The Great Green Wall is taking root in Africa’s Sahel region, at the southern edge of the Sahara desert and on the very frontline of climate change. Today, 80% of land is degraded in a region where temperatures are rising 1.5 times faster than global averages and are expected to soar by as much as 5 degrees by the end of the century. Moreover, climate change and desertification act as threat multipliers, contributing to a host of unfolding crises in the region, including:
- Food insecurity: 33 million people are currently classified as food insecure in the Sahel.
- Unemployment: Land degradation is depriving people of livelihoods in a region where 80% of people are employed by the agriculture sector.
- Migration: As many as 85 million people are expected to embark on a mass exodus from the Continent by 2050.
- Conflict: Age-old tensions between farming and herding communities are intensifying because of climate change as the availability of usable land diminishes and water sources become less reliable.
Launched in 2007, the Great Green Wall was originally envisaged as an afforestation program that has become an increasingly more holistic and systemic mission to address highly interrelated environmental, social, and development issues.
An original core of 11 countries comprise the burgeoning Wall: Burkina Faso; Chad; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; and Sudan.
In recent years, the Wall has also inspired other African ‘branches’, with the aim of regreening the continent - one growing along the northern rim of the continent, and the other growing south, deep into the drylands beyond the savannahs.
Learn more about the Great Green Wall at www.greatgreenwall.org