Great Green Wall in the Spotlight at COP
Attention and support for the Great Green Wall, an African-led initiative to restore land and ecosystems in Africa, were reinforced at COP26. As a funder of several projects in the Sahel region that contribute to the Great Green Wall pillars, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) affirmed its support for the initiative at several events.
On November 1, GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec was invited to speak on a panel at a side event of the World Leaders Summit. Organised by the One Planet Summit and the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall, this high-level event was moderated by the Prince of Wales and French President Emmanuel Macron, bringing together heads of state and dignitaries to discuss the Great Green Wall’s 2030 targets and progress achieved so far. Among the panelists were the Presidents of Mauritania and Niger, and the President of the European Commission.
GCF co-organised a Ministerial side event on the Great Green Wall together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on November 8. GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec spoke on the opening panel together with Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, GEF CEO & Chairperson; Abdoulaye Dia, Executive Secretary Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall; Philippe Lacoste, Director for Sustainable Development at the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs of France; and Sharon Ikeazor, Federal Minister of State for Environment, Nigeria.
At both events, Yannick Glemarec outlined how GCF support for projects in Sahelian countries will reinforce resilience and increase access to clean energy, whilst emphasising the need for more coordination and partnerships to ensure the success of the Great Green Wall.
“The massive political momentum behind the Great Green Wall must be maintained”, stated Glemarec. “Effective coordination will be key in providing coherent support to Sahelian countries in addressing the multiple challenges they are currently facing”.
In addition, GCF and IFAD signed an agreement on November 8 for a project that was recently approved by the GCF Board. The project, which aims to develop climate-resilient agricultural practices in seven countries of the Sahel, gave a further boost to the Great Green Wall momentum at COP.
In 2021, the GCF Board approved several new projects that contribute to the Great Green Wall pillars.
- The USD 82.8 million Africa Integrated Climate Risk Management Programme with IFAD aims to build climate resilience of farmers in seven countries, benefitting over five million people.
- The Desert to Power Programme is a USD 960 million investment, including USD 150 million of GCF financing. Implemented with the African Development Bank, it aims to build renewable energy plants and micro-grids and has the potential of making the Sahel a regional energy hub.
- A USD 53 million project, including USD 35 million of GCF financing, with the West African Development Bank to develop climate resilient agricultural practices in Niger that will benefit one million people.