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One Planet Summit for Biodiversity

11th January 2021

On 11 January 2021, world leaders and global organisations came together at the 'One Planet Summit for Biodiversity' to discuss an ambitious new international agreement on biodiversity. The Great Green Wall initiative took center stage, with the announcement of new support to help mobilise the movement which aims to restore degraded landscapes and improve the lives of millions of people living in the Sahel.

Tree Aid CEO comments on the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity announcements.

“Tree Aid welcomes today’s announcement at the One Planet Summit of the new Great Green Wall Accelerator and the $14.326 billion funding. This funding must urgently go to grassroots organisations and communities to deliver on the Great Green Wall and fulfil its ambitious targets. The aim to complete the Wall by 2030 will only be realised by the hard work and strong wills of millions of rural people in the Sahel working for this common goal. The message from the summit is clear: the time to act is now.  

Accountability alongside action is critical for the Great Green Wall to move forward from here. Tree Aid welcomes pledges of support and funding but it must translate into meaningful action to improve the lives of millions of people living in the Sahel.  

The Summit’s messages of private and public sector investment, collaboration and coordination is welcomed and is something Tree Aid has been doing for more than a decade to support the Great Green Wall.  We need to continue to build on commitments from the whole spectrum of private and public sector to come together with communities across the Sahel to deliver the Great Green Wall.  

The Great Green Wall Accelerator, a renewed coordination effort announced today, will play a pivotal role in measuring the delivery of the renewed commitments to the Great Green Wall. It is essential to the movement’s success that all actors continue to measure the impact this movement is having across the Sahel.”

Why support the Great Green Wall?

The degradation of land in the Sahel means it can less and less support plant, animal or human life. We bear witness to this fact and the impact it is having on communities across the drylands of Africa and action is more urgent than ever to reverse this emerging disaster.

As an organisation that strives daily to deliver on the vision of the Great Green Wall, at Tree Aid, we believe that the work to date has been vital and the building blocks of coordination and monitoring are in place to scale-up work and deliver against this ambitious target by 2030. The way forward is clear: what we need now is more funding, more focus and more collaboration to restore the environment across the Sahel to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty here. 

Contributions to deliver the Great Green Wall come from all sections of society – from the farmer who chooses to use agroforestry to improve their crops, to the communities who unite together to protect their land and forests, to charities delivering large-scale restoration programmes, to government efforts to deliver across entire regions. We must work collectively in order to see this vision become a reality.

Tree Aid is proud to be working with communities across the Sahel region of Africa to be part of one of the most urgent movements of our time. Tree Aid's expertise has contributed to the Great Green Wall since its inception - we grow 1 tree every 19 seconds on average for the initiative and so far have restored 155,222 hectares of land. Already communities are reaping the rewards, with bigger harvests and more food to eat and sell.