Multiple NGOs are currently working on a mammoth project: Africa’s Great Green Wall. This African-led movement has the ambition to grow an 8,000km natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa.
The goal is to create a barrier against climate change running across the Sahel region – from Senegal to Djibouti. The Sahel forms a transitional zone between the Sahara desert and the rainforest and is one of the poorest places on Earth.
Once complete, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, 3 times bigger than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Since its beginning in 2007, this initiative brought food security, jobs and stability to locals. More than just growing trees and plants, the Great Green Wall is thus transforming millions of lives in the Sahel region.
Why does it matter? Recently, the region became virtually uncultivable due to climate change and deforestation. The lack of rainwater allows saltwater from the sea to move upstream and destroy crops. Moreover, without trees, the soil has lost all its nutrients, and crops don’t grow. This situation led to biodiversity loss, poverty, mass emigration, violence and food insecurity. The Great Green Wall isn’t just for the Sahel, though. It could contribute to solving the world’s pressing threats – notably climate change, drought, famine, conflict and migration.