An ambitious plan has got underway to plant a band of trees across the Sahel region of Africa, to hold back desertification and combat climate change, thanks to the support of the United Nations.
The Sahel region of Africa stretches across the continent eastwards from the Atlantic Ocean and is located south of the Sahara desert. © UNDP Mauritania/Freya Morales Planting has begun in Burkina Faso on what is known as the Great Green Wall
It is hoped the line of vegetation will help the region’s people plant more crops and provide a secure source of food, improved health and thousands of new jobs.
It could also help to break a cycle of migration which may force up to 85 million people to leave their homes by 2050
Climate change in the impoverished Sahel is already happening one and a half times faster than the global average, and the region is experiencing droughts every two years, rather than the typical 10-year cycle
But UN now agencies like the UN Development Programme are stepping up the humanitarian and development response
Read more here about how the Sahel could change course, and become a region of opportunities