Published on July 15th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan2
Great Green Wall of Trees for Africa
The Global Environment Facility (GEF), in an effort to lessen desertification and drought in Africa, is helping to plant a living wall of trees across Africa. The “wall” will be huge — 9 miles (14 kilometers) thick and 4,400 miles (7,081 km) long.
The “Great Green Wall” will go through 11 countries in the Sahel-Saharan region.
The GEF is an independent financial institution that unites governments from 182 countries as well as international institutions, NGOs, and the private sector to tackle key environmental issues around the world.
It made an announcement to help build the Great Green Wall on “World Day to Combat Desertification,” which is a day sponsored by the United Nations to bring more awareness to these critical issues and to help in the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The plan for the Great Green Wall was adopted by the African Union three years ago, but the $119 million the GEF is putting forth is to actually get that plan moving.
The countries in the plan include Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. The amount of money each country receives will depend on its size.
To date, the GEF has donated $8.8 billion as well as $38.7 billion in co-financing for 2,400 environmental projects in 165 countries around the world. It claims to be the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment in the world. This organization wasn’t on my radar before, but it will be now.
One of the biggest losers from climate change is Africa, despite this continent having the smallest contribution to it. And two of the most concerning effects of climate change in Africa are drought and desertification. Hopefully, this Great Green Wall will help to mitigate these problems.