Several Southern African countries are dealing with the effects of flooding following heavy rains over much of the region in the past week.
“The Great Green Wall (GGW) project, originally proposed by Burkina Faso’s Marxist leader Thomas Sankara in the 1980s, was later resurrected by former Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo in 2005 before receiving approval by the African Union in December 2006. In June 2010, 11 countries involved signed a convention in Chad to further the development of the project, but the plan remained on standby until February when it was officially approved at an international summit in Bonn, Germany.”
The plan entails each country implementing its own land, water and vegetation-management projects on up to two million hectares of land, under the framework of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Monique Barbut, CEO of the GEF, said in a statement it would not fund ‘an all-out tree-funding drive from Dakar to Djibouti,’ but rather, would allocate the funding according to national priorities, which have yet to be finalized. In a paper adopted by the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) in 2008, alleviating poverty is said to be one of the wall’s principal objectives.
The paper outlines national and regional objectives, including consolidating and expanding existing greenbelts of trees, conserving biodiversity, restoring and conserving soil and promoting income-generating activities, as well as carbon capture and storage of 0.5-3.1 million tons of carbon per year.”