Africa’s Great Green Wall (Blogcatalog / Sustainable development and much more)

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Sustainable Development and much more

Africa’s Great Green Wall

I once wrote that China planted a great green wall to stop desertification. It seems some African nations are willing to follow this example in order to stop the Sahara from going South.

Indeed to the BBC : “The Great Green Wall project is backed by the African Union and is aimed at halting the advancing Sahara Desert. The belt would be 15 km (nine miles) wide and 7,775km (4,831 miles) long.

The dozen nations involved in this most ambitious project are lacking the necessary funds, and are calling rich nations for help.

Further to the BBC :

It is envisaged that the belt would go through 11 countries from east to west.

The trees should be “drought-adapted species”, preferably native to the areas planted, the Great Green Wall website says, listing 37 suitable species.

The initiative says it hopes the trees will slow soil erosion; slow wind speeds and help rain water filter into the ground, to stop the desert from growing.

It also says a richer soil content will help communities across the Sahel who depend on land for grazing and agriculture.

TreeHugger gives us further details on this initiative :

The whole project is expected to cost at least $3 million to plant and take two years to complete. Progress has slowed on enacting the plan, first envisioned five years ago, due to a lack on funding and concerns that once planted the Great Green Wall will not be properly maintained.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.