Close to 20 million hectares of land have been restored as part of Great Green Wall (GGW) Initiative which was established under the leadership of the African Union Commission, according to the implementation report.
The implementation report was released recently at a virtual meeting of environment ministers from 11 African countries including Ethiopia together with regional partners, international organizations and development agencies.
The initiative aims at uniting African countries and international partners to transform the lives of millions of people by growing an 8,000 km long and 15 km wide mosaic of trees, grasslands, vegetation and plants along the southern tip of the Saharan desert.
Once complete, the GGW will be the largest living structure on the planet, three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef, This Day reported.
This first comprehensive status report, ‘The Great Green Wall: Implementation Status and Way Ahead to 2030’ states that over 350,000 jobs were created and around 90 million USD in revenues was generated from 2007 to 2018 through the GGW activities.
Over 220,000 people received training on sustainable production of agro-pastoral and non-timber products to support the shift to more responsible consumption and production.
The restored area will sequester over 300 Mt CO2 by 2030, roughly 30 per cent of the envisioned target for the GGW, it was indicated.
The report also indicates that to reach the target restoration of 100 million hectares of land by 2030, the GGW countries need to restore 8.2 million hectares of land every year at an annual financial investment of 4.3 billion USD. The initiative also aims to create 10 million jobs by that date.
In her opening remarks, the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said, “The Great Green Wall can – and will – change the lives of millions of our people. More jobs, better health, greater stability; more resilient and cohesive communities and stronger inclusive economic growth.”
The initiative which based the financial support from the government of Ireland was launched in 2007.