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Fifteen years ago, the African Great Green Wall project took off. The project has been stalled during the past two years, and only 4 and 20 percent of the project has been finalized. Researchers now believe they have developed metrics and analyses to get the project back on track.
Optimist Daily explains that the Great Green Wall unites 21 African nations whose leaders have promised to regrow the forests and restore the land across the width of Africa for the benefit of their people and the planet.
The problems making it difficult for the project to move forward are funding and lack of unification. For example, at the 2021 biodiversity summit, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to donate $14 billion to the project. However, how the money would reach the countries involved remains unclear. UN-appointed experts suggest this problem should be addressed with more predictable funding, better transparency, and more organizational oversight.
The UN has offered multiple recommendations in their latest report on land degradation to overcome the project's problems. One of the recommendations is to minimize the use of fast-growing plants and trees for regreening since this only sequester a fraction of the carbon dioxide they plan to capture. Besides this, the UN provided detailed metrics for how countries can proceed with the project and mainly focused on those populations most vulnerable to desertification.
Later on, in May, the international community responsible for the Great Green Wall will meet in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to develop a plan on exactly how to get the wall back on track using the recommendations from the UN.
You can read more about the study here: Nature — How to make Africa’s ‘Great Green Wall’ a success (nature.com)