The seedlings are ready. One hundred and fifty thousand shoots of drought resistant Acacia, Baobab and Moringa spill Hardy by their black plastic case. The floor is covered with dozens of kilometers of groomed trenches for a skeleton spine horizon dotted with trees. And ‘the beginning of August, and in less than a week, 399 volunteers from 27 countries of northern Senegal are in this remote corner are to participate in one of the boldest initiatives in the world to combat the effects of climate change: a plan of $8 billion to reforest 247 million acres of degraded areas in the entire width of Africa, Dakar to Djibouti paths. The Great Green Wall project, led by the African Union and financed by the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations was launched in 2007 to stop the expansion of the Sahara, while along a barrier of trees to plant 4,815 miles on board Southern managed. Now, as mounting concerns about the impact of climate change in the Sahel belt of semi-arid grasslands of the south of the Sahara which already fills one of the poorest regions of the world, the Great Green Wall, a new role. The goal now, the designers say is the lives of millions who live on the face of climate change to transform agricultural land ruined by decades of overuse recovery; When you’re done, there should be food conflicts arise and discourage migration. If the project is complete in 2030, the campaign is expected to absorb renovated, parked for 3 and a half years to contain the equivalent of all cars in California about 250 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In the course of a week, try to rotate the volunteers down to Senegalese village Mbar Toubab 494 acres of barren land in another brick in the forest Great Green Wall. There’s only one problem still to come, the annual rainy season, and take root without them none of the seedlings. to come, “The rain used in June. Here we are in August and still there is no rain,” said El Hadj Goudiaby who oversee projects mbar Green Great Wall in Toubab for forest department of Senegal has spent the last nine years. How, you ask, to grow trees to climate change fight, if climate change is making it impossible to grow trees? The answer may have to do with changing attitudes with respect to the change in the landscape. When people think of possible fixes for global warming, they tend to focus on large projects. But if human activity is climate change, the root if the carbon emissions of the industrialized world or be the overgrazing of the Sahel, then that is where you will find the solution, as well. Environmentalists celebrated for its epic territorial ambitions, the Great Green Wall, but its greatest impact will allow people to meet their needs without destroying nature in the process. The Sahara is not enough to reduce the Sahel extension, destroyed by decades of overgrazing, drought-induced climate change and poor farming practices that have taken off had to get fields a fertile loam green canopy. Farmers rely on the few remaining trees for animal feed, further denuding the landscape in a spiral of desertification. Planting trees not only reduces carbon on a global scale research in the journal Science estimated plant more than 2 billion trees in the morning could remove two-thirds of all emissions that human activity since the Industrial Revolution pumped atmosphere also recharges the water table and creates microclimates to increase local rainfall. (More information about rewilding and carbon reduction, click here.) But if the farmers have nothing to feed their herds in the time it takes trees to mature, they are likely to use the trees, across the cycle to begin again from the front . Because, even though it may not sound like a lot of growing up with the grass begins to solution to climate change in the Sahel. “If we can their living conditions improving solve difficulties,” says Goudiaby, “she will be able to help yourself by protecting the trees to protect their future.” Finally, to stop the global warming is not about saving the planet; the earth will survive regardless of how climate change. E ‘to save humanity. One way to do this is to those who are most vulnerable to help what the mess we have already created. Just 25 miles south of Mbar Toubab, near the village Koyli Alpha, 50 years Dienaba Aka pulls heavily laden cart on the road side. She and her family have expanded the day cutting grass in a “food bank” issued by the National Agency Great Green Wall runs. Over the past eight months, the 1,700-acre field was fenced with 250,000 trees to grow undisturbed grass from cattle, sheep and goats that roam freely in this area. Field in July has reopened, and now pastors pay $1.70 per day, the tall grass to the waist for the cattle to collect until the rain bring new possibilities for grazing. To Aka the idea of a “Bank” grass issued a radical departure from childhood traveling after the family herd in search of food. Now she can lean season in their cattle feed without stripping trees. Aka how women from many villages in the region has been planting trees since 2012. She earned $96 for GGW project during the six weeks of the planting season. It ‘a good price, he says, but most of the women do it because they said it will bring rain, which in turn brings the grass that feeds their cattle. There is another advantage coating Banking Aka said, looking proud of his two top 10 years on several bags of grass freshly cut perched grandchildren. “Before the Great Green Wall, the children had to go with us when we took the cattle to graze. Now you can stay in school.” In Mbar Toubab accusations by the bank last year’s food paid for solar panels to power the classroom . This year, it will cover the construction of a dormitory for students who live too far to walk every day. The circular structure is part of the plan, says Goudiaby. “If we can make the children about the consequences of our actions today, who will teach the next generation.” The seedlings in reforestation projects Senegalese tend to come from the region and selected for their resistance to drought and resistance. Thorny desert acacia bring their own protection from grazing