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AU to implement Great Green Wall Initiative Conjointly with Ethiopia’s Green Legacy

Addis Ababa, November 20, 2023 (FBC) – The African Union (AU) is working on how to conjointly implement the Great Green Wall Initiative with the Green Legacy Initiative, which has been registering tremendous results in combating desertification in Ethiopia, AU Director for the Great Green Wall Initiative, Elvis Paul Tangem said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Paul recalled that the Great Green Wall Initiative is a pan-African sustainable land management and restoration initiative that was created in 2005 by the heads of state.

The Great Green Wall initiative is a large-scale project aimed at combating desertification in the Sahel region of Africa, stretching from Senegal to Djibouti.

The program is currently being implemented in the Sahel region and it has been extended to southern Africa.

“We have the 16 countries of the Southern Africa region, and then we also have Somalia that has just joined as well as Ethiopia of course is a big part of the Great Green Wall Initiative,” he elaborated.

“With the Green Legacy Initiative instigated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, we now working how we can join in our work together to the Great Green Wall Initiative and Green Legacy Initiative that has done tremendous work in combating desertification, climate resilience and enhancing carbon sequestration and climate change in generality in Ethiopia.”

The Green Legacy Program has proven to be a cornerstone program and very successful due to the direct involvement of the Prime Minister, Paul described.

“It has really been successful because of the strong political engagement and personal engagement of Prime Minister Abiy. I think that is an example to follow.”

Moreover, he elaborated that we have seen how the whole community of Ethiopia both in urban and rural areas have been involved behind the Prime Minister in engaging in planting, protecting and ensuring the wellbeing of these trees.

Noting we have seen how the government is supporting the community, he commended the strong collaboration among the government, the private sector, the NGOs, international communities, under the leadership of the government in implementing the initiative.

“It is very important that we in the Great Green Wall Initiative, we get involved, we look at the model that the Green Legacy program has been using to see how we can enhance the expanding to other countries,” he elaborated.

The Director said AU has already been working with the government of Ethiopia with the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission to see how they can assist our neighboring countries, which have also been very impacted by climate change.

The Green Legacy Initiative is a flagship program initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in June 2019 with a target of planting more than 50 billion seedlings in two phases.

The nation had successfully implemented the first phase of the initiative by planting 25 billion seedlings in four years by mobilizing more than 20 million people from all corners of the country.

Efforts are also being carried out to plant another 25 billion seedlings over the coming four years.

Members of the international community including embassies and the UN agencies based in Ethiopia are also participating in the tree seedling campaigns.

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