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FAQ: Top Questions on the Great Green Wall Answered

The Great Green Wall is set to be one of our planet's biggest answers to the climate crisis. From where it is to what it will look like, here's your top questions on the project answered. 12th May 2023

Heard of the Great Green Wall and want to know a bit more about it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This African-led restoration project is one of earth’s biggest responses to the climate crisis, and will help to transform lives for millions living on the frontlines of a changing world.

But it’s still one that not many people have heard about. So from where it is to what it will look like, here’s your top questions about the Great Green Wall answered.  


Q: Where in Africa’s drylands is the Great Green Wall?

The Great Green Wall is planned to span the width of Africa’s drylands, in an area called the Sahel. This is a huge region, which borders the Sahara Desert.

Eleven countries have agreed to participate in the Great Green Wall project. From East to West, these are: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal. 


Map of Africa with illustrated trees showing where the Great Green Wall will be


Q: Who is planting the Great Green Wall? 

The Great Green Wall is being planted by thousands of ordinary people, across Africa’s drylands. It is an African-led movement, which puts people and sustainability at its core.

This means that local communities are the ones being trained and given the tools they need to restore and protect the land. The benefits? People who are most vulnerable get the support they need, and trees survive for the long-term.  


Smiling women picking fruit from a baobab tree


Q: Why are they planting the Great Green Wall?

The Sahel is one of the most vulnerable regions on earth because of climate change. Why? Temperatures are rising in this region twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet.

Less rainfall and more unpredictable weather also mean that communities who live in the rural drylands are struggling to farm, grow crops and make enough money to meet their basic needs.

That’s why the Great Green Wall is urgently needed to hold back the desert, provide nutritious food and grow stable incomes for those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.


Woman splashing water from a stream onto her face


Q: What will the Great Green Wall look like in each country?

From frankincense in Ethiopia to baobab in Ghana, the Great Green Wall is made up of lots of different tree species. This means the way it looks will vary from country to country and even village to village.

You can think of it like a ‘mosaic’ of restoration projects, which will run from one side of the continent to the other. The project will bring back native tree and plant species to a once fertile area, transforming the landscape and making it greener.  


Landscape image of green fields and trees beneath blue sky


Q: When did it start and when will it be finished?

The idea for the Great Green Wall took shape in 2007, when the African Union came together to think of ways for tackling the growing threat of climate change and land degradation.

The target end date for completing the Great Green Wall is 2030. And while it’s no secret that the project is behind schedule, thanks to the amazing ambition of dryland communities, over 20 million hectares have already been restored.

But there’s still more to do. That’s why Tree Aid is urgently scaling-up planting, to make sure the incredible vision becomes a reality.


A smiling man tapping a frankincense tree with bowl and pick


Q: How many types of trees are being planted?

Tree Aid is alone in supporting people to plant over 192 diverse tree species! All of these are native to their regions and suited to surviving the climate crisis. From the iconic baobab to climate-smart cashews, you can help plant the Great Green Wall today - join us in growing a greener future for tomorrow, today.


Close up picture of a baobab fruit cut in half

Want to find out more about the Great Green Wall? Click here