The National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) was established by Act of Parliament in 2015 to pursue the laudable vision of the African Union and its Heads of State and Governments when they adopted and launched the Great Green Wall in the Sahel and Sahara Initiative (GGWSSI).
The GGWSSI involves a range of stakeholders including National Governments, International Organizations, the Private Sector and Civil Society who all work together under the coordination of Pan African Great Green Wall (PAGGW) to combat land degradation and improve the livelihoods of the affected communities. International partners such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Bank, Global Environment Facility (GEF), the European Union (EU), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) among others have mobilized substantial investments to push forward the implementation of GGW Initiative.
The initiative which effectively commenced in Nigeria in 2013, is centred on the efforts to combat land degradation, drought and desertification and other menace orchestrated by impacts of climate change and a strive in the implementation process to improve on the livelihoods of the affected communities and reduce apparent manifestation of poverty and building the resilience of the people on the phenomena of climate change. The GGWSSI spanned from Djibouti to Senegal and involves eleven (11) countries (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Mauritania).
The ambition of GGWSSI by 2030 is to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land; sequester 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million green jobs. It is envisaged that, this ambition when it becomes reality will transform the drylands of Africa from threat to livelihoods to provider of livelihoods. It will transform the lives of millions of people living in poverty and suffering the effects of the climate crisis. It will also help to break the cycle of migration and conflict prevalent in the Sahelian areas of Africa among other positive effects and impacts.
At the National level, member States have established National GGW Agencies or focal points to supervise and coordinate the implementation of National GGW priority actions.
The scope of the implementation process of the National Agency for the Great Gree Wall (NAGGW) covers the northern frontline States (Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Yobe).
To achieve the mandate of the Agency, the following components are pertinent:
- Degraded land restoration and rehabilitation through Afforestation and reforestation.
- Farmers’ Managed Natural Regeneration to restore and improve agricultural, forested and pasture lands by encouraging the systemic re-growth of existing trees or self-sown seeds.
- Promotion of alternative livelihood activities to reduce dependency on the scarce natural resources, enhance rural economy and generate employment.
- Promotion of alternative sources of energy to reduce deforestation and enhance carbon sequestration.
- Promotion of dryland agriculture to strengthen food security and rural economy.
- Establishment of fodder farms to reduce over grazing, enhance livestock production and increase rural income and reduce farmers – herders’ conflicts.
- Sand dune fixation to protect agricultural lands and infrastructure.
- Oasis rehabilitation to enhance livelihood activities and food security.
- Water resources management to ameliorate the impacts of drought and promote irrigation practices.
- Sensitization and awareness campaign to mobilize the rural communities towards the implementation of the programme.
The Pan African Agency for the Great Green Wall (PAGGW)
While the African Union oversees the political aspects of the GGW Initiative, the Pan African Agency for the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) established in 2010 is responsible for the coordination and monitoring the implementation of GGW and for the mobilization of necessary resources in the member Countries. The 9 Regional Structural Programmes (RSP) coordinated by PAGGW are structured around the 5 Major Strategic Axes of the GGW Initiative. These are implemented in all the GGW countries and tailored to each country’s specific need with common objective of restoration of degraded land, economic development, increasing adaptation and resilience to climate change and actions against food insecurity and migration.
Based on Article 6 of the Convention Creating the Pan-African Agency for the Great Green Wall (PAGGW), the PAGGW includes the following Bodies:
1. The Conference of Heads of State and Government: The Conference of Heads of State and Government consists of Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the PAGGW. It is the supreme body of the PAGGW. It defines the mandates of the Agency and appoints the Executive Secretary. This Body meets once every two-years, and it briefs the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) about its activities and decisions. The decisions of the Conference are made by consensus.
2. The Council of Ministers: The Council of Ministers is composed of Ministers in charge of Environment of GGW Member States. The Council mandates include:
- Ensure the implementation of the activities defined by the Conference of Heads of State and Government.
- Adoption of the Strategic framework and Global Action Plan of the PAGGW.
- Approval of the budget of the Executive Secretariat and the capital spending programme of the Executive Secretariat.
- Assist the Executive Secretariat in Resource Mobilization.
- Adoption of the technical and financial activities reports of the Executive Secretariat.
- Approval of agreement and technical and financial conventions of cooperation binding the PAGGW to an International organization.
- Approval of the chat, the rules of procedure and the handbook of procedures of the PAGGW
- The Technical Committee of Experts: This Committee is to assist the Executive Secretariat in the following.
- The examination of the Workplan and budget of the PAGGW to be submitted for the approval of the Council of Ministers.
- Preparation of the meeting of the Council of Ministers.
- Assessment of contracts and agreements submitted to the PAGGW.
