The Great Green Wall is the wall we need

Publié le 09/04/2023 - 12:14
Mis à jour le 20/04/2023 - 16:04

H.E. M. Mohamed H. Abdullahi, Chair of the Council of Ministers of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall,
President Issoufou, Champion of the Great Green Wall and former President of Niger,
H. E. Ms. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission,
Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification,

Colleagues and friends.
As the world seeks to elevate its efforts to address the triple planetary crisis – the crisis of climate change, of nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste – we need action on the ground. Action that hits all three elements of the triple crisis. Action that is locally led and adapted to the needs of nations and communities. Action that deals with the deep-rooted injustices that hit vulnerable people the hardest.

The African-led Great Green Wall is the embodiment of the action we need. In restoring savanna, grasslands and farmlands across the Sahel, the Great Green Wall is slowing climate change. Helping communities adapt. Restoring biodiversity. Bringing peace, jobs, sustainability and hope. My thanks to the UNCCD and its Accelerator Mechanism for effective collaboration on the Great Green Wall – which has been instrumental in mobilizing USD 15 billion with and for countries and the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall.

The international community must throw even more of its weight behind this movement – which is why the Great Green Wall has been designated one of the ten flagships of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – with a self-selected focus on Niger and Burkina Faso.

UNEP, co-lead of the decade with the Food and Agriculture Organization, is fully committed to the Great Green Wall – and the organization is working with partners, many of whom are at this event, to design a GEF 8 Impact Programme in support of the Great Green Wall.

Challenges remain. There is a lot of work to do before this mosaic of landscapes and ecosystems stretches across the whole of the Sahel. And we remain concerned about insecurity and strife in some of the region, which doesn’t bode well for countries suffering under climate change. Good governance must remain in the drivers’ seat to overcome these challenges.

Friends, the Great Green Wall is the kind of wall our world needs now more than ever. A wall of nature, not concrete. A wall of hope, not hate. A wall of unity, not division. A wall we can all get behind.

Thank you.

30 March 2023
Speech delivered by: Inger Andersen
For: Ministerial meeting of Great Green Wall