African Union and FAO Expand Great Green Wall Partnership

au_fao5 February 2016: The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) have launched a €41 million ‘Action Against Desertification' project that aims to support six African countries - Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal - with the large-scale restoration of production landscapes affected by desertification and land degradation. The project is funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) programme of support to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

The project builds on best practices from the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI), which was endorsed by African Heads of State and Government in 2007. Under the Initiative, around 120 communities in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have created a green belt on more than 2,500 hectares of degraded and arid land and planted more than two million seeds and seedlings from fifty native species.

FAO's contribution will include the establishment of a special hub at the AUC that will provide assistance in coordination, monitoring and evaluation, capacity development, resource mobilization and knowledge management to scale up such efforts. [FAO Press Release] [The Great Green Wall Initiative] [IISD RS News Story on the Sahel and West Africa Programme in Support of the GGWSSI]