animals, and in the dry season are lost Conserve moisture leaves. Once baobab roots take longer also experienced drought conditions. The bark can be used for the rope, their leaves are edible, and its fruits in the long foot may or juiced or ground and roasted to make a coffee-like drink. Fruit trees are often neglected in reforestation programs that prioritize force, and this has to change, says Ali Haider, the incoming director of the Great Green Wall Agency Senegalese. “If you give someone a tree that do not need it, she does not worry.” Give her something that she appreciates, however, he says, something that they can cook, sell or use for medicine. “Then we protect it, because it improves their lives.” Some are from Senegal GGW agency projects only in a big way, as in gum arabic plantations investment for export. Since Senegal first tree root in the Green Great Wall in 2008 took place, he says the National Agency has planted again in the 99,000 acres of land of 18 million trees. Nine gardens are in operation, and three times the number of food banks keep in the cattle fed lean season. Gazelles, jackals, desert tortoises and songbirds-years-they not looked back to the region. All this amounts to very little compared to the size of the global problem, says Chris Reij, senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, in the Sahel region on labor deserts since 1978. While 99,000 acres in Senegal has been reforestation, probably inflated due to the deforestation, agriculture and construction is higher disappearing forest area land in other parts of the country many times, a figure he thinks, he says. “So if you do something about it, you still lose the fight.” Also, I do not think that mass plantings are the solution. The survival rate of trees planted in arid regions such as the Sahel is about 20%. “If all the trees that were planted in the Sahel since 1980 had survived, he would like the Amazon look now,” he says. Goudiaby admits that the planting of trees at the edge of the Sahara not be the most cost effective solution to climate change. But given the time, he says, it works. During the nine years he has reason Mbar Toubab has worked, it is estimated a survival rate of 70%. do not show a walk through one of the oldest plantations in the area sign of progress. Some of the trees are 10 ft. Up to 12 Ft high, and although it is not a forest, is hardly barren land is. Reij argues it would be cheaper to restore the original prairie, which is almost as good at capturing carbon. Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, for example, to allow fencing large areas of the country to recover from overgrazing effects over time. In agricultural areas, farmers plant are taught about the existing trees and buds, rather than plows. The result, says Reij, “was overwhelming,” with 12 million acres regreened in Niger over the past 30 years. No one approach is better than the other, says Ibrahim Thiaw, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Both countries promote planting trees or lawns, the end result is the 21 African nations work together to combat climate change and making the lives of people in the Sahel. His biggest concern is that so far only 15% of the planned area was made. Some of the delays are due to lack of funds. Senegal spends $200 million a year for planting and caring for their portion of the wall; the poorest nations of the Alliance can not afford it. Only half of the $8 billion pledged for the project comes through, especially since other air emergencies attracted attention from the Sahel removed. In the long term, says Thiaw, the impact of climate change in one of the poorest regions of the world will have a global impact. About 150 million people live in the Sahel, nearly two-thirds under 25 years, and the region has the highest birth rate in the world. The World Bank predicts climate change 85 million sub-Saharan Africa will force many to roam the urban middle enclaves of the region, while a significant number will search the deadly passage to Europe and the Gulf state in search of opportunities. “It ‘a time bomb,” says Thiaw. The immediate risks are worrying alike. Across the region, the local governments to control extremist groups like Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have lost. Einig 4.2 million people have been displaced by drought and conflict, particularly in the border region with Chad, to provide fresh water and livelihoods of about 30 million people, but declined to 90 % due to climate change and abuse. The lack of economic prospects provides rich recruiting prospects for Boko Haram, employment and goods can dangle that would not otherwise be available. Dennis Garrity, Ambassador arid lands to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, compare the conditions in the Sahel depleted in groups, so that the government of Pakistan and Afghanistan, before the letter of global terrorism two decades. “The Sahel is not only the area of climate change in the world, is particularly vulnerable and the area in which terrorism and extremism are growing faster,” he says. The rain finally mbar Toubab on August 19, a full month later than last year. It was not much, but it was enough for volunteers to start, and by the time they leave, 88,000 seedlings were carefully set into the ground. The irony of people from as far away as Hong Kong to plant trees, which is partially reinforced by intercontinental flights, not lost on Goudiaby fly to combat climate change. “Maybe do for the sins of the climate have again engaged in their home countries,” he suggests some sort of climate compensation. The Sahel countries contribute least to global warming, but they reap the worst effects of the produced wealth most industrialized nations. It seems fitting, he says that members of these peoples Senegal come to pay their debts. This is an article in a series on the state of the global response to climate change. Read the rest of the stories and register for one.five, TIME climate change newsletter. September 24 Correction: In an earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the graph to the position of the African coast in the Indian Ocean.