30 Nov – 12 Dec 2023, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
High-level Event

Land for climate – Regreening Africa and the Great Green Wall

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According to recent research, at least 65% of Africa’s productive land is currently degraded. Not only does this result in a loss of agricultural productivity and livelihoods, but also in reduced resilience and capacity of communities to tackle erratic and slow-onset climatic changes.

Simultaneously, these same climatic changes are exacerbating land degradation caused by trends in natural resource management practices, tree-based energy demand, agro-pastoral dynamics, urbanisation, and conflict.

The imperative for the restoration of resilient landscapes hence becomes evident in the face of climate change: (i) land restoration can support and sustain livelihoods of communities through the climate-proofing and diversification of their economic income base, as well as through enhancing land productivity; (ii) it can reduce disaster risk through improved ecosystem services; (iii) but it also holds the potential to draw down vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere to regain a safe climate for the planet.

Many regional initiatives supported by the European Union, such as the African Union’s Great Green Wall initiative or Regreening Africa, have markedly contributed to making this connection more evident. Through techniques such as Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration, they empower communities to restore their lands and livelihoods in adverse conditions.

This event will allow to delve deeper into some of these aspects. A first section of keynotes will seek to draw the connections between sustainable land management and climate change from a set of different perspectives. The following expert panel will then dive deeper and provide insights into the technical aspects of harnessing the synergies between action on land and climate.


  • Highlight the immense potential of sustainable land management and large-scale land restoration for climate adaptation/mitigation and resilience of communities.
  • Spotlight existing initiatives/techniques proving this connection, such as the Great Green Wall, Regreening Africa, and Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration.
  • Provide ideas about how to increase awareness concerning the importance of land (for climate action), as well as land-related challenges, solutions, and associated costs.
  • Demonstrate the power of collaboration at multiple levels fostering synergies between actions on land, climate, food security, biodiversity loss and livelihoods.

Moderator: Niclas Gottmann, Policy Officer Land & Environment, European Commission (DG INTPA)


  • Marieta Jager, DDG, EC (DG INTPA)
  • Khadija Mohamed, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Somalia (tbc)
  • Éliane Ubalijoro, CEO, CIFOR-ICRAF
  • Melyn Khwanga, INUKA - Youth4Nature; GLF Youth in Landscapes


  • Tony Rinaudo, Alternate Nobel Prize Laureate, World Vision Australia
  • Yusuf Maina-Bukar, Director General, Nigeria National Agency for the Great Green Wall
  • Birguy Lamizana-Diallo, Senior Programme Officer, UNCCD