The Committee has also the mandate to provide technical and scientific advise on any issue submitted by the Executive Secretariat. The Committee that meets once annually can further submit proposals to the Executive Secretariat. The Technical Committee is composed of the following members:
- Head of National Structure of the GGW (The Director General of the NAGGW represents Nigeria)
- National Directors of Forestry
- Experts nominated by a state.
- One Representative of the African Union.
- One representative of NEPAD.
- One Representative of CEN-SAD.
- The Inter States Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).
- The Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC).
- The Inter Government authority for Development (IGAD).
- The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)
It has been estimated that about 30 billion USD will be required in the next decade to actualize the ambitions of the Great Green Wall Initiative or the 2030 Decennial Priority Investment plan ambition of the GGW. In order to address this funding gab, the World leaders at ‘One Planet Summit” on Climate Change and Biodiversity on January 11th 2021 at Ely see, France decided to facilitate the coordination and collaboration of donors and other stakeholders to mobilize resources to support the implementation of GGW. Financial pledges and commitments were made by several multilateral and bilateral organizations for a total amount of 19.68 billion USD to enhance the implementation of GGW from 2021 – 2025 and this necessitated the establishment of GGW Accelerator as multi-stakeholder platform to coordinate the utilization of the financial resources. The GGW Accelerator will be coordinated through the Pan-African Agency for the Great Green Wall with initial support from UNCCD to monitor and promote investments towards five pillars:
Pillar 1: Investment in small and medium-size farms and strengthening of value chains, local markets, organization of export.
Pillar 2: Land restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems.
Pillar 3: Climate resilient infrastructure and access to renewable energy.
Pillar 4: Favourable economic and institutional framework for effective governance, sustainability, stability and security.
Pillar 5: And Capacity building.
The intervention activities of the GGW Initiative have been providing meaningful employment for the people around and within the corridor. Particularly, the projects and programmes of the initiative have created enhanced livelihood options with income generations activities. Examples of include among others the following:
- Recruitment and Engagement of forest guards from within the affected communities to protect the various investments of the initiative and protect the environment.
- Empowerment of over Women and Youth in Agrobusinesses (Livestock production - Sheep and Goats, Poultry, Cattle Fattening and seeds and seedlings production, Vegetable Market Gardening, Cassava processing and Marketing etc);
Employment is also being generated through value chain development of Non- Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) especially in Gum Arabic processing, Beekeeping, Balanites oil production etc.
For the sustainability of the GGWI in Nigeria strengthening the following is cardinal:
1. Capacity building and development: This is essential to the success and sustainability of the GGW programme. Capacity building and development is being carried out at the following three levels:
- System level (enabling environment) to facilitate coordination of the GGW actions.
- Institutional level to facilitate streamlining of frameworks for concerted action and increase their efficiency and effectiveness; and
- Individual level to strengthen and develop the scientific and technical skill of each individual actor.
2. The Participation of Local Communities
Participation of local communities is crucial in the success and sustainability of the programme. Local Communities are therefore involved in the planning, implementation and post investment stages of the programme.
3. Partnership and Collaboration with Development Partners
Collaboration with Development Partners has been identified as essential for sustainability of the programme. The main role of these partners include among others:
- Supporting the development and implementation of projects;
- Participating in mobilizing necessary resources for programme development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation; and
- Providing relevant technical assistance for systemic, institutional and operational capacity development.
4. Private Sector Participation
Framework has been evolved for private sector participation in the programme through Pub-Private Partnership (PPP). The programme provides enabling environment for Private Sector Operators to invest in the huge economic potentials of the natural resources abound in the drylands to generate employment, ensure environmental sustainability and drive economic benefit.
5. Monitoring and Evaluation
Formulating common goals, objectives and baseline criteria to measure progress and the exchange lesson learned among actors is at the heart of any multisectoral effort to improve the quality and quantity of investments. Monitoring and evaluation of the GGW Programme implementation has been developed to perform the following functions:
- Strengthening knowledge management and benchmarking.
- Guiding the design and implementation of individual investment operations on the ground.
- Strengthening adherence and alignment around shared goals and common vision of the GGW, as well as the climate of trust between the actors.
Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF) for the Nigerian GGW is developed and in place. The MEF outlines minimum set of strategic indicators for each project centered on the following aspect linked to the GGW National Strategic Action Plan objectives, impacts and expected outcomes:
- Improvement of the livelihoods of people likely to be affected by drought, land degradation and desertification.
- Maintenance or increase in ecosystem functions, including net primary productivity.
- Surface area of forest, agricultural and aqua-cultural ecosystems under sustainable management.
- Plant and animal biodiversity.