Latest news of the Great green wall of Africa

With over 1,300 articles published here so far, it is sometimes hard to keep up with old topics. So for today’s post I would like to present you an update of the Great green wall of Africa

Back to 2010 I was writing that several African countries are willing to stop the Sahara desert to keep its southward expansion by planting millions of trees on almost 8,000 km (4,300 miles)

It seems the project is gaining speed as it received almost two billion dollars from the World Bank and as Senegal already planted more than 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres)

The Ecologist got an interesting article on that. Here are some extracts :

 Senegal is one of 11 countries in the Sahel region of Africa looking towards the same solution to the desertification problem: The Great Green Wall. The goal of the project is to plant a wall of trees, 4,300 miles long and 9 miles wide, across the African continent, from Senegal to Djibouti.

(…) African leaders hope the trees will trap the sands of the Sahara and halt the advance of the desert.wo million trees are planted in Senegal each year; but all of them must be planted during the short rainy season. Laborers plant acacia saplings in the sand along with animal manure for fertilizer. Sarr points to a three feet tall tree. “This one is Acacia nilotica. It produces Arabic gum used in local medicine and a fruit that can be eaten by animals.”

(…) Everyone involved in the Great Green Wall agrees that the end goal is to help rural communities. But opinions vary on how the project will best manage to do that. African leaders envision the Great Green Wall as a literal wall of trees to keep back the desert. But scientists and development agencies see it more as a metaphorical ‘wall,’ a mosaic of different projects to alleviate poverty and improve degraded lands.

(….) The Great Green Wall has received a total of 1.8 billion dollars from the World Bank and another 108 million dollars from the Global Environment Facility. Jean- Marc Sinnassamy is a program officer with the Global Environment Facility. “We do not finance a tree planting initiative,” he says, “it’s more related to agriculture, rural development, food security and sustainable land management than planting trees.”

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