More than 26 million shrubs have been planted in the areas of the Green Dam, within the framework of the ongoing 2020-2023 program, according to the latest tally announced by an official at the General Directorate of Forests.
Saliha Fartas, director of combating desertification and the Green Dam at the General Directorate of Forests, confirmed in a statement to the APS news agency that the planting of these shrubs took place on an area estimated at 43,558 hectares.
She also indicated that the selection of afforestation areas and the species to be planted responds to environmental criteria, “but there is also the economic and social dimension that is taken into account.”
In addition to the environmental importance of this forest project, which is represented in protecting the northern regions from the phenomena of erosion, soil erosion, and sand accumulation due to sand storms, Fartas emphasized its social and economic importance, adding that “its rehabilitation and expansion, which has been currently undertaken within the framework of a new strategy, will contribute more to the well-being and prosperity.” the population living in those areas.
She continued, saying, “The official statistics for the year 2008 indicated 7 million people in these regions, and that this number may reach 12 million today,” stressing that the new Green Dam program adopts a combined approach that responds to the needs and aspirations of the population, taking into account the characteristics and capabilities of those spaces.
As for the Green Dam, which extends over an area of 4.7 million hectares distributed over 13 states, it consists of 63% of the pastoral areas, with an area of more than 2.33 million hectares consisting of allies and fodder.
She added, “These capabilities will develop livestock breeding as well as milk production.”
As for forest areas, they represent 18% of those areas, with an estimated area of 665,741 hectares.
Fartas added that the agricultural area was estimated at 591,769 hectares, equivalent to 16% of the total area of this forest achievement.
She also confirmed that “within the framework of valuing all areas of the Green Dam, including private lands, the Ministry of Interior, Local Communities and Urban Development has initiated an investigation in order to inventory all unexploited lands located within the vicinity of this area.”
Ms. Fartas added that this investigation “will make it possible to classify the lands according to their characteristics and identify their owners in order to encourage them to exploit them.”
Finally, it concluded by emphasizing that “lands classified as fertile will be allocated to agriculture, afforestation, planting fruit trees, or grazing, while non-fertile lands can be used as industrial real estate to create units for converting agricultural products.”