A number of young people are helping to build the Great Green Wall.

Since being approved by the African Union in June 2005, the Great Green Wall (GGW) project has made steady progress. In Senegal, thousands of young people from different backgrounds meet up in the sylvopastoral area of northern Senegal. Their goal is to plant trees along the route of the GGW which should, in the next 50 years, create a forest barrier 7,000 km long and 15 km wide to halt encroaching desertification and help combat climate change. Creating the Great Green Wall, which will link Dakar to Djibouti, will involve reforesting 15 million ha. The project, which started in Senegal, involves 10 other African countries.

Since 2008, more than 2,500 ha have been planted in Senegal by youth organisations as part of what is known as ‘citizen’ holidays arranged by the Ministry for Youth. Local communities also contribute, allocating land for reforestation and helping in the work to plant trees. According to Senegal’s GMV director Colonel Matar Cissé, who also heads the Ministry of Water and Forests, the government spends nearly FCFA2 billion/year (about €3 million) on the initiative.

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