According a press release from the Information and Communication Service (ICS) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the focal point of the TerrAfrica programme at the NEPAD Agency, Mr. Ousmane Djibo, said Monday June 18, 2012 in Rio that about $2 billion had been set aside to support the Great Green Wall project in the Sahel and West Africa.
Mr. Djibo was cited as saying that the development objective of the project is to expand sustainable land water management in targeted landscapes and climate-vulnerable areas in the Sahel and West Africa.
He indicated that about $108 million of the total project sum was approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in May 2011. He said the twelve countries involved are already developing their investment operations which are country-targeted, unique and multisectoral.
“The investments are in the areas of natural regeneration of tree cover, integrated soil fertility, water harvesting, agroforestry, soil conservation, alternative livelihoods, watershed management and conservation corridors,” the release said.
The project would also focus on knowledge generation and sharing, especially in economic analysis, natural resource monitoring, land suitability mapping, hydromet, and land degradation assessment and involve building institutional capacities in land use planning, resource tenure, decentralization, network farmer innovation, regulatory enforcement and environmental impact assessment, it added.
The release noted that land degradation affects almost 500 million people and two-thirds of productive land. Africa, it says, has 17% of the world’s forests but half its deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi