Biodiversity and the Great Green Wall : Managing nature for sustainable development in the Sahel | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
December 2017
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

The Great Green Wall is one of the main vehicles for delivering the Sustainable Development Goals and the Rio conventions in the Sahel. Biodiversity is the foundation of the Great Green Wall in many ways, determining soil productivity and water cycles and providing the foundation for risk management and resilient ecosystems. The Great Green Wall can make a major contribution to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is helping to re-focus efforts to combat desertification, to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality, and to improve food and water security in one of the most vulnerable places on earth. In doing so countries will contribute to both climate change mitigation and adaptation and to the restoration and protection of biodiversity. However the Sahel faces some of the greatest environmental threats in the world, with a potential doubling of the both rural population and of the number of agriculture-dependent people living below the poverty line by 2030. Agricultural productivity in the Sahel is increasing, but not fast enough to keep pace with population growth. As countries invest more in dryland areas, greater threats to biodiversity are anticipated and the region is projected to be more affected by habitat destruction in the coming century than almost anywhere else on earth. Biodiversity and the Great Green Wall explores the dependence of humanity on nature and the importance of biodiversity for wellbeing and sustainable development in the Sahel. The report is written to raise awareness of the critical role for biodiversity in achieving the goals of the Great Green Wall. It presents new evidence of the links between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human welfare, and demonstrates the importance of biodiversity for sustainable agriculture, providing arguments for the connection between the agricultural and environmental sectors.


The Great Green Wall: restoring ecosystems for sustainable development in the Sahel

2.1. The unique drylands of the Great Green Wall

2.2. Understanding desertification and land degradation in drylands

2.3. The ecology of the Sahel and the forces that shape it

2.4. Social and economic trends in the Sahel and the implications for biodiversity

3 Biodiversity in the Sahel.

3.1. Dryland biodiversity: adaptation to uncertainty

3.2. An overview of species diversity in the Sahel

3.3. The status of biodiversity in the Sahel

3.4. Drivers of biodiversity loss and land degradation

4 Biodiversity conservation as the foundation of ecosystem services in the Great Green Wall

4.1. Nature’s benefits to humanity in the Sahel

4.2. Supporting services

4.3. Provisioning services

4.4. Regulating services

4.5. Cultural services

5 Conserving dryland biodiversity in the Great Green Wall

5.1. Sustainable Land Management: protecting biodiversity for productive land

5.2. Restoring biodiversity for resilient landscapes and ecosystems

5.3. Innovative approaches to protected areas in production landscapes

5.4. Community conservation: securing rights for sustainable livelihoods

5.5. Conserving locally adapted agrobiodiversity

6 Barriers and opportunities to promoting biodiversity in the Great Green Wall

6.1. Misunderstanding risk and resilience in the drylands of the Great Green Wall

6.2. Managing the complexity of unprecedented change in the Sahel

6.3. Adjusting investments to address long-term underinvestment

7 Conserving biodiversity to achieve the goals of the Great Green Wall

7.1. Recommendations for mainstreaming biodiversity to achieve the goals of the Great Green Wall

7.2. Conclusion


Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Davies, Jonathan

Corporate Author(s): 

Data provider

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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