The Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara Initiative (GGW) has received at least $10-billion in new funding.
The funding it set to be used to fast-track efforts to restore degrading land, save biological diversity and create green jobs and build the resilience of the Sahelian people.
French President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement at the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity co-organised by France, the United Nations and World Bank on January 11.
The GGW snakes along the southern margin of Africa’s Sahara Desert running from the Atlantic coast to the Red Sea.
The GGW Accelerator makes up 30% of the $33-billion needed to achieve the Great Green Wall’s ambitions for the year 2030.
"We welcome the announcement of the GGW Accelerator Initiative, whose objective is to release an initial contribution over the period 2021 to 2025, to give effect to the commitments of the financial partners in a coordinated framework.
"The mobilisation of this additional funding through an innovative approach will certainly contribute to the achievement of the GGW goals, which aim, by 2030, at the restoration of 100-million hectares of degraded land and the creation of ten-million green jobs . . . This initiative will certainly facilitate the alignment of our partners’ interventions, in response to the concerns raised by our Ministers of Environment at the last Great Green Wall Conference," said Mauritania President Mohamed Cheikh El-Ghazouani.
Ghazouani stressed that it would “enable our countries, in accessing the necessary funds, to increase local investments within the framework of the five pillars adopted and to strengthen the capacities of the national agencies of the GGW”.
In this context, he suggested the establishment in each of the countries of a biodiversity fund into which it would contribute a portion of the resources resulting from the cancellation of its debts.
Since its inception in 2007, the GGW has partnered with stakeholders to regreen the region and create an 8 000-km-long world wonder involving at least 11 countries and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The GGW Initiative, now well into its second decade, is an African-led flagship programme demonstrating how to harness the power of nature to provide policy solutions to multiple and complex environmental threats, such as land degradation, desertification, drought, climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty and food insecurity, simultaneously.