The countries of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) have decided jointly to take action to promote better sustainability in the ways they manage land and natural resources. To this end, they plan to develop a resource mobilization strategy (RMS) to serve as a pathway to mobilize financial resources both at the national level, i.e. in the countries belonging to the IOC, and at the sub-regional level, i.e. for projects and programmes coordinated by the IOC as a regional organization.
While discussing land degradation and desertification in the context of the UNCCD in a tourist’s paradise like Mauritius may seem a bit out of place, in reality the issues afflicting the tropical island are very serious. For example, 98 per cent of the forests in Mauritius have been destroyed. The level of deforestation in Madagascar also has alarming proportions. Archipelago nations such as the Seychelles and the Comoros are plagued by coastal erosion in addition to deforestation. Land degradation as well as natural resource management pose a serious problem in the sub-region.
Furthermore, priority status for land management can be lacking since land is not a sector normally recognized by national budgets. Instead, it is found within a multitude of other sectors such as agriculture, biodiversity management, climate change, coastal management and forestry.
The IOC together with the Global Mechanism held a workshop from 4 to 6 April 2012 in Quatre Bornes, Mauritius, to validate the findings of a preliminary report for the RMS. The report was instrumental to understand the status of financing in the sub-region with regard to land and sustainable land management (SLM), identifying financing gaps and opportunities and designing the structure of the actual RMS, which will be developed in the near future.
Participants called for the establishment of a permanent coordination structure – for instance, a platform that can help the countries coordinate their actions with a view to maximizing the impact of the RMS. Additionally, at the workshop priority intervention areas were identified to clearly define the path of the RMS with regard to actual activities and sectors.
Regional approaches are paramount when designing programmes that aim to yield results at the national level. The programme, under the federating role of the IOC, is expected to maximize its impact by harmonizing the actions taken, fostering knowledge exchange among the countries, sharing a common vision to avoid duplication and optimizing aid effectiveness in the sub-region.
For more information:
Mr Maurizio Navarra, Communications Coordinator
Tel. +39 06 5459 2512
m.navarra (at) global-mechanism.org