Did you know the Sahara Desert has grown up to 10% in the last century? It covers over 8.6 million square kilometers, to put that into perspective it stretches over 11 countries in North Africa.
Where there is sand there is heat, currently, the Sahel region is the most affected and the arid land has resulted in water scarcity. Up to 135 million people living within this region are at risk as the soil is too dry to vegetate.
In 2007 the UN launched a project called ‘the green wall’ which will attempt to hold back the hot sand and preserve the land for these communities to thrive in. The hope is to restore 100 million hectares of previously degraded land across these 11 countries by the year 2030. It is without a doubt that this project is going to be extremely expensive. Recently the UN received 14 billion dollars from France, the world bank, and other donors.
If the wall is successfully built it will be three times greater than the Great Barrier Reef making it the largest living structure on earth.
An incredible achievement thus far 4 million hectares of land has been restored allowing countries to practice reforestation, agroforestry, and dune fixing. Furthermore applying special techniques such as drilling boreholes and building irrigation systems are ways in which countries are protecting their water supply.
The country that has seemingly restored the most vegetation is Ethiopia planting 5.5 billion plants and seedlings and planting 150 000 hectares of reforested land that is five times the size of London.
The biggest lesson the UN has taken away from this project thus far is community collaboration. This resonates with us as we believe through community there is growth. We urge you all to consider what ways you can preserve the planet, keep a lookout for what we have planned for Arbor day.
Read more about The Great Green Wall Initiative here:
A short film on this incredible Initiative
In love and encouragement to preserve our beautiful planet,