Fatima Kaba reflects on her participation at COP 15


The vital contribution of civil society organizations (CSOs) to the implementation of the UNCCD is reflected in the text of the Convention and the decisions of the COPs. CSOs are represented on the UNCCD CSO Panel, the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) and the Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought.

The Convention pays particular attention to the land, its protection, and its restoration. It promotes equitable land access between men and women in the context of the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT).

NGOs not only provide great support for the implementation of the Convention in the field but are also able to ensure that the voices of grassroots communities are reflected in the plenary at the COP. They accelerate collaboration and scale up projects that fall within the framework of the ten-year strategy 2018-2030.

Focus on the Great Green Wall

COP15 paid particular attention to the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel initiative (IGGWSS). The GGW is designed as a large unifying program of integrated rural development. This has also been the vision of ENDA ENERGIE since the beginning of the initiative. For ENDA, the territorial approach based on the potential of the land, and creating development poles around endogenous resources is the key to the success of the GGW. Currently, countries, technical and financial partners are calling for mobilization around this African initiative.

The GGW accelerator was created in 2021 during the “One Planet” summit, and commitments of $19 billion were announced. Several partners have announced colossal funding to support the implementation of the GGW. Some partners (AFD and AfDB) are committed to specific activities: renewable energies, infrastructure for adaptation to climate change and governance, and strengthening the Pan-African Agency and the National Agencies in the eleven countries. The challenge is to translate these commitments into actions on the ground.

The GGW mechanism is an opportunity to create synergies and facilitate the coordination of the various partners. By 2025 it will set up coordination mechanisms to facilitate access to the fund. An overall monitoring and evaluation system will harmonise the indicators in all the countries. Similarly, national coalitions of GGW actors will be created in the countries. The accelerator will work on value chains and the market. However, it is faced with various challenges: the effectiveness of the funding in the field (“how to go from billions to hectares?”), and how to finance CSOs, among others…

GGW financing opportunities

The GGW initiative has experienced a certain enthusiasm which can be measured by the multiplicity of events organized during COP15.

A side event on GGW funding opportunities was organized by UNEP in collaboration with PAGGW, AfDB and UNCCD. For the Vice President of the AfDB, to accelerate sustainable development in the Sahara, the bank is targeting 100 million Ha including 8 million Ha of land to be restored per year with needs estimated at several billion (6 billion dollars) until 2025 to achieve the GGW. Thus, it is necessary to create synergies because several initiatives are announced by 2O25: there is the project on renewable energies approved by FVC, the green job and an adaptation program in support of the GGW. Several programs and partners support the GGW which is a Wall for resilience, and food security and builds synergies and bridges between actors. The Sahel Alliance, a framework for multilateral, bilateral, national, and regional collaboration, was cited as a good example of how synergies can be created. It is carried out through more than 800 projects with budgets of several billion dollars. The Alliance and the GGW have the same objectives and almost the same partners.

It is imperative to increase the coordination of the GGW, align it with the priorities of the countries and increase the mobilization of financial resources. Speakers emphasised that we must involve all actors, focus on value chains, and consider the livelihoods of communities. The GGW is not only a forestry program but is an important development program to achieve land degradation neutrality targets, NDC, SDGs 17,15, etc.

GEF 5 has supported the GGW and will continue to do so. Other partners have come and contributed to the realization of the GGW. The involvement of local communities is important.

Sudan shared its ASAP regional project on the viability of ecosystems funded by the FAO, Burkina Faso on its priority axes (land restoration techniques, development of value chains, communication, and integration programs with Niger). Niger highlighted security issues and land health.

An event organized by Agropolis and the French Scientific Committee on Desertification explored the theme of How to make GGW a success. According to Mr Mbow of CSE, the GGW is a knowledge-intensive sector. There are relevant research questions that relate to the functions of the land, its multifunctional dimensions, the drivers of restoration, the responsibilities, the means to achieve it, the socio-motivations for understanding the experience and concerns of the populations, and the alternative to the GMV. In summary, the GGW is considered a framework for reflection on land restoration.

Three lessons can be drawn from the implementation of the GGW:

  1. The targets have not been prioritised.
  2. Coordination between partners is weak, with several GGW projects and programs overlapping.
  3. There is not enough knowledge about the amounts invested in the field.

Signature of a partnership agreement between ENDA ENERGIE and ASERGMV

On May 17th 2022 ENDA ENERGIE and the Senegalese Agency for Reforestation and the Great Green Wall (ASERGMV) signed a partnership agreement on the sidelines of Cop15 Desertification held in Abidjan.

This agreement materializes and comforts the rich course in concerted actions that ASERGMV and the ENDA ENERGIE organization have had to develop in all intelligence. This partnership reflects the clear desire of the Reforestation Agency and the GGW of Senegal to strengthen the active participation of civil society organizations in its actions. It is also an illustration of the agency’s new vision, which consists of accelerating and amplifying, inclusively, the impacts of reforestation and resilience actions for Senegalese communities.

In its mission to support populations in transformation processes oriented towards sustainable development, the ENDA ENERGIE organization has distinguished itself in the diversification of economic models around sectors such as:

– The production of Balanites, for which a valuation model is set up according to a local entrepreneurship approach that creates jobs for women.

– Milk in agro-pastoral areas with a model of cooperative enterprises for the collection, conservation, and processing of milk by solar energy platforms in 6 communes in Senegal.

– Fodder production with 4 perimeters of 4-5 Ha equipped with solar systems for water control.

– The promotion of biogas as an alternative fuel and the production of biofertilizers for sustainable agriculture.

– The establishment of dairy farms.

– Sensitization of citizens on GGW issues with the involvement of community radios.

Added to this is support for territories in integrating Sustainable Land Management into local development planning. These different proven business models and planning processes sensitive to energy, climate and SLM can experience a change of scale, thanks to this new partnership which substantially increases the ambitions of the GGW for more impacts.

It is also in this perspective that this partnership opportunity falls, giving ENDA ENERGIE a role as a technical arm for the GGW to ensure the promotion and enhancement of sectors with niche business creation. green areas and safeguarding the biodiversity of arid zones. A partnership that is perfectly in line with the ten-year priority investment plan of the Great Green Wall Global Initiative (2021-2030).


Civil society actively participated in the debates and processes of the COP and shared its experiences in the fight against land degradation and the achievement of LDN with the delegates during the ODS. They do a remarkable job and are the liaison between the public and the communities.

CSOs are advised to collaborate and be close to development policies and strategies. It is essential to set up a strengthened network of NGOs with the help of partners. Climate action needs proposals from below, transmitted by non-state entities. This is what creates transparency, and it is desirable to move from local to national through a multi-stakeholder partnership framework to create synergies. CSOs showed their experiences on land restoration that responds to respect for the human right to “have a healthy environment”.

During the COP, CSOs made a strong plea for the consideration of agroecology and regenerative agriculture.

Members of the Drynet network were well represented at the level of the CSO Panel (3 out of 5), in the conduct of daily meetings, and in the preparation of statements. Drynet members are involved in almost all CSO work at the COP.

The CRIC has integrated SDG 15, target 15.5 for the implementation of the Convention and the achievement of the LDN.