Monday, April 7, 2014

The Great Green Wall initiative Africa

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 170-365

While countries that have forest use forest management to promote logging and lend land to companies that destroy forest on industrial scale other parts of the globe feel the result of environmental destruction  trough desertification poverty and desert storms.

A pan-African proposal to “green” the continent from west to east in order to battle desertification.  It aims at tackling poverty and the degradation of soils in the Sahel-Saharan region, focusing on a strip of land of 15 km (9 mi) wide and 7,100 km (4,400 mi) long from Dakar to Djibouti.  

Populations in Sahelian Africa are among the poorest and most vulnerable to climatic variability and land degradation.  They depend heavily on healthy ecosystems for rainfed agriculture, fisheries, and livestock management to sustain their livelihoods.  These constitute the primary sectors of employment in the region and generate at least 40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in most of the countries.

The vision of a great green wall to combat ecological degradation was conceived in 2005 by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and the idea was strongly supported by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. The vision evolved into an integrated ecosystem management approach in January 2007, when the African Union adopted declaration 137 VIII, approving the “Decision on the Implementation of the Green Wall for the Sahara Initiative”. In June 2010, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan signed a convention in Ndjamena, Chad, to create the Great Green Wall (GGW) Agency .

There are money allocated to these initiative. The cost of this project $758,152,000 (USD)
As long as the money are not used to bring more debt to these nations, and not spent on conferences hotels restaurants of those that pretend to make decisions the idea is good.

My suggestion is to give ownership of the land to families that would take care of the land after is planted with trees, surfaces that can be managed by one family.
Also introducing permaculture concept and principles to th  reforested areas.
It is not too late to create a better society and plant more forests and make logging a thing of the past. We depend on the forest.

Senegal begins planting the Great Green Wall against climate change

The acacia trees here are just four years old, waist high and thorny. The trees are surrounded by a firewall and a metal fence to keep out tree-eating goats. All of the trees were chosen carefully. Sarr says, "When we design a parcel we look at the local trees and see what can best grow there, we try to copy Nature."

Two million trees are planted in Senegal each year; but all of them must be planted during the short rainy season. Labourers plant acacia saplings in the sand along with animal manure for fertiliser. Sarr points to a three feet tall tree. "This one is Acacia nilotica. It produces Arabic gum used in local medicine and a fruit that can be eaten by animals."

The Great Green Wall has received a total of 1.8 billion dollars from the World Bank and another 108 million dollars from the Global Environment Facility.   Again the difference is if is a grand or a mortgage on the future.

Senegal is currently the furthest along with the Great Green Wall. They've planted roughly 50,000 acres of trees in addition to protecting existing trees. It's been successful so far in Senegal.

Tappan has spent 30 years working in the region and admits he was shocked by the transformation: "In 2006 we did a big field trip across Niger and were just blown away by the vastness of this re-greening."

The trees should be "drought-adapted species", preferably native to the areas planted, the Great Green Wall website says, listing 37 suitable species.

The initiative says it hopes the trees will slow soil erosion; slow wind speeds and help rain water filter into the ground, to stop the desert from growing.
It also says a richer soil content will help communities across the Sahel who depend on land for grazing and agriculture.


  • There are few local tree species suitable for planting in the desert region and these are slow growing. The introduction of exotic tree species in the desert for plantation has become necessary. Many species of Eucalyptus

and other genera from , Australia, US, Russia, Zimbabwe, Chile, Peru, and Sudan have been tried in the Thar Desert.
  •  Acacia tortilis has proved to be the most promising species for desert greening. 
  • The jojoba is another promising species of economic value which has been found suitable for planting in these areas.
Other desert trees that can be used

  •  Museum Palo VerdeCercidium-parkinsonia hybrid

  • Very fast growing hybrid version of the classic Palo Verde. Provides the unique green trunks of the original only it grows faster, is cleaner, blooms better and has no thorns. 
  • Texas Ebony Pithecellobium flexicaule

  • Native to the arid desert, this highly decorative tree produces beautiful cream colored, fragrant flower clusters that bloom in the the late Spring and accent the trees twisting branches. 
  • Ocotillo- Fouquieria splendens
    Ocotillos are used more as a unique desert-themed accent tree. This tree's looks can't be compared to anything else. Long canes of desert green, blooming fiery red at the tips make it a must for desert style landscapes    
  • Blue Palo Verde Cercidium floridum
    This is the classic Palo Verde that has been growing in the Southwest USA for centuries. It's very well adapted to the desert and sports green trunks
  • Acacia Saligna These Acacias grow a very wide umbrella-shaped canopy that provides filtered shade year round. They are a very fast growing tree with great durability to heat and cold. 
  • Ironwood Olneya tesota The exceptionally hardy Ironwood tree makes an excellent choice for desert style landscapes. Unique trunk patterns, purple blooms, and foliage color.
  • Sweet Acacia Acacia smallii This Sonoran native is well know for its beautiful and aromatic blooms during early spring. It serves as a great shade tree, especially during the hot summer months.
  • Chilean Mesquite Prosopis chilenis (hybrid) Desert tree, this is a thornless variety of mesquite that provides lots of shade and grows very fast. They look great and can be planted just about anywhere.  
  • Chilean Mesquite  Vitex Vites angus-castus Vitex trees provide a bit of shade and have a fantastic bloom period. Flowers appear as spikes of purple across the entire tree, and are known to attract butterflies. The complicated trunk structure is unique to the Vitex. Vitex details.
  • Willow Acacia Acacia salicina Unique silver-blue leaves with a slightly weeping appearance make this tree useful for many landscape styles. Plant anywhere you need a large tree to grow quickly.  Willow Acacia details. 
  • Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis  Greatly resembling a Willow, they show incredible blooms throughout the late summer and into mid-fall. 
  • Shoestring Acacia Acacia stenophylla. A very unique evergreen desert tree! This extremely fast growing tree provides a tall, year-round weeping effect while using minimal water. These require very little pruning and cleanup. 
  • Palo Brea Cercidium praecox This Sonoran native features unique green trunks that twist and turn to form interesting, irregular patterns throughout the tree.  Makes a fantastic focal point and provides great shade as well.
  • Mulga Acacia Acacia aneura Native to the arid regions of Australia, this is a unique, medium size tree. Very interesting silver leaves give it the right color for all desert .
  • Sissoo Tree  Dalbergia sissoo
    Closely resembling an Aspen, the Sissoo is perfectly at home in Arizona and thrives in ultra hot conditions. These trees grow very rapidly after planting

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