Desertification and land degradation challenge the lives of people in the Sahel and the Sahara, home to the world’s poorest populations.
In 2007, African Heads of State and Government endorsed the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative to tackle the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification in the region.
Supporting local communities in the sustainable management and use of their forests, rangelands and other natural resources, the initiative seeks to improve the food security and livelihood of the people, while contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
A harmonized strategy for the Great Green Wall was adopted in September 2012 by the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN).
According to AMCEN, it is a flagship programme that contributes to the goal of the UN’s Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, of “a land degradation neutral world”.