Here's How Africa's 5,000-Mile Great Green Wall Is Combating Climate Change

Photo Courtesy: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis News/Getty Images

Over the course of the past century, Africa’s Sahara Desert has expanded by more than 10%. It’s normal for the world’s largest desert’s — it’s about the size of the United States — boundaries to shift somewhat due to seasonal changes, particularly during winter when the region dries out even further. But this long-term expansion that’s crept farther and farther southward into sensitive ecosystems and communities represents something much bigger: the striking impact of climate change and the way it’s disrupting everything from food supplies to overall quality of life.

To help mitigate the desert’s encroaching damage, the African Union decided to intervene with an ambitious project: the Great Green Wall. This effort at fighting desertification has harnessed various tools of reforestation to create one of the most ambitious regreening projects in history and limit the influence of climate change across an entire continent. Here’s how the Great Green Wall is creating positive change by preserving land across African communities.