northern Senegal, and costing the Sengalese government over $6 million since the start of digging in 2008.
- International organisations have pledged over $3 billion to the monumental defense system.
- Leaders point out that the Great Green Wall is about more than just protection from windblown sand. The project will bring thousands of jobs to impoverished communities, and has already transformed otherwise unusable land into gardens scattered with tree nurseries.
- The influx of tourists, scientists, and medical professionals has also brought attention and resources to a neglected region in which aid is scarce and doctors are not readily available for the needy populations.
TAKE ACTION! JOIN THE GREAT GREEN WALL MOVEMENT!
Growing an 8000km world wonder across Africa is not a foregone conclusion. 10 million hectares of degraded land need to be restored every year from now until 2030. We need collective action from global citizens around the world to help power this urgent movement, and create a unique and lasting legacy for all humanity.