The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

First Global Steering Committee of the project: "Forest and Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Land Management in the Sahel"

Year published: 13/09/2018

The first meeting of the Global Steering Committee (GSC) of the project ‘Forest and Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Land Management in the Sahel’ (Restauration des Forêts et des Paysages et Gestion Durable des Terres au Sahel) was held on 19 July 2018 at FAO Headquarters during the 24th session of FAO’s Committee on Forestry (COFO 24).

This project is funded mainly by the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) to an overall amount of about USD 2 million with additional key contributions from several co-financing partners including the EU-funded project Action Against Desertification, the Korea Forest Service, the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative led by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the French Agency for Development (AFD). It is implemented over a four-year period which started in January 2018. The field-based restoration investments will be carried out in three communes in Burkina Faso and another three communes in Niger with technical support from the FLRM team, working in close partnership with key national and regional institutions.

Following signing of the agreement and the transfer of the first FFEM contribution to FAO, the work planning process started in May 2018. Technical assistance to support the implementation of communal restoration plans will be provided by existing decentralized services and national entities, such as the Great Green Wall agencies and ministries of environment in both countries, together with regional institutions and FAO. Assistance to the communal councils to ensure efficient fiduciary management of the restoration budget lines funded by the project will be the responsibility of the national agencies in charge of decentralization (Agence Nationale de Financement des Collectivités Territoriale and Fonds Permanent pour le Développement des Collectivités Territoriales) with dedicated expertise from the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

The project has two National Steering Committees (NSCs), ensuring the key ownership by national partners and guiding implementation at communal level; and the GSC, ensuring overall supervision (including formal endorsement of annual work plans with the FFEM) and providing advice to both FAO and national teams to ensure optimal synergy between all relevant partners.

This first meeting of the GSC was an opportunity to discuss/confirm the roles and composition of governance bodies established to guide the implementation of this FFEM project. It also aimed to validate the main orientations taken by the project team and its national counterparts during this inception period in order to allow the effective implementation of the priority actions already identified at national level in early July 2018.

Because meetings of each NSC had been organized in early July 2018 in Niger and Burkina Faso, in preparation for this GSC meeting, country representatives were able to report on key points already highlighted at national level. Short-term actions were agreed upon, with a focus on the preparation of restoration plans and income generation activities at communal level, as well as biophysical and socio-economic baselines. This detailed planning, still in discussion at communal level, will be formally endorsed during the second NSC meetings to be held in each country before the end of December 2018.

Participants at the GSC meeting acknowledged the need to ensure coherent implementation of actions across partners to avoid duplicating efforts at national level. FAO’s support to mobilize additional resources was also highlighted as a key expectation of national partners in each country, particularly within the framework of the seventh replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF-7).

For more information contact: [email protected]

Chloe Paquette (FAO)