As the population of the world expands, so does the need for land to live on, land to provide food, and land to grow fibre for clothing. All these requirements are fast leading to healthy and productive land becoming arid, and the shrinking of arable land. On World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2020 we take a look at one of the initiatives taken to combat desertification. Also Read - World Day to Combat Desertification And Drought 2020: What Are The Problems Faced And Techniques to Reverse Effect

This year, World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, is running under the slogan ‘Food. Feed. Fibre.’ with the aim to educate individuals on how to reduce their personal impact. The day itself, which is observed on June 17, aims to raise awareness about the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought. Today we take a look at the Great Green Wall initiative. Also Read - World Day to Combat Desertification And Drought 2020: History And Significance of The Day

What is The Great Green Wall Initiative?:

It was launched in 2007 by the African Union with an aim to restore the country’s degraded landscapes, as well as transform millions of lives in one of the world’s poorest regions, the Sahel. The 8,000 km wall, when completed, will be the largest living structure on the planet, stretching across the entire width of the continent. It is being implemented in more than 20 countries across Africa with a budget of more than eight billion dollars.

Objectives of The Great Green Wall Initiative:

Its plan is to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land by 2030, cut down 250 million tons of carbon, and create 10 million jobs. It will help communities living along the Wall to develop fertile land, increase economic opportunities, ensure food security, make it more climate resilient, as well as grow a wonder of the world spanning 8000 km across Africa.

Key Results of The Great Green Wall Initiative:

Ever since it was launched in 2007, there has been major progress in restoring the fertility of Sahelian lands. The key results were seen in Ethiopia where 15 million hectares of degraded land was restored, in Senegal where 25,000 hectares of degraded land was restored and 11.4 million trees planted. In Nigeria where 5 million hectares of degraded land was restored, and 20,000 jobs were created, in Sudan where 2,000 hectares of land was restored. In Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, a green belt was created over more than 2,500 hectares of degraded and dry-lands, and more than two million seeds and seedlings were planted.