2 May 2016

West Africa: First International Conference On the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (Ggwssi) Theme - Restoring Africa's Landscapes - the Way Forward

press release

First International Conference on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) Theme: Restoring Africa's Landscapes - The Way Forwar

First International Conference on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) Theme: Restoring Africa's Landscapes - The Way Forward

2-7 May 2016, Dakar, Senegal

What: First Conference of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWWSI)

Theme: "Restoring Africa's Landscapes - The Way Forward"

When: 2-7 May 2016

Who: The Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission.

Where: Dakar, Senegal

Objectives: The First Conference of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative aims to:

Deepen commitment of participating countries and organizations to transformational actions

Communicate results achieved

Share experiences and knowledge across implementing partners

Participants:

The conference will be attended by experts and researchers from Member States, Regional Economic Communities, the African Union Commission, NEPAD as well as development partners.

Expected outputs:

Confirmation of political commitment

Road map for transformational action on the ground

Strengthened GGWSSI Community of Practice

Adoption of the Great Green Wall results framework

New strategic directions for GGWSSI communication and knowledge management

Background:

83 per cent of rural Sub-Saharan Africans are dependent of livelihoods from the land, yet 40 per cent of Africa's land resources are currently degraded, driving poverty, hunger, unemployment, force migration and conflict while amplifying climate risks such as droughts and floods. For this reason, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative, a Pan African programme, was launched in 2007 by the African Union Assembly. The initiative aims to address the issues of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara, boost food security and support communities to adapt climate change.

The First conference on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) will be held from 2-7 May in Dakar, Senegal, gathering more than 20 African countries North and South of the Sahara and all partners of the GGWSSI in a global event.

Following world leaders' commitment to strengthen climate resilience through Africa's GGWSSI during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (CoP) 21 in December 2015, Paris, GGWSSI partners are coming together this year to expand the annual World Bank Group Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP) Conference to a first Conference of the GGWSSI.

For more information on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative, visit our website: http://www.greatgreenwallinitiative.org

Media representatives based in Dakar are invited to cover the opening ceremony of the High level segment of the meeting on Tuesday 3 May from 8.30 am to 9.00 am and the closing ceremony on Friday 6 May from 11.45 am to 12.30 pm.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Paul Elvis Tangem | Green Great Wall for Sahel and Sahara Initiative Coordinator | Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture I E-mail: Elvispault@african-union.org I

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@african-union.org I Website: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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