Influential leaders from business, politics, media, the film and music industries gathered at Goals House in New York, to spotlight the Great Green Wall as a practical, low-cost nature-based solution responding to the global climate emergency. Participants called on governments, civil society and business to join a growing global movement to make the Great Green Wall a reality by 2030.
The Sahel – where the Great Green Wall is taking root – is a political hotspot. Nearly 80% of the land in this region is degraded, 33 million people are currently food insecure and temperatures are expected by rise by as much as 3-5 degrees by 2050. The most pressing challenges that humanity will face this century are already evident here, from food and water shortages, to climate change, drought, migration, and international terrorism.
The Great Green Wall Initiative is a people-centered movement to restore the health of the Sahelâ€™s eco-system and natural resources in order to build the resilience to drought of the communities living here, enhance their food security and empower them to generate new and sustainable income streams. The Initiative was launched a decade ago by the African Union, with the support of many partners that include UNCCD, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility and the European Commission.
The event featured musical performances by Songhoy Blues, Waje and Grammy-winning artist Ricky Kej as well as clips from the upcoming feature documentary titled, The Great Green Wall (Directed by Jared P. Scott), produced by MAKE Waves in association with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The event was convened by Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD jointly with Connect4Climate – World Bank Group.