AU pleas donors to sustain Greet Green Wall program

AU pleas donors to sustain Greet Green Wall program

Environment

The Africa Union Commission (AUC) urges international development partners of the continent to finance its Greet Green Wall program, which aims to restore one billion hectares of African forest by 2063 with a total investment of some $200 billion.


“We need some $200 billion dollars to fully realize the whole program,” said, Elivis P. Tangem, Great Green Wall program coordinator at AUC, urging development partners of Africa to finance the comprehensive program.



The Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative is a pan-African initiative launched in 2007 by the African Union (AU) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The program targets to grow an 8,000km-long line of trees and plants across the entire Sahel, from Atlantic coast of Senegal to the east coast of Djibouti in order to; reverse land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara region, boost food security and support local communities to adapt to climate change.

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, the Gambia and Tunisia were involved at the beginning of the initiative, which is now one of the Agenda 2063 programs.

Speaking at the Africa Union in Addis Ababa on Tuesday at the event organized to update the media and member states about the Great Green Wall program, Mr. Tangem noted that the program involves agriculture, forestry and aims to create some 20 million jobs and cutting huge chunk of carbon emission into the environment.  Currently much of the finance for the program is coming from the member states.

Stating that the effect of the proper implementation has been attracting the attention of other countries and regions outside Africa, Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission, noted that the ambitious African Great Green Wall program should be supplemented with investments on renewable energy.

“We see efforts to invest in renewable energy initiatives, which create opportunities for the rural people not to depend on wood-based sources of energy, provides opportunities to reduce pressure on the forest,” he said, calling for expansion of investments in hydropower and salary energy in Africa.

“With regards to the balance between planting trees and harvesting, that is always an issue and it will be better to have a net gain. Definitely we cannot stop utilization of forests. We need to plant more than we cut I order to increase the net gain. It is not a question of stopping utilization of wood products; it is a matter of ensuring that the amount of tree we cut should be replaced through aggressive planting,” the Director said.

The initiative, which is now a program, aims to restore one billion hectares of forest and combat desertification from the Sahel, Horn of Africa, among others. So far the initiative has achieved 15%,
according to Mr. Tangem. Though began with 21 Africa countries, the program currently 36 African countries. Of the total program target, 15% implemented, according to Mr. Tangem.

The Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative is a pan-African initiative launched in 2007 by the African Union (AU) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The program targets to grow an 8,000km-long line of trees and plants across the entire Sahel, from Atlantic coast of Senegal to the east coast of Djibouti in order to; reverse land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara region, boost food security and support local communities to adapt to climate change.

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, the Gambia and Tunisia were involved at the beginning of the initiative, which is now one of the Agenda 2063 programs.