Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative

Idriss Ben Slama's picture





Action Against Desertification is a €34 million, 4.5 years programme, co-funded by EU-ACP  to improve the condition and productivity of agro-sylvo-pastoral landscapes affected by desertification, land degradation and drought.

In Africa, field action will contribute to the implementation of the GGW action plans in: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia,  the Gambia Niger, Nigeria and  Senegal.

The project is implemented by FAO in partnership with the African Union Commission, the governments of the concerned countries, the EU, the ACP-Secretariat, the GM-UNCCD, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and the Walloon Region of Belgium.

It will reinforce the enabling environment and strengthen capacity of governmental and non-governmental organisations in using inter-sectoral and landscape approaches for sustainable land and forest management and restoration.

Moreover, it will assist local communities, governmental and non-governmental actors, including youth, women and civil society, in adopting and using sustainable land and forest management practices and technologies.

The programme will also raise awareness of the causes of desertification and land degradation and the appropriate measures to combat them, while at the same time improving people’s resilience to climate change and promoting sustainable livelihoods.

South- South Cooperation will be key, as the programme promotes exchange and scaling-up of lessons learnt, best practices and technologies addressing land degradation, poverty and food un-security through the inter-regional activities, including exchange visits, regional and international training, knowledge management and communications.


The Building Resilience through Innovation Communication and Knowledge Services (BRICKS) project is a six-year regional knowledge and monitoring hub for a large US$1.1 billion regional program of 12 World Bank financed country operations plus related partner-supported activities that together contribute to the region’s and clients’ Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) priorities.

BRICKS is implemented by three regional organizations recognized as centers of excellence: the Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the Sahara and Sahel Observatory, (OSS) and West and Central Africa Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These organizations facilitate technical knowledge exchanges and monitoring services among the 12 country investment operations in the broader World Bank/GEF Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP). Each organization is responsible for implementing discrete activities related to resilient and carbon-smart natural resources management in the Sahel and West Africa region, focusing on biodiversity, crop, range, forest, water resources, and disaster risk management in arid, sub-humid and humid landscapes.

BRICKS was approved by the World Bank Board on September 4, 2013 and the Grant Agreements were signed at a ceremony with the leadership of the respective three Implementing Agencies (CILSS, OSS, and IUCN) on October 15, 2013 in Washington DC.  The Project was declared effective on November 26, 2013.


FLEUVE is an initiative elaborated by the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UNCCD and funded by the European Union, working in partnership with the FAO and its programme on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI). Three networks of key CSOs, namely, RESAD, RADDO and Drynet are also co-partners in the initiative.

The key objective of FLEUVE is to strengthen the capacities of key actors, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private sector and local authorities at local levels to develop and help implement landscape level Integrated Investment Frameworks for sustainable land management (SLM).

5 micro-investment projects are currently being developed in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Senegal to help expand economic opportunities and improve the public and private investment climate for SLM for local communities.

Although FLEUVE focuses on a limited number of countries, the project aims to inspire South-south learning, partnership and cooperation more broadly across the region and beyond, by providing a platform for disseminating and duplicating best practices and lessons learned on financing SLM.

Indeed, FLEUVE is not a stand-alone project, but rather part of a mosaic of projects falling under the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and Sahel (GGWSSI). These include projects such as FAO’s Action Against Desertification GGW project and the GEF and World Bank Building Resilience through Innovation, Communication and Knowledge Services (BRICKS) project, implemented by CILSS, OSS and IUCN.


The World Bank is deepening its support to Africa’s drylands to help countries find effective solutions to improving resilience, reducing poverty, achieving security, and ensuring environmental security and sustainability. The Bank partnered with 12 countries and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to develop the $1.1 billion Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP) in support of the GGWSSI. These countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Togo.


SAWAP is reinforced by a regional hub project to facilitate south-south cooperation on knowledge and operational services among the country projects and the broader Great Green Wall partnership. This project, Building Resilience through Innovation, Communication and Knowledge Services (BRICKS) is implemented by three regional organizations recognized as centers of excellence: theInterstate Committee to Combat Drought in the Sahel (CLISS), the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) and the West and Central Africa Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN). Each organization delivers specialty services to the SAWAP portfolio to enhance quality and promote regional integration.