Socio-economic impacts derived from large scale restoration in three Great Green Wall countries
Africa's Great Green Wall initiative is an ambitious effort to promote large-scale land restoration benefiting both people and the environment. The socio-economic impact of large-scale restoration interventions is assessed through household surveys of beneficiary rural communities.
A diachronic evaluation (before and after intervention) is coupled with a synchronic assessment against a control group.
Financial assets show a significant improvement in intervention areas in Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal.
Other assets' improvement is more diversified but overall positive. Africa's Great Green Wall (GGW) is an ambitious initiative that prioritises large-scale restoration as the key approach to combat desertification and improve the livelihoods of rural communities south of the Sahara.
An evaluation of socio-economic impacts was carried out based on household surveys conducted in the intervention areas in Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal between 2016 and 2020. Both diachronic (before and after the implementation) and synchronic (beneficiaries vs. control group) assessments of the socio-economic status of the communities were conducted using a set of indicators derived from the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework.
Results revealed significant improvements in the socio-economic situation of the intervention populations.
Household income improved after the interventions in all three countries, with positive significant differences against the control groups particularly in Nigeria and Senegal.
In addition, perceived food insecurity significantly decreased in 2020 compared to 2016 observations, dropping from 46% to 15% in Senegal and from 69% to 58% in Niger.
This study confirms the dual benefits of land restoration, both increasing vegetation cover and improving the livelihoods of rural communities.
Published in Journal of Rural Studies ; Vol. 87 ; (October 2021), p.160-168