The AU GGW Coordinator concluded the presentation by stating that “The GGW Initiative will play a central role in promoting Global Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Her Excellency, Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of UNCCD as special guest of honor started her statement with a passionate appeal on the strategic importance of the GGW and her personal commitment to ensuring its success. According to her “My heart has always been on this Initiative. The Great Green Wall is the modern World’s greatest endeavor that symbolizes man and nature coming together to overcome some of today’s most urgent challenges; climate change, food security, migration, and of course land restoration”. She further declared that, “The GGW is far more than simply growing trees. It is about growing solutions and opportunities; growing resilience to climate change; growing green jobs that provide a suitable income for African women and youth; about growing food security where 20 million people in the Sahel still go to sleep hungry every night”. Finally, the UNCCD Secretary General committed the UNCCD to embark on scaling up the GGW Initiative through partnership with the Africa Union Commission (AUC) and other Stakeholders involved in the cause. A panel question and answer session involving key players in the GGW followed the opening session. Responding to a question on financial mechanism to support the implementation of GGW, Goni Ahmed, Director General (NAGGW), narrated the achievements attained in Nigeria since 2013, when implementation of the Initiative commenced, including the establishment of National Agency for the Great Green Wall as Institutional Framework to coordinate the implementation of the program. The Director General further stated the commitment and enthusiasm shown by the Federal Government of Nigeria and sustainable financial mechanism put in place to ensure the implementation of the Initiative. Finally, he appealed for financial and technical support from Development Partners to ensure the success of the GGW Initiative. At the end of the event, the message was clear that, “The potential that exists both at local, national and regional levels needs to be topped to develop public and private partnerships, so that through Africa’s Great Green Wall, we can grow a “World Wonder”- that serves all humanity for generations to come”.
(Katsina is the Head, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at National Agency for the Great Green Wall)
Continued from last week.