Building a wall of trees to stop desertification

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Gepubliceerd op 17 juni 2019

Today marks the 25th anniversary of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD). Under its theme ‘Let’s grow the future together,’ the initiative celebrates the 25 years of progress made in sustainable land management.

One ambitious project – the Great Green Wall – aims to improve life in Africa’s desert regions by planting a belt of trees across the entire width of the continent. Once completed, the wall will be the largest living structure on the planet stretching across 20 countries - from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east.

By 2030, the initiative aims to have restored 100 million hectares of degraded land, sequestered 250 million tonnes of carbon and created 10 million green jobs.


Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, this image shows the edge of the dry desert in west Africa contrasted with vegetated land. Signs of land degradation can be seen as brighter “islands” around villages and to a lesser extent along roads and rivers showing bare soil and degraded vegetation. The image shows parts of three African countries: Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.