For Desertification and Drought Day, Hans Bauer highlights WildCRU’s research in Sudan and Ethiopia
This year’s Desertification and Drought Day will focus on turning degraded land into healthy land. Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover and can help combat climate change through carbon storage.
One of the biggest projects to combat desertification is the ‘great green wall’ between the Sahel and the Sahara (www.greatgreenwall.org). On its trajectory is the transboundary ecosystem consisting of Dinder National Park in Sudan and Alitash National Park in Ethiopia. These parks combine ecological values of carbon storage, biodiversity conservation and halting deforestation. Combating deforestation is explicitly mentioned as a main reason for the creation of Alitash. WildCRU has been conducting research in the area since 2016 (https://www.wildcru.org/news/dinder/), most recently through a ‘distance’-survey of wildlife in Dinder.
Ethiopia has a very ambitious tree planting program; last year it reported planting 4 billion trees.This ambitious goal, supported at the highest level, helps create mass awareness and grow the impact of the programme. Staff of our Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program (https://www.ethiopianwolf.org/) contributed by planting trees in several of their field sites.