Nearly two dozen African nations are now committed to build and maintain the “Great Green Wall,” a chain of forests and woodlands spreading across the entire continent at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, in the region known as the Sahel. Initially launched in 2007 by 11 countries, the initiative has now been joined by ten more. It is considered the world’s largest ecosystem restoration project by the UN Environment Programme.
The project aims to address many of the continent’s core challenges at once. Most directly, it provides a physical barrier to ward off the spread of the Sahara. The Sahara has been moving gradually south for millennia, encroaching on and disrupting local livelihoods. However climate change has accelerated this process, creating a major economic and environmental threat to the nations of the Sahel, many of which are already among the world’s poorest and least developed.africa ] [ environment ] [ forest ] [ green ] [ trees ] [ un ] [ wall ]