The Confederation of Central African NGOs at the CSTS-3 and CRIC 11 in Bonn, Germany
The 3rd session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3) with its second scientific conference, and the eleventh session of the Committee responsible for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 11) which were held in BONN –Germany, from 9 to 19 April 2013 were attended by the Confederation of Central African NGOs (CONGAC), invited for the occasion. CONGAC's participation occurs in a context where the number of CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) approved to attend this type of meeting has been revised from 900 to less than 200 over time. While there are over 6,500 CSOs involved in combating desertification, land degradation, and drought projects and programs in Central Africa. After CST and CRIC plenary sessions and its second scientific conference, the CONGAC played a remarkable role with the open dialogue session of CSOs with states parties’ delegates.
Three major points marked the CSO open dialogue session. Opening and closing statements by NGOs during the CRIC 11 and communication on “The role of CSOs in mobilizing resources through the establishment of partnerships in order to facilitate implementation of the (UN Convention to Combat Desertification) CNULCD/UNCCD and LSM (land sustainable management)”.
In its opening statement, CONGAC pointed out the fact that after 19 years of existence of the CNULD/UNCCD, the results at this stage are not good enough and do not provide an overview of the achievements of the latter which may leverage contribution to social, environmental, economic stability and development in dry zones, where two billion people live below the poverty threshold. Also, CONGAC castigated its marginalization within the UNCCD translated into reduced support granted to CSOs. This affects their effective participation in decision-making during plenaries, and suggests to donors and countries parties to allocate funds to support to CSOs.
From the presentation made by Mrs Jacqueline Nkoyok, which was the second point of the meeting, it appears that CONGAC was established in 1992 following the Rio Summit, in order to facilitate implementation of the Rio de Janeiro conventions. But such difficulties to access funding result in limited use of the potential of Central African CSOs in terms of support and partnership development with different stakeholders. Hence the need for the different stakeholders involved in CNULCD/UNCCD, namely: States Parties, donors and financial, technical and technological support institutions, CCD secretariat and international NGOs, to mobilize resources for CSOs to enhance their effectiveness in supporting and supervising local communities and women’s organisations in sustainable land management and the implementation of the convention.
At the end of this session, CONGAC, in its closing address, commended the Secretariat of the convention and the countries parties for their support to ensure the participation of CSOs in this UNCCD and reiterated the need for them to ramp up their efforts in favour of CSOs for better representation in the next CRIC and COP sessions.
The details of the conference and major recommendations are featured in the report prepared to that effect by CONGAC. Available downloads:
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