In 2019, WLP Kyrgyzstan/Bir Duino began to work with the Mailuu-Suu women to bring greater publicity to their plight and to the continuing environmental degradation in the region.
Since the launch of the African Union’s Great Green Wall program in 2007, it has been beset by challenges—including corruption, terrorism, and now the pandemic. One very positive outcome has been that individual activists and civil society organizations are continuing to establish their own, independent green initiatives to plant trees, introduce more sustainable crops and irrigation, and create green jobs. In Senegal, more than 11 million trees have been planted. But beyond that, green initiatives are being led by women to build agricultural skills and food security even in some of Senegal’s poorest regions. One important contributor is Julie Cissé who is the director of WLP Senegal/GIPS-WAR and a leader in pan-African campaigns for the environment, such as the Kilimanjaro Initiative. She is also the organizer of a range of local projects that encourage women to take on sustainable, small-scale agriculture and animal husbandry. These climate justice projects are implemented as part of GIPS-WAR’s Bay Dunde Program, which encourages women to discover the value of the earth and invest in its preservation.