Ecosystem Management

Great Green Wall - GGW


The Great Green Wall is a pan-African initiative to restore and sustainably manage land in the Sahel-Saharan region in order to address both poverty and land degradation. First envisioned by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2005 and strongly championed by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, the Initiative gained significant momentum in 2007 with adoption of African Union Declaration 137 VIII, approving the “Decision on the Implementation of the Green Wall for the Sahara Initiative”. In June 2010, Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan signed a convention in Ndjamena, Chad, to create the Great Green Wall (GGW) Agency. In more recent years the vision has evolved into an integrated ecosystem management approach.

The combination of high level political support and steadily improving technical awareness of how best to combat desertification has encouraged a number of major donors to back the Great Green Wall Initiative. The Global Environmental Facility granted $100.8 million to the GGW participating countries to expand sustainable land and water management and adaptation in targeted landscapes and in climate vulnerable areas in West African and Sahelian countries. Other major donors include the World Bank and the European Union.

The Great Green Wall initiative has revived interest in Sustainable Land Management in the Sahel and north of the Sahara and has galvanised action to implement the UNCCD. The GGW has helped to shed a spotlight on recent innovations in SLM in the region and at the same time has leveraged a high degree of political will and leadership from member States. In response public finance for SLM actions has increased and several donors have also mobilised substantial investments, offering opportunities for rapid progress. However, degradation in the region is often the outcome of past policy and investment failures and there are concerns in some quarters that current strategies may not depart significantly enough from past mistakes.

The purpose of this project is greater implementation of policies for sustainable land management in the Sahel (Great Green Wall (GGW) countries) through enhanced investment, intersectoral coordination, and engagement of marginalized groups.

The projects components are;

Component 1: Adaptive management & Learning

Component 2: Participation, diversity and equity

Component 3: Investment for Policy Implementation


For more details on GGW, Contact:  Razingrim OUEDRAOGO, Senior Programme Officer, Global Drylands Initiative (

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