When we talk about global warming, we are in the habit of only considering the damage that could affect the most developed countries, without considering that there are regions on the planet that are even more concerned with these issues:
In recent years, African countries have been suffering from increasing desertification, which is destroying their environmental resources. Fortunately, a new project is trying to save these countries: they call it “the great green wall“.
The Great Green Wall is over 8000 km long
The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with the humble goal of building an 8,000 km long natural wonder across the entire width of Africa.
Already a decade later and around 15% in progress, the initiative is bringing unprecedented life back to the degraded landscapes of Africa, offering food security, jobs and a reason to stay for the millions of people who live on their way.
The wall promises a convincing solution to the many urgent threats to which not only the African continent but the entire world community are exposed – in particular climate change, drought, hunger, conflicts and migration.
Millions of people are working to create the green wonder of the world.
When completed, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure in the world, three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Green Wall takes root in the African Sahel region on the southern edge of the Sahara – one of the poorest places on earth.
The Sahel is at the forefront of climate change more than anywhere else on earth, and millions of locals are already facing the devastating effects.
Persistent droughts, food shortages, conflicts over dwindling natural resources and mass migration to Europe are just a few of the many consequences.
Communities from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east are resisting.
Since the initiative was founded in 2007, life has returned to the country and improved food security, jobs and the stability of people’s lives.
The project was an idea as early as 1952 when Richard St. Barbe Baker, an English environmental activist, suggested planting a significant number of trees in Sub-Saharan Africa to curb desertification in Africa.
The idea was reconsidered at the N’Djamena Summit in Chad in 2002 on the occasion of World Day Against Desertification and Drought and was presented and adopted in 2005 by the Saharawi and Sahara Heads of State and Government in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The program involves the development of an extensive green space (approximately 15 km wide and 8,000 km long) by planting millions of acacias, trees that are drought-resistant because their roots attract water.
The Green Wall has been approved, supported and co-financed by the African, Caribbean and Pacific Republic (ACP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Union.
This is a project of enormous importance, not only because it is a concrete fight against climate change, but also because it shows that humanity can still be united and fight for a common cause.
By 2030, the wall wants to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded soil, bind 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million jobs in rural areas.
Since its launch in 2007, major progress has been made in restoring the fertility of Sahelian lands. Key examples include:
- Ethiopia: 15 million hectares of degraded land restored, land tenure security improved
- Senegal: 11.4 million trees planted, 25 000 hectares of degraded land restored
- Nigeria: 5 million hectares of degraded land restored and 20 000 jobs created
- Sudan: 2,000 hectares of land restored
- Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger: about 120 communities involved, a green belt created over more than 2,500 hectares of degraded and drylands, more than two million seeds and seedlings planted from fifty native species of trees
My comment: I see the GREAT GREEN WALL project as an initiative of optimism, solidarity and determination that captures the zeitgeist of a unique moment and reveals the soul of a new African generation trying to take control of its own destiny.
Future music is not a utopia here, but rather the engine of hopeful people who mercilessly declare war on the destruction of climate change with a green thumb.
My best regards to all, Venus