Green Wall to restore 100mn hectares of African land


The Great Green Wall, an Africa-led initiative against desertification, has announced bold targets to restore 100 million hectares of land and create 10 million green jobs across the Sahel region by 2030.

Partners of the Initiative announced the targets in a communique issued after a high-level breakfast meeting held on the sidelines of the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP 14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in New Delhi, India.

Co­-chaired by UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina Mohammed, and Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, the event was facilitated by UNCCD in collaboration with the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW).

The partners raised concerns that 65 per cent of land on the African continent was still degraded and called for the initiative’s swift upscaling and acceleration to further advance social cohesion, climate action and economic development via a transformative ecological corridor that supports millions of lives.

The communique said that the large-scale landscape restoration of 100 million hectares of degraded land across 13 participating countries would help transform the lives of those living on the frontline of climate change and desertification.

It said that the creation of 10 million green jobs through sustainable value chains would also connect local producers to lucrative global markets

The project would also help in the promotion of clean energy, powering communities along the Wall to a brighter future and creating local economies that ensure land remains productive, it said.

The partners also agreed to adopt a more innovative approach and robust coordination mechanism required for real transformation and resource mobilisation, leveraging the region’s assets and the opportunities offered by the youth and women as the main drivers of change.

It noted that the upcoming UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23 in New York would be crucial in further galvanising support to advance affirmative action for the Great Green Wall by 2030 and inspire a global restoration movement.

Participants in attendance included the African Union Commission, Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall, ministers from countries participating in the Pan African Agency for the Great Green Wall Initiative, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Heads of COP Delegation from UNCCD parties and the UN system.

Nigeria is a key participant in the Great Green Wall for Sahara and Sahel region, an Africa-led initiative against desertification launched in 2007 by the African Union to restore the continent’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives.

Once completed, the 8,000-kilometre-long wall and natural wonder of the world, stretching across the entire width of over 20 countries in the continent, would be the largest living structure on the planet.

Over $8 billion have been mobilised and pledged in its support by African countries and international partners under the leadership of the African Union Commission and Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall.