Sharm el-Sheikh, 14 November 2022 - Innovators from the Great Green Wall countries are invited to apply for the DeserTech Innovation Leaders for the Great Green Wall, a new training scheme to find innovative solutions to tackle desert-related challenges.
Participants will be able to use innovative technologies and creative new business models that create opportunities for collaboration to restore degraded land, while creating business opportunities and jobs.
Innovators, entrepreneurs, corporate entities, investors, policy makers, and non-governmental organizations from the 11 countries in the Great Green Wall and from the DeserTech community in the Negev region in Israel will work under the expert guidance of the Israel Innovation Institute.
Participants will attend workshops, training sessions and field trips to acquire skills and knowledge to identify challenges, assess potential technologies and write concrete project proposals together, that are ready for implementation.
The Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and DeserTech Israel announced the partnership at an event held in Sharm el-Sheikh in the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27).
Opening the event at the Senegal Pavilion at COP27, Alioune Ndoye, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Senegal, welcomed the initiative and said Senegal is seeing the Great Green Wall as an opportunity to bring innovation at the last mile to communities facing the effects of climate change.
Yuval Laster, Senior Deputy Director Strategy and Policy Ministry of Environmental Protection of Israel, added that “this unique collaboration is an example of the kind of cooperation that is needed more than ever to tackle the climate crisis."
Andrea Meza, UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary, spoke about the importance of innovative technologies in achieving the goals of the UNCCD. She said the initiative is an example of international collaboration with the potential to bring new and innovative technologies to the places where they are most needed.
Nicole Hod-Stroh, CEO of the Merage Foundation Israel, founding partner of the DeserTech community, stated that "the Israeli Negev is becoming a global center of desert innovation that offers countries and companies around the world the opportunity to collaborate in adapting technologies to cope with climate change.”
Sharing his personal experiences on bringing innovative technologies into environmental projects, Oumar A. Ba, General Director of the Agence Sénégalaise de la Reforestation et de la Grande Muraille verte (ASERGMV), welcomed this opportunity offered by the UNCCD and the DeserTech team to support the work of his teams on advancing land restoration efforts.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (through the UNCCD Global Mechanism), and the Merage Foundation Israel will finance the new initiative, which is supported by the Great Green Wall Accelerator and the Israel Innovation Institute.
The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with an epic ambition to grow an 8,000km natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa’s Sahel region. Sahelian countries lie on the stretch of land that sits on the southern edge of Sahara Desert from Senegal along the Atlantic coast to Djibouti on the Red Sea, and include Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan.
The Great Green Wall countries are restoring 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. This will, in tandem, naturally capture 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million green jobs.
DeserTech is an innovation community located in Be'er Sheva, Israel. It promotes the development, adaptation and commercialization of technologies that enable sustainable living in arid climates, while simultaneously, turning Be'er Sheva and the Negev region into a global entrepreneurial hub for these technologies.
The DeserTech community is a joint initiative of the Merage Foundation Israel, the Israel Innovation Institute, The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Applications from the Great Green Wall countries are open until 9 December on the DeserTech website: https://en.desertech.org.il/great-green-wall
For more information, contact: talb [at] israelinnovation.org.il