Firstly, I would like to say GCF is delighted to contribute to the success of the Great Green Wall initiative.
GCF shares the Great Green Wall’s ambition to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes. We too believe that such efforts are needed to address the climate and biodiversity crises, help recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening food security and creating jobs, and foster peace and security.
GCF’s ambition is to foster a paradigm shift towards low emission climate resilient development in developing countries. We are mandated to allocate half of our resources to adaption, prioritizing African States, SIDS and LDCs.
We are committed to supporting countries in the Sahel in their efforts to promote a bioeconomy.
We aim to bring climate finance across the region to accelerate transformative climate action and change. By focusing on adaptation, innovation, women and youth, entrepreneurship, and innovative financial incentives, we enable people to address and embrace climate challenges.
Since 2019, GCF has approved 29 public and private sector projects in Sahelian countries, totaling over USD 1 billion of GCF financing and almost $ 2.5 billion in co-financing.
In January 2021, GCF pledged USD 1 billion of investment in the Sahel at the One Planet Summit.
And this year GCF approved three new projects that contribute to the Great Green Wall pillars.
They include a renewable energy program with the African Development Bank that taps into the solar powerhouse potential of the Sahel; a program with IFAD, to develop climate resilient agricultural practices in 7 countries, and a climate-resilient agricultural project in Niger with the West African Development Bank.
GCF also supports a pipeline of projects in the Sahel through our Readiness Programme. This includes proposals to support ecosystem restoration and regenerative agriculture.
Finally, we are partnering with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), IFAD and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to develop a Regional Support Programme. This new initiative will identify transformational approaches to better support Sahelian countries in accelerating their national development plans and strategies.
Urgent action is required to create development opportunities to benefit livelihoods and restore ecosystems.
This can only be achieved through partnerships to mobilize private and public sector finance, develop sustainable value chains and harness green and innovative technologies.
Today, after 14 years of discussions, we finally face a unique window of opportunity. Unprecedented political commitment at the highest level and exceptional amounts of funding have now put the Great Green Wall within our reach.
Let us harness these forces through greater coherence, coordination and partnerships and ensure that the Great Green Wall becomes a reality for people and planet.