Fifteen years ago, the African Union decided on an ambitious project, wherein parts of the Sahel zone are to be renatured in order to secure food and to prevent further soil degradation. At the same time, the African Great Green Wall is an important contribution against climate change.
A study by the University of Bonn and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations now shows that it also makes economic sense, although not everywhere in the Sahel zone. The analysis also shows how much armed conflict jeopardizes the success of the project. It has now been published in the journal Nature Sustainability.
The Great Green Wall initiative aims to compensate for and reverse losses through droughts, poor agricultural cultivation methods, and overuse due to the growing need for food and firewood, which will be accomplished via massive replanting of native trees and grasses: a total of 100 million hectares of land are to be renatured in this way. So far, however, this ambitious goal has not even come close to being achieved - also because of a lack of financial resources.