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COP15: ‘Great Green Wall’ Still Touted as the Sahel’s Desertification Solution

Lack of communication, funds, and coordination are among the greatest challenges the Great Green Wall Initiative has encountered, 15 years after its launch by the African Union to combat desertification in the Sahel.

Speaking at the COP15 meeting in Abidjan, participants still believe the Great Green Wall project is the African continent’s biggest chance at combatting desertification, if the process would only pick up the pace.

“Right now, at the field level, the poor are still waiting…and they have been waiting for a long time,” says Paul Ouedraogo, vice executive secretary for CILSS, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel.

“We don’t really need to spend a long time with all the processes. We have a lot of knowledge in Africa,” he told RFI on the sidelines of COP15 Desertification conference in Abidjan.

When it was launched to much fanfare in 2007, the idea of the Great Green Wall (GGW) was to plant trees spanning across 11 countries, from Senegal to Djibouti, covering 7,800km.