Launch of the Report on The Great Green Wall: Implementation Status and Way Ahead to 2030
By Climatekos gGmbH
The Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative is an African response to the challenges of desertification, land degradation and climate change. Endorsed by the African Union in 2017, the initiative unites African countries and international partners to help transform the lives of millions of people by growing an 8,000 km long and 15 km wide mosaic of trees, grasslands, vegetation and plants along the southern tip of the Saharan desert.
On behalf of the UNCCD, Climatekos gGmbH drew up the Great Green Wall Implementation Status and Way Ahead to 2030 report. The first comprehensive status assessment of the Great Green Wall (GGW), the report was released at a virtual ministerial meeting held Monday, 7 September 2020 to review achievements and agree on the next steps. The event brought together environmental ministers from Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti with international organizations and development agencies.
The report provides an overview of the progress made on the ground, financial resources allocated to the Initiative and recommendations to achieve the 2030 targets based on the information and data collected from individual countries, NGOs, stakeholders and organizations that are part of the GGW initiative.
All together countries reported that, close to 20 million hectares of land was restored and around USD 90 million in revenues was generated from 2007 to 2018 through GGW activities. The Initiative also resulted in a series of environmental and socio-economic benefits, including many job opportunities for rural people and helped reduce poverty through income-generating activities. More precisely, over 350,000 jobs were created and approximately 220,000 people received training on sustainable production of agro-pastoral and non-timber products to support the shift to more responsible consumption and production. Finally, the restored area will sequester over 300 MtCO2 by 2030.
These encouraging results demonstrate the willingness and ambition of GGW countries and partners to reach the 2030 targets, bringing them one step closer to the 100 Mha of restored lands. In that respect, GGW countries need to raise the current pace of land restoration to an average of 8.2 million hectares of land every year, for which costs were estimated between USD 3.6 billion and USD 4.3 billion per year - bearing in mind that the lack of financial resources was one of the main challenges reported by most of GGW countries.
Speaking after the press briefing held prior to the ministerial meeting, Louis Perroy, Managing Director at Climatekos gGmbH, said: “The event brings together key actors and elements engaged to consider, consolidate and further catalyse the growing, green investment framework - where we have been, where we are heading, and how we are going to get there. The results achieved so far are promising. However, reaching the 2030 targets will not solely depend on the financial resources made available to GGW countries since GGW governance and institutional mechanisms need to be improved in order to accelerate and scale up project generation as the report showed”. He concluded by saying: “Finally, the establishment of an integrated MRV system is essential to support adequate reporting, complemented by improved knowledge and information sharing, whilst ensuring that the financial resources are allocated in a transparent and efficient manner”.