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Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 7142-7154; doi:10.3390/su6107142

Increasing the Effectiveness of the “Great Green Wall” as an Adaptation to the Effects of Climate Change and Desertification in the Sahel

1
Redpath Museum, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H3A 0C4, Canada
2
Department of Geography, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H3A 0C4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 August 2014 / Revised: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 September 2014 / Published: 16 October 2014
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Abstract

The Great Green Wall (GGW) has been advocated as a means of reducing desertification in the Sahel through the planting of a broad continuous band of trees from Senegal to Djibouti. Initially proposed in the 1980s, the plan has received renewed impetus in light of the potential of climate change to accelerate desertification, although the implementation has been lacking in all but two of 11 countries in the region. In this paper, we argue that the GGW needs modifying if it is to be effective, obtain the support of local communities and leverage international support. Specifically, we propose a shift from planting trees in the GGW to utilizing shrubs (e.g., Leptospermum scoparium, Boscia senegalensis, Grewia flava, Euclea undulata or Diospyros lycioides), which would have multiple benefits, including having a faster growth rate and proving the basis for silvo-pastoral livelihoods based on bee-keeping and honey production. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; adaptation; Africa; desertification; land reclamation climate change; adaptation; Africa; desertification; land reclamation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

O'Connor, D.; Ford, J. Increasing the Effectiveness of the “Great Green Wall” as an Adaptation to the Effects of Climate Change and Desertification in the Sahel. Sustainability 2014, 6, 7142-7154.

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