The Great Green Wall in Northern Nigeria

Photo credit: WVC 2007-11

Tree nursery in Tindouf (S.W. Algeria)

Seedlings grown in plastic bottles to get a 100% survival rate

Entrenching a Sustainable Green Economy


Given the commitment by the federal government to expedite action in implementing the Great Green Wall Project (GGWP) agreement, Paul Obi writes on the importance of the project and its potential in promoting the new drive for a sustainable green economy

Experts believe that with the devastation in the ecosystem in the northern part of the country, afforestation and tree planting remain the most strategic approaches to shield the environment from degradation.
And after several waits for a practical solution to desert encroachment, the federal government appears to have found the answer to the problem.
Thus, the Great Green Wall Project (GGWP), an initiative of the African Union (AU) has come to the rescue. With Nigeria at the forefront of the project, states in Sahel and Savanna stand to benefit also.

Tree saplings grown in plastic bottles in the Tindouf nursery (S.W. Algeria) - Photo WVC 2007-11
Tree saplings grown in plastic bottles in the Tindouf nursery (S.W. Algeria) – Photo WVC 2007-11

The Green Wall

Championed by the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Great Green Wall Project (GGWP) provides a template that re-fixes Nigeria’s push for a sustainable green economy.

Beside the planting of trees, 11 states in the North-east and North-west would benefit from provision of infrastructure, job opportunities, empowerment of rural farmers and assistance to communities to improve their farming and agricultural activities. The states to benefit are Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Katsina, Adamawa and Zamfara.

While the project seems to focus on protection of the environment, the multiplier effects are beyond mitigation of the ecosystem. According to officials, the Great Green Wall Project aims to tackle not just environmental degradation, but also confront the challenges that often encourage citizens to engage in activities that degrade the environment. The core component of the project is also to cater for the wellbeing of Nigerians deeply affected in the region by desertification.

Attached Benefits

Speaking on the potentials of the project, Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam stressed that the project will provide shelter for the communities and also create an ozone-friendly environment in the selected states.

To that effect, the GGWP is expected to create 5,000 jobs in each of the 11 states; with such jobs ranging from tree planting, forest guards and citizens selling vegetables.

Read the full article: THIS DAY LIVE

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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

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