Stronger partnerships, sound national policies, more funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation, research, community involvement and sensitization are key to realizing the goals of the Great Green Wall initiative in Africa.
The initiative, a pan-African proposal to “green” the continent from West to East intends to fight desertification. The project, which began five years ago, aims to tackle poverty and degradation of soils in the Sahel-Saharan region, on the 8,000-kilometre-long strip of land stretching from Dakar to Djibouti.
Speakers at COP21 during the debate on the initiative noted that urgent measures must be put in place to reverse desertification and save human life as those living in the Saharan-Sahelian region are among the poorest and most vulnerable to climatic variability and land degradation.
“The livelihoods of 100 million people are in danger. We are aware that due to heat and drought, 40 million Africans from this region migrate to North Africa and later to Europe. Some die during the long journeys. We should solve this problem,” said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.
Adesina singled out agriculture as a key component of changing the livelihoods of millions in the region together with other initiatives.
“There is a correlation between the effects of climate change – like the shrinking of Lake Chad, which was 25,000 square kilometres in 1967 but is now less than 2,500 – and the loss of livelihoods, radicalization, terrorism, forced migration, insecurity, poverty and deaths,” Adesina said.
He announced that AfDB has released US $12 billion and will mobilise an additional US $50 billion to provide clean energy in Africa including in the Sahara-Sahel region.
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