The Great Green Wall initiative (2007-


Photo credit: GEF

The Great Green Wall initiative is a pan-African proposal to “green” the continent from west to east in order to battle desertification.  It aims at tackling poverty and the degradation of soils in the Sahel-Saharan region, focusing on a strip of land of 15 km (9 mi) wide and 7,100 km (4,400 mi) long from Dakar to Djibouti.

Populations in Sahelian Africa are among the poorest and most vulnerable to climatic variability and land degradation.  They depend heavily on healthy ecosystems for rainfed agriculture, fisheries, and livestock management to sustain their livelihoods.  These constitute the primary sectors of employment in the region and generate at least 40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in most of the countries.  Additionally, the ecosystem provides much needed livelihood products, such as fuelwood and bushmeat.  Unfortunately, increasing population pressures on food, fodder, and fuelwood in a vulnerable environment have deteriorating impacts on natural resources, notably vegetation cover.  Climate variability along with frequent droughts and poorly managed land and water resources have caused rivers and lakes to dry up and contribute to increased soil erosion.

The vision of a great green wall to combat ecological degradation was conceived in 2005 by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and the idea was strongly supported by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. The vision evolved into an integrated ecosystem management approach in January 2007, when the African Union adopted declaration 137 VIII, approving the “Decision on the Implementation of the Green Wall for the Sahara Initiative”. In June 2010, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan signed a convention in Ndjamena, Chad, to create the Great Green Wall (GGW) Agency and nominate a secretary to further develop the initiative.

Read the full article : GEF

Phenomenal GGW achievements in Nigeria


Photo credit Google:

Growing vegetables on a patch of cleared forest, Nigeria. The forest will be allowed to regenerate. (Source: M. Edwards/Still Pictures)

Desertification: GGW Trains 5000 Farmers In Forestry, Natural Regeneration

As part of efforts to mitigate desertification, the National Great Green Wall Agency of Nigeria has trained over 5000 farmers in the north, in forestry and natural regeneration.

The Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, who stated this yesterday, at the Regional Technical Workshop on Restoration, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in Abuja, said the GGW programme pay particular attention to local community participation and ownership which he said are central to planning, implementation and management of the projects.

According to him, over 500 unemployed youths have also been trained and engaged as forest guards in communities where the GGW projects are ongoing.

The minister further stated that aside tree planting, the programme has also helped improved the well-being and livelihood of inhabitants of these communities with the provision of some amenities like wind powered boreholes, skill acquisition centres, shelterbelt and others.

“Since 2013 when the GGW programme implementation commenced in Nigeria, numerous initiatives have been implemented and these have started impacting positively on the affected communities in the drylands of the country.

“We have been able to accomplish, among others, within this short period of time the following: establishment of 415km shelterbelt; 135ha community woodlot; 235ha community orchard; and 138ha community vegetable garden.


Read the story: Leadership

Extensive debate about another desertification agency in Nigeria

Desertification and the Great Green Wall: Who is who ?


Nigeria: Rumbles Over Plan to Create Desertification Agency


In spite of the uproar and dissenting voices raised against a plan to establish another desertification agency in the country, members of the House of Representatives are fast-tracking a process that will lead to the establishment of another agency of government charged with the responsibility of desertification, erosion and flood.

A cross section of stakeholders who spoke to Daily Trust on the move said it would lead to duplication of agencies, a situation the present administration is working hard to reduce.

The lower chamber, on December 16, debated extensively and subsequently passed into second reading a bill towards the establishment of the agency.

Read the full article: allAfrica

A $2 billion project – In 2007 = 7.775 km to go – In 2015= 150 km done. About 273.000.000 results on Google. And now?



African countries are building a “Great Green Wall” to beat back the Sahara desert

Eleven African countries are moving ahead with an ambitious pan-African effort in the Sahel-Saharan region of the continent to protect arable land from the encroaching Sahara desert—by planting trees.

The countries—Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal—came together in 2007 to execute the $2 billion dollar project to arrest the creeping desertification in the region. The 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide and 7,775 kilometers (4,831 miles) long tree wall will stretch all the way from Senegal in west Africa to Djibouti in the east.

Desertification is a growing problem in sub-Saharan Africa. Estimates suggest that 40% of the region’s land has been impacted, exposing over 500 million people to devastating shifts in their environment and general livelihoods. These have included land erosion and decreasing rains that have subsequently crippled agriculture, exposed communities to health risks that come with increasing sandstorms and food shortages. The resulting insecurity has also contributed to the rise in extremism in parts of West Africa, some analysts contend.

The original idea for the tree wall was first proposed by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005 and the African Union took it up in 2007. The World Bank helped co-finance it and the UN has been a supporter. At the recently concluded climate change summit in Paris, French president François Hollande promised that his government will offer up to €1 billion a year by 2020 to the anti-desertification effort, including the Green Wall project.

Read the full article: Quartz Africa

The Great Green Wall in Algeria

Photo credit: Planet@risk

Localization of the Green Dam in Algeria

The Green Dam in Algeria as a tool to combat desertification

by SAIFI, Merdas, BOULGHOBRA, Nouar, FATTOUM, Lakhdari

Abstract — Desertification is a major risk that threatens the arid and semi arid regions throughout the globe. With continued population growth, desertification exacerbates while natural areas regress as a result of rapid urbanization, increase of cultivated land areas, overgrazing, and deforestation. This adds to the effects of climate change.

Green Dam reforestation with Aleppo pine in the locality of El Hamel. -
Green Dam reforestation with Aleppo pine in the locality of El Hamel. –

Algeria as many countries is not safe from this risk. Indeed, agronomists and ecologists report that Alfa grass cover has reduced while the quality of the grasslands itself is becoming increasingly degraded. To tackle this serious risk, the Algerian authorities developed the Green Dam project as a massive reforestation program aiming to safeguard and to develop of the pre-Saharan areas.

Read the full article: Planet&risk

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

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