Compare and contrast: The Great Green Wall project in Africa and Trump’s border wall (letter)
March 20, 2018
On Wednesday, March 14, the Vail Daily printed a short article from the Associated Press updating readers on "The Wall" that some believe is essential to protect our southern border from Mexico ("Trump views designs for border wall while bashing on California"). Estimates to build this wall now range from 18 billion to 70 billion.
In Africa, they are building a different kind of "wall." Twenty African nations are collaborating to build a Green Wall — a wall of trees 7,775 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide that snakes across the entire continent.
The purpose of this Green Wall is to prevent the desert from continuing to creep southwards. The Sahel region, home to millions of people, is considered to be one of the frontlines of climate change. Persistent droughts are driving desertification and the consequential disruption of local communities.
A few benefits of this Green Wall:
• Planting trees is considered one of the most effective ways to sequester or "drawdown" atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Although reducing emissions is essential, reforestation projects allow trees to do the work of reducing existing levels of carbon dioxide.
• Trees restores soil health, allowing nutrients and water to be banked within the soil.
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This fuels an upward spiral of habitat restoration.
• The project will support local communities by providing green jobs with real income. Economic security increases.
• Food security for local communities increases and potential conflict for scarce resources decreases. Residents have more reason to remain in their homeland, rather than migrate to other countries.
• Building a Green Wall across the continent of Africa provides a symbol of peace and hope, for both the region and the world.
I'll leave it to the reader to absorb the difference.