The conceptual idea behind the Great Green Wall in the Sahel in Africa was first launched in 2005. The rationale of this ambitious project is to halt ecosystem degradation in the Sahel and improve livelihoods and biodiversity. This is done through reforestation and similar regreening initiatives. The Great Green Wall extends from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east. Led by the African Agency for the Great Green Wall, Sahel countries have initiated already several projects. This is done in close collaboration with the local population and in different ways. An example is the start-up of test farms in Mauritania that are run by the local population.
From 23 to 25 September a conference in Dakar was organised about the Great Green Wall by the UN Environment International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP), the National Academy of Sciences & Techniques of Senegal and the Chinese Academy of Science. On behalf of Birdlife (Senegal/Netherlands) A&W was invited to give a presentation on the benefits for biodiversity of the GGW, in particular migratory birds.