AfDBThe President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has confirmed that the bank has earmarked about $14 billion for climate change adaptation programmes and project developments in Africa.

According to a statement, Adesina disclosed the plans at a high level meeting on the GGW programme in Africa entitled, “Growing a World Wonder” at the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21) held in Paris.

The Head, Press and Public Relations Office, Great Green Wall Programme (GGW), Mrs. Larai Daze, said Nigeria’s Environment Minister, Mrs. Amina Mohammed at the forum stated that the partnership of 11 frontline Nigerian states in the northern part was vital to successful implementation of the GGW.

Mohammed said the role of host communities across the participating states was imperative, urging them to accept the ownership of the projects.

The minister recommended a participatory approach for the development of the programmes by involving the affected communities during planning and execution of projects.

Mohammed stressed the importance of data gathering and storage as well as the adaptation of appropriate communication strategy and technology in the implementation of the programme.

According to her, it is importance to make the GGW initiative part of the national development plan and the sustainable development agenda.

The Vice President, Sustainable Development Practice at the World Bank, Ms Laura Lou commended the African Union for the GGW initiative, stressing that the World Bank has been supportive of the programme in Ethiopia, through the restoration of degraded areas of about 100 million hectares.

A sum of $1.9 billion, she disclosed, was set aside for programmes and projects all over the world in agriculture, water resources, land restoration including the GGW programme.

However, participants agreed that the initiative should not be considered as afforestation and reforestation programme, but should be seen as food and livelihood, job creation, improvement of grazing facilities, fisheries and farmers improvement.

They called for need to mobilise resources for GGW programme, and arrest rural-urban drift, adding that GGW was about the survival of a country by increasing the resilience of countries to climate change and giving back life to earth.

The event, which was co-organised by the African Union Commission and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), was to leverage new public and private investment under a GGW brand supported by a global campaign.

In attendance were Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mr. Amedi Camara; ministers from the GGW countries, World Bank, Global Environment Fund, European Union Commission, and AfDB representatives as well as bilateral partners.

By Pita Ochai

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