Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia ratified the UNCCD soon after its adoption and in 2000 requested the GM’s support in UNCCD implementation in the form of strategic guidance and financial support for partnership building to enhance resource flows. After years of fruitful cooperation, the partnerships have taken a new direction, adapting and responding to new challenges and opportunities. The three countries have been implementing their national action programmes (NAPs) for some years now. Once the NAPs had been fully integrated into national development strategies, attention turned to the opportunities offered by the 10-year Strategic Plan and Framework to Enhance the Implementation of the UNCCD (the "10-Year Strategy"), and to the new international context, focused largely on the impacts of climate change.
Now, in light of these new opportunities, the North African countries have decided to centre their work with the GM on optimizing the use of existing resources for sustainable land management (SLM) and on joint actions to mobilize additional ones.
New avenues need to be explored in North Africa in order to thwart desertification/land degradation. The GM together with the three countries is focusing on optimizing the human, technical and financial resources available in the region.
This approach is based on the development of a tool that continually monitors SLM financing opportunities, promotes innovative financing sources and strengthens solidarity within the Maghreb and South-to-South cooperation. The financing monitoring tool has been developed with GM support and provides national stakeholders with the information they need on bilateral and multilateral sources of funding and enhances their capacity to access these resources. In addition, opportunities for synergy are being identified with respect to financing mechanisms from the climate change regime supporting SLM.
Critically, South-to-South cooperation is being strengthened in the context of SolArid, the peri-Saharan space for solidarity. SolArid - the GM's South-to-South cooperation programme - stresses the importance of cooperation between Maghreb countries, promotes decentralized cooperation, strengthens information and experience exchange with sub-Saharan countries, and reinforces dialogue and partnership with other Mediterranean countries.
Promotion of cooperation within the Maghreb
The cooperation agreement between the GM and the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) signed on 30 June 2008 serves as the basis for mobilizing additional resources and for developing South-to-South interregional cooperation.
The two-year work programme articulated in the agreement is driven by two issues: having full access to information on financing sources and opportunities, and promoting South-South technology transfer, in the fight against desertification. The North African countries are stepping up to the international challenges of reducing poverty and ensuring the sustainability of natural resources, and are play a crucial role in the UNCCD arena, both in the Mediterranean region and in the peri-Saharan zone.
For more information
Mr Youssef Brahimi
Programme Coordinator, North Africa & South-to-South Cooperation
Tel. +39 06 5459 25842
Ms Ines Chaâlala
Junior Programme Officer, North Africa & South-to-South Cooperation
Tel. +39 06 5459 2548