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Science

Video shows African Union's vision to plant a 5,000-mile 'green wall' across the continent

The Great Green Wall will protect millions of people from the devastating effects of climate change.

A map of the Great Green Wall of Africa project

A new video by Our Eden traces the timeline of one of the most ambitious environmental projects in world history, the Great Green Wall in Africa. Eleven countries from the African Union have come together to build a 5,000-mile wall across the entire width of the continent made from trees and grass by 2030.

The project aims to prevent the entire Sahara Desert from moving southward into the Sahel region, which is home to over 100 million people and growing. The problem is climate change is causing the Sahara to expand into the Sahel at a breakneck pace of up to 30 miles every year.


The encroachment of the desert into the Sahel creates persistent droughts that destroy farms and livelihoods at a time when the population could expand to 330 million people by 2050.

So how is the project going? By 2020 it had raised $1 billion of its $30 billion price tag, and only 4% had been planted. It will have to proceed 20 times faster, restoring an additional 20 million acres per year, to finish by 2030. However, over the past two years, there has been a significant cash injection into the project of $20 billion from international organizations in a final push to finish the project by 2030.

When completed, the Great Green Wall should restore 247 million acres of land, sequester 250 million tons of CO2 and create 10 million jobs. To follow the project's progress or to donate to the cause, you can learn more at Tree Aid.