FROM THE FIELD: Green wall of opportunities grows in the Sahel

Mali has partnered with UNDP to strengthen agricultural communities and empower women to mitigate the social and economic consequences of climate change.
© UNDP/Imen Meliane
Mali has partnered with UNDP to strengthen agricultural communities and empower women to mitigate the social and economic consequences of climate change.

FROM THE FIELD: Green wall of opportunities grows in the Sahel

Climate and Environment

An ambitious plan has got underway to plant a band of trees across the Sahel region of Africa, to hold back desertification and combat climate change, thanks to the support of the United Nations.

The Sahel region of Africa stretches across the continent eastwards from the Atlantic Ocean and is located south of the Sahara desert.
The Sahel region of Africa stretches across the continent eastwards from the Atlantic Ocean and is located south of the Sahara desert. © UNDP Mauritania/Freya Morales

Planting has begun in Burkina Faso on what is known as the Great Green Wall.

It is hoped the line of vegetation will help the region’s people plant more crops and provide a secure source of food, improved health and thousands of new jobs.

It could also help to break a cycle of migration which may force up to 85 million people to leave their homes by 2050.

Climate change in the impoverished Sahel is already happening one and a half times faster than the global average, and the region is experiencing droughts every two years, rather than the typical 10-year cycle.

But UN now agencies like the UN Development Programme are stepping up the humanitarian and development response.

Read more here about how the Sahel could change course, and become a region of opportunities.