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Experts Call for Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel to be Part of Global Efforts to Achieve Land Degradation Neutrality

​Ouagadougou, 31 August 2012: A review meeting of the implementation of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative has called for the Wall to be part of Africa’s strategy to become land degradation-neutral, to advance the fulfillment of the agreements by world leaders at the Rio+20 Conference.

According to Mr. Youssef Brahimi of the UNCCD's Global Mechanism, the experts declared that they will “advocate  for the African policy makers to put forward the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) as an African contribution to the objective of zero-net land degradation as defined in Rio+20 Declaration.”

The experts were drawn from country representatives, international organizations and civil society organizations, mostly from Africa.

The Rio + 20 agreements on combatting land degradation are ranked among the key successes of the Conference which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last June. Leaders took the bold steps of committing to strive for a future that is land degradation-neutral. They also agreed to monitor, globally, land degradation and restore degraded lands in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.
 
The idea behind achieving land degradation-neutrality is to end current trends where the pace of land degradation far exceeds efforts to restore the degraded land give the reality that productive land is a finite resource. The science estimates that more than 2 billion hectares of land is suitable for land restoration.

The aims of the GGWSSI meeting which took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 28-31 August 2012, were to discuss the status of implementation of the Initiative and to improve coordination and harmonization of the project. The meeting and was organized by the African Union and the Pan African Agency of the GGWSSI.

 The GGWSSI was launched in 2007 and addresses desertification, land degradation and drought in the Sahara-Sahel region. The Initiative brings together different projects involving wide range of partners with different objectives and expected outcomes.

For more information on:

- the Harmonized strategy: Major Principles for a Harmonised Strategy in the Context of the GGWSSI Implementation.

- the project African Union Commission project: “Support to the implementation of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel”.

- On the Meeting contact:
Mr Youssef Brahimi, y.brahimi@global-mechanism.org

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