Great Green Wall for Sahara and Sahel - Combat desertification, improving food security and climate change adaptation (29/09/2011)
A €1.75 million African Union project, supported by the European Union and FAO, aiming to address desertification, land degradation and drought in the Sahara and Sahel, was launchedin Addis Ababa on 26 September 2011. This is an initial contribution from the EU to the initiative. More substantial funding is anticipated in the coming years.
The project will develop activities in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Mauritania, Nigeria, the Gambia, Senegal and the Sudan. Other partner countries include Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Mali and Niger which are being supported through a Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) provided by the FAO, which is also the implementing agency for the EU funded project.
The two day meeting was attended by all 13 project focus countries, African Union Commission, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, representative of the Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS), the pan-African Agency for the Great Green Wall, CILSS, Pan-African Farmers Organisation (PAFO), the African Forest Forum (AFF), the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UNCCD, the European Union Delegation to the African Union, the FAO and the World Bank. The meeting was officially opened by the Ethiopian State Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Ato Sileshi Getahun.
During the meeting, governance structure for the project was adopted. Discussion to clarify the roles of countries and partners in the project’s implementation, including ensuring the involvement of the pan-African Great Green Wall Agency in the project and offering an avenue for strengthening collaboration between the agency and the AUC also took place. The work plan for the next 2 years was examined and approved, including planning of the second Africa dry lands week in 2012.
The GGWSSI is not only a tree planting initiative, but it is based on an integrated approach for improved livelihoods, with the purpose to tackle the detrimental social, economic and environmental impact of land degradation and desertification in the Sahara and Sahel region, in particular by supporting local community's efforts in sustainable management and use of natural resources (land, water and vegetation).
The project is developed in the framework of the Africa-EU strategic partnership (under theme 6-Climate change). It will focus on capacity development for the planning and implementation of best practices at local level and international levels, establishing a networking platform for knowledge sharing and technology transfer, developing a harmonized strategy for the Great Green Wall initiative and setting up a platform for partnership and resource mobilization.