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Experts decry Great Green Wall project implementation

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
27 June 2022   |   2:03 am
Experts have expressed worries over the poor implementation process of the Great Green (GGW) project. They lamented that the project was conceived, documented without financial and articulated human resources to concretise...

Delegates at the 8th council meeting of the Ministers of Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) in Abuja

Experts have expressed worries over the poor implementation process of the Great Green (GGW) project. They lamented that the project was conceived, documented without financial and articulated human resources to concretise it and warned that it might not achieve set out objectives in the 11 frontline countries.

The Great Green Wall project is Africa’s flagship initiative to combat climate change, fight desertification, address food insecurity and poverty.

Officially launched by the African Union (AU) in 2007, it aims to restore degraded land and curb the Sahara Desert’s southward drift.

Speaking at the 8th council meeting of the Ministers of Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) in Abuja, the experts said poor financial provision and mobilisation have been a major obstacle to effective and impactful execution of its activities.

The Executive Secretary of the GGW, Dr. Brahim Thiaw, said the forum provides opportunity to interact with stakeholders on ways to promote the framework for the implementation of the GGW project.

He said: “We have extended partnerships to Kenya and Ethiopia to make the programme as interactive as possible, which would strengthen biodiversity and ecosystem management.”

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Hassan Musa, also said paucity of funds for the GGW initiative motivated the pledge of several billions of dollars at the fourth edition of the “One Planet Summit” on climate change and biodiversity held in France, in 2021.

He said efforts to access the funds requires necessary evaluation, which would be the centre-stage of deliberations and need for well-articulated and actionable strategies for mobilisation.

Dr. Yusuf Maina-Bukur of the National Agency for Great Green Wall, commended the technical committee for their deliberations on critical items and issues bordering on implementation activities of the project, adding that it was designated to involve communities to plant trees and for ecosystem management.

The Director General, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, urged the parties to collaborate with all sectors. He suggested a pool of funds to salvage the situation.

Aminu-Kano said: “The execution of GGW is key. Wetlands are spread across the country and their sites are equally important for us. This will make biodiversity to prosper. We have two biggest challenges in the sub region. One is the impact of climate change and the other is the extinction of special species in the country.”