Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative
In response to Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.137(VIII) adopted by the 8th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union in January 2007, FAO is currently supporting the African Union Commission and some of its member countries in the strategic formulation of the implementation plans and cross-cutting activities that would enable the effective implementation of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel initiative.
This support is provided in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the CEN-SAD Secretariat, the Pan African Agency for the Great Green Wall, the EU, as well as other partner organizations, including the Regional Economic Community Partners (ECOWAS, IGAD, UMA), CILSS and OSS, the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, ICRAF, WOCAT and AFF and partner countries.
FAO’s support is provided through two complementary projects:
- The first project, funded under the FAO technical cooperation programme, was operationally launched in November 2010 and involves five partner countries, namely: Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Mali and Niger.
- The second project is funded by the European Commission and started its inception phase in March 2011. It involves eight partner countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Mauritania, Nigeria, The Gambia, Senegal and Sudan.
In relation to this initiative, FAO support with partners is mainly focusing on :
- the setting-up of a technical committee to develop an harmonized strategy for the GGWSSI;
- the formulation of implementation plans and project portfolios
- a resource mobilization platform, facilitated by the Global Mechanism
- implementation of best practices at local level, based on existing experiences
- assessment and monitoring of impacts of Sustainable Land Management interventions at regional, country and local level based on the LADA project experience in Senegal and Tunisia.
- a networking platform for knowledge sharing and technology transfer, based on existing capacities.
- a communication strategy, to help the existing regional and national organizations in their communication efforts.
FAO and its partners see in the GGWSSI a great opportunity for reinforcing and upscaling successful sustainable land management practices and interventions at a landscape scale for the sustained provision of multiple ecosystem services such as:
- Sustainable forest management (including conservation, management and use of forests, and sustainable harvesting, processing and marketing of wood and non wood forest products);
- Forest landscape restoration using different techniques including tree planting and assisted natural regeneration when it is possible;
- Agroforestry and farmer-managed natural regeneration;
- Fighting sand encroachment through windbreak establishment and sand dune stabilization;
- Sustainable land and water management, including water harvesting techniques;
- Sustainable management and restoration of rangelands;
- Good agricultural practices; and
- Urban and peri-urban forestry and greening