“Great Green Wall”: Israeli DeserTech partners with UN in Africa

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DeserTech, Israel's platform for climate technologies designed for arid and desert climates, on Thursday launched a partnership program with the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and 11 African countries leading the Great Green Wall movement.

“Great Green Wall” — an African initiative aimed at restoring 100 hectares of degraded land in the Sahel region by 2030, creating millions of jobs and capturing 250 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The launch of the Israeli program was organized in the Senegal pavilion at the conference UN Climate Change COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in front of a crowded audience from Africa, which included the environment ministers of Mali and Mauritania and a member of parliament from Chad.

Sinai Gohar Barak, Ecosystem Development Manager for DeserTech, said the project has two goals: developing and deploying technologies that solve global problems, and turning the Negev into a global hub for desert technology.

The hot and dry Sahel that stretches between the Sahara desert in the north and the savannah in the south, is not only one of the poorest regions on earth, but also one of the most devastating climate change impacts. These impacts include drought, food shortages, conflicts over natural resources and mass migration.

The land has lost its fertility due to over-farming, overgrazing and overpopulation, combined with natural soil erosion. But since the Great Green Wall project was launched more than a decade ago, almost 18 million hectares of degraded land have been restored. and created 350,000 jobs.

DeserTech, based in the city of Beer Sheva in the Negev, is a joint initiative of Israel's Merage Foundation, the Israel Innovation Institute, the Ministry of the Environment and Ben Gurion University of the Negev.< br />
It brings together politicians, entrepreneurs, technology companies, businesses, investors, scientists and non-governmental organizations to develop, commercialize and promote desert technologies in the areas of extreme climate, water, land degradation and life in remote places.

more than 300 Israeli start-ups and companies developing technologies specifically designed for, or potentially suitable for, desert conditions are at stake.

Nicole Hod Straw, chief executive of the Merage Foundation, told the audience: “It's getting hotter and the land is getting more degraded. We have the same problems and we need to learn from each other about problems and solutions.”

DeserTech partners with the United Nations and invites innovators from countries participating in the Great Green Wall program apply for a program where they will jointly identify the most pressing desert needs, learn about related technologies, and collaborate to develop specific technical solutions. proposals to present to potential sponsors.

Participants will take part in seven weekly online meetings, share their concerns with the many technology companies associated with DeserTech, and meet in person for a workshop in the Negev. In April 2023, they will accept participation in a one-day online design workshop.

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