Pr Aimé Nianogo, IUCN Regional Director for West and Central Africa, took part in a ceremony on October 15th in Washington DC, marking the signing of grant agreements under the Building Resilience through Innovation and Knowledge Services (BRICKS) project supporting the Great Green Wall Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The ceremony was chaired by Colin Bruce, World Bank Director for Strategy and Operations in the Africa Region, with Djimé Adoum, Executive Secretary of the Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), Khatim Kherraz, Executive Secretary of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), and Aimé Nianogo, Regional Director of the West and Central Africa Office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-PACO).
The BRICKS project is the regional component of the Sahel and West Africa Program to Support the Great Green Wall Initiative, the GEF and World Bank contribution to the Great Green Wall Initiative (SAWAP/GGWI). It will provide knowledge and monitoring services to twelve countries from Senegal to Ethiopia and will help to disseminate the lessons and good practices.
“This initiative will enable IUCN to strengthen its support to IUCN members and partners in the 12 countries of the SAWAP Programme”, while at the same time increasing synergy with other international and regional institutions in the region, said Pr Nianogo. “We look forward to providing technical expertise from around the world and facilitating experience and lesson sharing among various geographic contexts in Africa”.
SAWAP/GGWI aims to expand sustainable land and water management in targeted landscapes and in climate-vulnerable areas in West African and Sahelian countries. The SAWAP is composed of twelve investment operations implemented by twelve countries using resources from the GEF, the Least Developed Countries Fund, and the Special Climate Change Fund in addition to World Bank investments in agriculture, local development, forests, energy, or disaster risk management.
“The GEF is delighted to be helping countries of the Sahel and West Africa region move forward with the Great Green Wall Initiative,” said Ishii Naoko, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility.
BRICKS will be co-implemented at regional level by CILSS (lead the regional knowledge management activities), OSS (responsible for geospatial services and portfolio M&E), and IUCN (lead in the areas of biodiversity, networking strategies, and strategic communication). These agencies and their partners will provide on-demand technical assistance, advisory services, and a regional platform for cross-fertilization of what works, where, and under what enabling conditions.
“Sahelian countries face a complex set of development challenges. Flat economic growth, rising population, and rapid natural resource degradation are now increasingly affected by climate change,” said Dr. Adoum, CILSS Executive Secretary. “Through projects such as BRICKS we aim to build capacities of African institutions, strengthen country project implementation and secure robust development gains that not only help reduce poverty but also build the resilience and coping capacities of poor communities living in ecologically fragile, harsh environments.”
“The BRICKS project is a strategic effort designed to boost resilience in the Sahel and help countries and communities adapt to the challenges posed by a changing climate and rapidly degrading natural resource base,” said Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.
The BRICKS project will leverage knowledge across a substantial, highly visible portfolio of sustainable landscape investments. It will help to include global environmental public goods management as a fundamental strategy for securing economic growth, equity, and livelihoods opportunities in an era of increasing climate variability. It will disseminate and promote evidence-based policymaking and investments. And it will serve as an interface with other partners as the African Union Commission, FAO, and UNCCD to ensure complementarities and synergies.
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