Ministerial declaration on The Great Green Wall

Press Release

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We, Ministers, representatives of the member states of the Panafrican Agency of the Great Green Wall of Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Chad;

Deeply concerned by the current global health situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, whose socio-economic consequences in the short, medium and long term will also have a certain ecological impact;

Recalling that the establishment of lasting peace and stability in the Sahel region requires joint efforts in the fields of security, economic development and social welfare;

Recognizing the vulnerability of Sahelian agriculture linked to land degradation, the impact of drought and the significant needs of the region in terms of adaptation to climate change and in particular the adaptation of its agro-sylvo-pastoral systems whose productivity is strongly affected by global warming; 

Recalling that in the Sahel, agroecology, a tool for sustainable land management, represents one of the greatest potential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on the short-term, the fight against desertification and the conservation of biodiversity and reduction of the impact of drought; and, also recalling the major challenges of food security, poverty eradication and lack of water resources that member countries must tackle by 2030;

Convinced in this respect that the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative represents one of the best responses to mitigate the effects of the economic crisis by implementing our land degradation neutrality targets, creating decent green jobs, especially for women and young people in rural areas, and the risks linked to insecurity, poverty, fragile ecosystems and climate change;

Noting that, in spite of the multiple challenges, the Sahel and member countries are also a land of opportunities, based on productive natural resources, a rich cultural heritage with a young population receptive to technological progress and which aspires to a positive transformation of the region;

Noting that human well-being and communities’ health are intrinsically linked to the productive capacity and resilience of ecosystems that are often the only source of income for rural populations;

Welcoming the publication of the progress report on the “Great Green Wall: Implementation Status and Way Ahead to 2030”, prepared with the support of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and further welcoming the fact that the Great Green Wall Initiative has restored about 20 million hectares to date, while creating 117,000 direct jobs;

Expressing our gratitude to the technical and financial partners of the Great Green Wall, including technical agencies as well as multilateral and bilateral funding institutions for their current and renewed commitment and support;

We make the following declaration:

  1. We reaffirm that the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative is and remains a priority for each of our eleven member countries. We reiterate our shared vision of making the Great Green Wall one of the levers for achieving the post-COVID economic recovery, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2063 Agenda and the Paris Agreement in our respective countries.
  2. We call on all our partners to provide sustained and multifaceted support to the member countries of the Pan-African Agency for the Great Green Wall, as the implementation of the Great Green Wall is a priority for our States, which can contribute to the creation of jobs, wealth and prosperity.
  3. We urge development partners to combine their efforts and initiatives in order to contribute to, and facilitate, the alignment of interventions aimed, inter alia, at poverty reduction, ecosystems restoration, adaptation to, and/or, climate change mitigation, women empowerment, fight against irregular economic migration and jobs creation in rural areas.
  4. We call upon and encourage our partners, in particular the Green Climate Fund, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank Group, the European Union, the African Development Bank Group as well as the French Development Agency and other interested bilateral partners, to support our States in developing an umbrella program on the Great Green Wall. We call on other partners, in particular the United Nations agencies as well as regional and international organizations to actively participate in this umbrella programme.
  5. We invite the private sector to significantly contribute to the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative and we pledge to support the principle of greater, more effective and more efficient public and private financing.

7 September 2020

Signed by: H.E. Mme. Marieme Bekaye, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mauritania, and Chair of the Council of Ministers of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall, on behalf of the ministers of the member countries.

Burkina Faso H.E. Mr. Batio Bassiere 

Republic of Chad H.E. Mr. Brahim Mahamat Djamaladine

Republic of Djibouti H.E. Mr. Mohamed Abdoulkader Moussa

Eritrea H.E Mr. Tesfai Ghebreselassie

Federal and Democratic of Ethiopia H.E. Prof. Fekadu Beyene

Islamic Republic of Mauritania H.E. Mme. Marieme Bekaye

Republic of Mali H.E. Mr. Mamadou Gakou (Permanent Secretary representing the minister of environment)

Republic of Niger H.E. Mr. Almoustapha Garba

Federal Republic of Nigeria H.E. Mr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar

Republic of Senegal H.E. Mr. Abdou Karim Sall

Republic of Sudan H.E. Mr. Abdelgadir Mohamed Ahmed Turkawi