Africa's Great Green Wall Hopes to Stop the Spreading Sahara - If It Ever Gets Planted

sahel mail photo


It's been a couple of years since the still-planned and so-called Great Green Wall of Africa graced the pages of TreeHugger, so here's a quick update and overview: As the BBC reports, African leaders are meeting in Chad to further push the idea of planting a wall of trees and vegetation at the edge of the Sahara desert in an attempt to halt it's further southward spread.

africa great green wall map

image: Grand Muraille Verte

Backed by the African Union, as we reported back in 2008, the plan calls for planting a 15km wide and 7000km long swath of land from Djibouti in the east and stretching to Senegal in the West (passing through Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania on the way).

Funding & Maintenance Concerns Slow Progress
The whole project is expected to cost at least $3 million to plant and take two years to complete. Progress has slowed on enacting the plan, first envisioned five years ago, due to a lack on funding and concerns that once planted the Great Green Wall will not be properly maintained.

Should it be completed, the 37 recommended drought-tolerant native plant species making up the wall would slow soil erosion, slow wind speeds and enable more rain water to be absorbed by the ground.

It's a fascinating project, should it ever really get into the ground. Read more:
Grand Muraille Verte
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More on Desertification:
'Wall of Trees' Planned to Help Stop Sahara Desert From Expanding
Desertification May Curb Global Warming in the Short Term
China Being Submerged in Sand: Desertification Spreads 1,300 Square Mile Per Year
38% of World's Land in Danger of Turning Into Desert

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