Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
African Ministers of the Environment, meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso, on 24-27 April 2007, pledged their endorsement of the Global Environment Fund/TerrAfrica Strategic Investment Programme in support of NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, the NEPAD Environmental Action Plan and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
The special Ministers conference, set up to review the proposal for the GEF/TerrAfrica Strategic Investment Programme for Sustainable Land Management in sub-Saharan Africa, was jointly organised by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, the TerrAfrica partnership, NEPAD, and the Global Environment Fund (GEF).
It was also attended by experts from over 50 African countries as well as representatives of development partners and donor countries and organisations.
The Strategic Investment Programme (SIP) for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) proposal has been developed through an intensive process of consultation over the past 15 months under the convening leadership of NEPAD and in liaison with the core TerrAfrica partnership agencies, UNDP, UNEP, FAO, World Bank, AfDB, IFAD, UNCCD and the Global Mechanism.
The process enlisted participation and input from a wide range of stakeholders including the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), national governments, NGOs and development partners.
Endorsement of the SIP by the Ministers and partners at the conference has also cleared the way for the submission of the SIP to the Global Environment Fund Council which is scheduled to meet in June.
Once approved by the GEF Council the SIP will secure US$150 million in grant support for the scaling up of sustainable land management practices in sub Saharan Africa. The SIP is expected to leverage an estimated US $ 1 billion in additional investment into sustainable land management in Africa.
The SIP has been developed under the framework of the TerrAfrica partnership and Joint Work Programme. In parallel with the development of the SIP, TerrAfrica partners have been engaged in the development of the Country Sustainable Land Management Investment Framework (CSIF) methodology.
The CSIF provides a set of adaptable tools for the development of national programmes for scaling up SLM and will be a critical component in ensuring the effective and efficient deployment of SIP resources at the national level.
Both the SIP and the CSIF are part of a strategic effort through TerrAfrica to develop an implementation framework for achieving the objectives set out under the NEPAD-CAADP Pillar 1, the NEPAD Environmental Action Plan and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The scaling up of SLM practices will greatly impact on reversing land degradation trends and directly support attainment of targets under the Millennium Development Goals and will underpin a growth agenda, including the 6% minimum annual growth rate for the agriculture sector set by the African Heads of State and Government.
In his opening statement to the conference, the president of the organising committee, Alain Edouard Traore, Secretary-General of Environment and Quality of Life, highlighted that the TerrAfrica partnership and specifically the SIP provided an opportunity for more active partnership in addressing the rapidly increasing problems of land degradation and desertification.
NEPAD Agriculture Advisor, Prof. Richard Mkandawire reaffirmed NEPAD’s commitment to providing leadership and ensuring continued African ownership of the advancement of the SLM agenda.
Outcomes of the two-day conference were : The Ministers of Environment expressed support and commitment to the SIP program. They urged all the partners involved to ensure that once it is approved by the GEF Council the program is speedily implemented ;
The conference agreed that the program development period should be reduced to under 20 months. The TerrAfrica partnership and GEF expressed commitment to achieve this ;
The conference (as expressed in both the Ministers’ and the partners’ declarations) noted that SLM is a critical element of the development agenda that deserves special attention. The conference noted the growing and critical impact of land degradation on primary livelihood — food security, poverty alleviation — socio-economic growth and environmental resilience objectives ;
In a special meeting of the Ministers attending the conference, the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, promised to bring the concerns on land degradation and specifically TerrAfrica and the SIP to the attention of the African Heads of State and Government.
The landmark conference concluded with a declaration by the African Ministers of their support for the SIP. The SIP partners also made a joint partner declaration pledging their commitment to support country efforts to scale up sustainable land management and to actively support the implementation of the SIP. Source : nepad, may 15, 2007