What is this Wall all about?

 

Sorry, no images of the progress of the GGW available (W. Van Cotthem)

Africa: Battle of the Desert (II) – A ‘Great Green Wall for Africa’

By Baher Kamal

Desertification, land degradation, drought, climate change, food insecurity, poverty, loss of biodiversity, forced migration and conflicts, are some of the key challenges facing Africa–a giant continent home to 1,2 billion people living in 54 countries.

And they are huge challenges indeed, in particular affecting Africa’s vulnerable drylands. Just think that the drylands of North Africa, Sahel and Horn of Africa extend over 1.6 billion hectares home to about 500 million people, i.e. slightly less than half of the entire population of the continent.

Such rapidly deteriorating situation, which has been exacerbated by climate change and its growing impact, has mobilised more than 20 African countries around the Sahara (North, East and West), international organisations, research institutes, civil society and grassroots organisations, to build together what has been called: The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) or simply Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW).

On this, Nora Berrahmouni, Forestry Officer (Drylands) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), tells IPS in an interview that the GGW core area (focus area for intervention identified) is about 780 million hectares.

What is this Wall all about? “Africa’s Great Green Wall, the so-called “Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI)” is a Pan African initiative, established and endorsed by the African Union in 2007 and it is Africa’s flagship initiative to combat the effects of climate change, desertification, food insecurity and poverty.”

Read the full article: allAfrica

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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