Great Green Wall: old thinking, new ambition

I cannot help but be somewhat skeptical about African leaders’ plans for a Great Green Wall of trees to hold back the Sahara desert. Twenty years ago tree planting was all the rage in forestry hereabouts, and twenty years ago all the seedlings were eaten by goats. Soil erosion and desertification are serious problems, and I applaud the ambition behind the Great Green Wall idea. (Are they planning on getting funding from the carbon markets, I wonder?) But they need to ensure they get the incentives right, including real community engagement, otherwise this will turn into another white elephant, where grandiose plans and statements from on high run aground against poor implementation and lack of consultation.

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