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BURKINA FASO: GGWSSI launches “Great Green Wall” award for journalists

The African Union (AU) Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) has recently launched the Great Green Wall Award in Burkina Faso for the promotion and sustainable management of land. It is intended to reward the work of media professionals. They must submit their productions (entries) before June 19, 2020.

Journalists working in the operational areas of the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and the Sahel (the Central Plateau, Centre-North, Sahel and East regions) in Burkina Faso are eligible for an award. It is the “Great Green Wall” award. The competition that has been launched aims to encourage media professionals who contribute to sustainable land management through their journalistic productions.

The Great Green Wall Award is open to journalists and broadcasters working in print, online, radio and television media. “For this first edition, the competition will concern works published between June 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020. The submission of works is scheduled from the 1st to the 19th of June 2020”, explains Adama Doulkom, the national coordinator of the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and the Sahel (GGWSSI) in Burkina Faso.

The “Great Green Wall” award is in line with the actions carried out by the GGWSSI since 2007. These actions concern the fight against desertification, land degradation, drought, climate change and biodiversity loss.

Some actions of the GGWSSI

The Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and the Sahel organised a training workshop from March 4 to 6, 2020 in Koudougou, a town in the province of Boulkiemdé in Burkina Faso, for about 30 journalists working in its areas of intervention in the country. The media men were interviewed on the results achieved in the field by the GGWSSI on issues of desertification and sustainable land management. Some of the consequences of these natural phenomena were mentioned, in particular the loss of biological diversity, the increase in the area of arid and semi-arid lands, the drop in rainfall, the rise in temperatures, the degradation of the agronomic quality of the soil and the increase in evaporation from water bodies.

Within the framework of this training, one of the solutions recommended by the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and the Sahel to counter these natural phenomena is sustainable land management. “One of the solutions is to better treat the land so that it can be used for rational use and sustainable production. Sustainable land management is a tool that the Great Green Wall is trying to deploy throughout its area of intervention to help producers make better use of the land in a more eco-friendly way,” says Roch Pananditigri, the GGWSSI monitoring and evaluation officer.

Several climate change mitigation and adaptation practises have been suggested as a result. They are: soil development and management (zaï, half-moons, mulching, improved fallow, etc.), agroforestry (controlled land clearing, shepherding, reforestation…) and water management.

According to the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and the Sahel, Burkina Faso has suffered almost five decades of severe and recurrent droughts. The phenomenon has had disastrous impacts on the country’s ecosystems. Today, 34% of the territory, or 9,234,500 hectares of production land, is affected.(Ines Magoum)

Further reading on Great Green Wall from UNCCD Library

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