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The Great Green Wall


Source: "Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel initiative," a publication produced by the African Union Commission, European Union Delegation to the Africa Union Commission, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD

From the initial idea of a line of trees that crosses African deserts from east to west, the vision for a Great Green Wall has evolved into that of a mosaic of interventions that address challenges faced by the people of the Sahel and Sahara. The goal of the Great Green Wall initiative is to strengthen the resilience of the region’s natural systems through sound ecosystem management, sustainable development of land resources, protection of rural heritage and improvement of living conditions for local populations.

The first step was taken with the development of a harmonized strategy under a €1.75 million African Union project launched in September 2011.

The strategy has set the following main objectives:

  • Improve living conditions for people in the arid zones of Africa and reduce their vulnerability to climate change, climate variability and drought.
  • Improve the state and health of ecosystems in the arid zones of Africa and their resilience to climate change, climate variability and drought.
  • Mobilize resources for the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative through the establishment of efficient partnerships between national and international stakeholders. Supported by the European Union (EU), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO ) and the Global Mechanism (GM-UNCCD), the African Union Commission works with thirteen countries and various partners to develop national action plans and project portfolios at country and trans-boundary levels, connecting multiple stakeholders.

The partner countries are: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan.

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