Hogan Lovells hosts COP26 panel discussion on Great Green Wall

London, 8 November 2021 - Global law firm Hogan Lovells was delighted to host a documentary and panel discussion on the Great Green Wall , at COP26.  The event highlighted, to a packed auditorium at the Imax, the uniquely ambitious African-led project that aims to build an 8,000km corridor of plants and trees in the Sahel region at the southern border of the Sahara desert, from Senegal in the west, to Djibouti in the east.

Inna Modja, singer and artist, introduced the powerful documentary “The Great Green Wall” which follows Inna as she follows the proposed route of the Great Green Wall, uncovering the human stories that highlight the urgency of the climate crisis in the Sahel and illustrate the power of community-led projects. 

In the documentary, Inna speaks and sings with people across the Sahel about how famine, migration and the rise of insurgent groups have been driven by the desertification of the region. The desperation of those affected is a powerful reminder of the human cost of climate change and the need for global support of this project that aims to feed 9 million people by 2050. Inna shows how music, art and story-telling can be critical to building and sustaining community-led movements and how the Great Green Wall has the potential to bring much needed stability, education and agricultural prosperity to the region, as shown by the significant progress that has already been made in Ethiopia, which has transformed since the devastating drought and famine of the mid-1980s. 

After the screening of the documentary, Andrew Skipper, Head of the Africa Practice at Hogan Lovells, was joined by Kemo Fatty, Head of Community Engagement at Civic & Founder of Green Up Gambia, Andrea Ledward, International Biodiversity and Climate Director for Defra, and Pierre Rousseau, Senior Strategic Advisor for Sustainable Business at BNP Paribas to highlight the need for global support of this regional project to address climate change, and how to translate political will into grassroots-led action. 

Kemo spoke passionately about the importance of local communities feeling empowered to act and the need for decision-making about the Great Green Wall to remain in the hands of those planting the trees and driving local change. The panelists then discussed how civic society, government and private sector can work together to provide a blend of finance to deliver real progress working with community projects, and the role of open data in supporting the global levelling-up agenda. 

We are very proud to be supporting this pioneering project. For a trailer of the Great Green Wall documentary, click here, and click here to see Inna’s latest project, Code Green, which aims to use art to support marginalised artists and climate action initiatives.  

If you have any questions about our work with the Great Green Wall, please contact Susan Bright (Global Managing Partner, D&I and Responsible Business), Yasmin Waljee (International Pro Bono Partner), or Andrew Skipper (Head of the Africa practice).

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