Stakeholders urge governments to step up great green wall projects
Stakeholders have advised that projects aimed at greening desert areas should be carried out at continental, national and regional levels.
They made the call at Regional Steering Committee Meeting of Great Green Wall for Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI), in Abuja and said the tempo for desertification projects (2014 -2019) should be stepped up.
To them, this would improve state productivity investments of landscapes for resilient livelihoods of African farmers, and attract both private and public investors to utilize Green Climate Fund.
Dennis Garrity of partnership to create evergreen agriculture maintained that governments should look into opportunities that are abound in dry land business, and invest on the sector.
He disclosed, over 23 countries have shown commitment to restoration of 28.9 million hectares of land, which means Africa continent would recover 100 million hectares of deforested and degraded 2030.
Garrity therefore cited 500,000 hectares recently ever greened on the Seno plains by Mali government, adding, 17 countries are now adopting the project as well as plant trees on fields and farm boundaries.
Pne of the speakers, Razingrim Ouedraogo of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) told participants that six commissions are in place, each working on a specific issue of nature to proffer solutions.
He explained, “ We believe that there are great opportunities of initiatives in terms of strengthening people resilience in arid and semi-arid areas of Africa, and contribute to sustainable development.
On his part, Jerry Lemogo of Global Mechanism of UNCCD, said they want to handle issue of local capacities to design and implement development plans as well as integrate all sustainable land management.
Apart from this, he said, “We hope to address communities’ livelihoods on food security issue through land based rehabilitation and income generating activities in Africa.”
“The fund has a target-size of $300 million and would bring under the same roof public and private investors. With this development.”
Lemogo also said they have planned to focus on capacity building at projects sites in participating countries, adding, this is to ensure timely completion within the stipulated period.
The Director General of NAGGW, Goni Ahmed,, regretted that the Northern part is directly threatened by land degradation, food insecurity, abject poverty, forced migration, which have resulted into insurgency.
The GGWSSI was launched in 2008 by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and African Union (AU). Its goal is to reverse land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara, boost food security and support local communities to adapt to climate change.
The objective of the initiative is to grow an 8,000km-long line of trees and plants across the entire Sahel, from the Atlantic coast of Senegal to the east coast of Djibouti – halting desertification and creating a huge swathe of green across the entire African continent, by 12 African nations.
By 2030, the expectation of the new phase of the initiative is to restore 50 million hectares of land; sequester 250 million tons of carbon; support 300 million people in communities across the Sahel and provide access for 10 million smallholder farmers to climate resilient agricultural technologies.
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