Great Green Wall gets go ahead

Jeremy Hance
February 28, 2011

Spanning the entire continent of Africa, including 11 nations, the Great Green Wall (GGW) is an ambitious plan to halt desertification at the Sahara's southern fringe by employing the low-tech solution of tree planting. While the Great Green Wall was first proposed in the 1980s, the grand eco-scheme is closer to becoming a reality after being approved at an international summit last week in Germany as reported by the Guardian.

The Global Environment Facility has pledged $115 million, while other development organizations have put forward promises that could equal up to $3 billion. Proponents of the massive project say it is as much about mitigating poverty in the region as it is about environmental protection. The forest, with a planned width around 9 miles (15 kilometers), would provide food products and protect water sources.

"In its current design, GGW is much more than its name or its trajectory suggest. Its aim is to ensure the planting and integrated development of economically interesting drought-tolerant plant species, water retention ponds, agricultural production systems and other income-generating activities, as well as basic social infrastructures," Richard Escadafal, chair of the French Scientific Committee on Desertification, told the Guardian.

From east to west, the Great Green Wall will pass through Dijibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (February 28, 2011).

Great Green Wall gets go ahead.