Through a long, participatory process, led by the Central African Commission of Forests (COMIFAC – Commission des Forêts de l’Afrique Centrale), the Central Africa sub-region has made up for delays and now has its own SRAP, thanks to the patient efforts of partners in the sub-region, particularly the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the GM, the UNCCD Secretariat, national governments and other intergovernmental institutions.
A sub-regional forum to validate the SRAP was convened on 12 and 13 June in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Chaired by the DRC Minister in Charge of Combating Desertification, the forum was attended by representatives of Central Africa member States, sub-regional organizations, bilateral and multilateral institutions and international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The central African SRAP was presented as an operational programme of COMIFAC’s Convergence Plan (Axis 3), which is dedicated to combating desertification. This constitutes a major success for the principles it embodies:
- the need to build on existing foundations, i.e. the Convergence Plan
- the consensus and confidence which exist among the stakeholders
- the possibility of utilizing the networks of various partners involved in sustainable management of shared and trans-boundary resources
- the existence of a functioning, institutional structure to monitor and evaluate SRAP implementation
- a consensual, political basis provided by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) with its shared vision and strategic framework for Africa’s renewal, and a common environment policy, steered by the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS).
The Kinshasa forum agreed upon the following key issues, which support successful implementation of the SRAP:
- 3 priority areas of intervention: concerted management of trans-boundary transhumance; sustainable management of common water resources; and knowledge and information management and communication; supported by appropriate performance and impact indicators
- a strategy for resource mobilization, based on an autonomous funding mechanism under the aegis of COMIFAC, as contribution from all member states
- identification of thematic chefs de file.
In terms of the sub-regional resource mobilization strategy, both COMIFAC and the GM were acknowledged as key mechanisms for their contribution to the resource mobilization process for financing SRAP-related activities. The two institutions are expected to sign an agreement to support this process by identifying and mobilizing potential partners in the sub-region.
Central Africa’s validation of the SRAP means that all African sub-regions now have SRAPs and are engaged in implementing these, with the aim of combating desertification throughout Africa.
For more information:
Mr Michel Kouda
Programme Coordinator, West and Central Africa
Tel. +39 06 5459 2118
m.kouda (at) ifad.org