Conflicts, Climate Change Threaten Africa's Great Green Wall

Escalating conflict and climate change threaten the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative, an ambitious land restoration project across Africa, Busani Bafana writes for IPS.

Promoters of the Great Green Wall have called for strong political will in engendering peace and increasing investment in environmental preservation, which the project launched 16 years ago seeks to enhance. Competition over natural resources that are affected by climate change is fueling interstate conflicts, especially in West Africa, a region in the path of the Great Green Wall.

An ambitious initiative started in 2007 by the African Union, the original aim was to plant an 8,000km long, 15km wide tree barrier linking Dakar to Djibouti. This initiative aims to stop desert encroachment through the restoration of more than 100 million hectares of degraded land, protecting ecosystems and human communities in the south and north of the Sahara, from the harmful effects of desertification and drought.

InFocus

Promotional image of the Great Green Wall by the United Nations' UN Water initiative.

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