Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative

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The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) is a pan-African programme launched in 2007 by the African Union (AU).

Its goal is to reverse land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara, boost food security and support local communities to adapt to climate change.

In Africa's Sahel and Sahara region, fertile drylands are a vital source of life to millions. Not only is this precious natural asset the basis for food security and agricultural production, it also generates employment and mitigates social crises for the region's most poverty stricken and vulnerable people.

An estimated 83 percent of rural Sub-Saharan Africans are dependent on livelihoods from the land, yet 40 percent of Africa's land resources are currently degraded, driving poverty, hunger, unemployment, forced migration and conflict while amplifying climate risks such as drought and floods.

The Great Green Wall is a game-changer for Africa, with the potential to strengthen local resilience to climate change, preserve rural heritage and improve the living conditions of local populations.

The GGWSSI has evolved into a regional sustainable landscape programme.

The vision of a Great Green Wall across Africa - from Dakar to Djibouti - is a metaphor that depicts a mosaic of sustaianable land use and community-based land management practices.

More than 20 countries are partners in the initiative, which also counts an array of regional and international organizations as key members.