Description of ChallengeTo reverse the spread of the Sahara Desert and increase biodiversity
A wall of trees nurtured and protected to restore an eco-system where deserts were encroaching
The Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative is a planned project to plant a wall of trees across Africa at the southern edge of the Sahara desert as a means to prevent desertification. It was developed by the African Union to address the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and the Sahara.
Crossing 11 nations this is a political as well as a physical and economic challenge and progress currently varies from nation to nation. The process is still in its infancy and will take several years to complete. Nevertheless, the project is already showing some success: a World Food Program (WFP) report from Senegal details how villages in Widou Thiengoli are now harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables from the dry desert sands, a by-product of the Wall initiative. Some 50,000 acres of trees have already been planted in Senegal, according to press reports.