A five-day national workshop of the African Initiative for Combating Desertification (AI-CD) was held in Koudougou on November 22-26, 2021. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change (MEGECC) of the Republic of Burkina Faso with support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
This was the second AI-CD Country Workshop in Burkina Faso, following the first workshop in July 2019 which elaborated two Project Concept Notes on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). The objective of the second workshop was to finalise these Project Concept Notes with the participation of eighteen (18) officials from different government ministries.
Highlights of the Workshop
Mr. Nana Somanegre, the Permanent Secretary of the National Council for Sustainable Development (PS-NCSD), chaired the opening session. He delivered the opening speech and presented the agenda. He then asked the participants, who were mostly various government ministries, to introduce themselves.
Mr. Tagnabou. D. Lazare, the focal point of AI-CD and of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, presented the initiative. Then, the Technical Group introduced the two concept notes already launched in July 2019, followed by a discussion by government officials who attended this workshop.
Consequently, the participants were divided into workgroups that further discussed the concept notes, from the afternoon of Day 1 to the end of Day 3. On Day 4 and Day 5, the presentation of the workgroups’ output in plenary took place. Day 5 was dedicated to the synthesis of the outputs and the finalisation of the two concept notes, as well as the elaboration of a way forward for implementing the financial aspect of the project.
During the five-day workshop, discussions have taken place on three levels:
- Mr. Tagnabou gave his presentations on AI-CD and the situation vis-a-vis the national target. The participants had the opportunity to ask clarificatory questions to know the results and achievements attained by Burkina Faso in the framework of AI-CD and, particularly, to better apprehend the concrete measures considered for reducing land degradation in the country. Satisfactory responses were given to these concerns.
- To reach the objectives of the workshop, the participants agreed to a presentation plan of the concept notes after the discussions, and each group had to meet the requirements in the plan in order to have harmonised work.
- The last discussion session took place during the group work. It consisted of reaching an agreement about how to present the paragraph on the risks and hypothesis in the concept notes, and reviewing the intervention zones of the two projects for complementarity and/or supplementarity.
In the final phase of the workshop, it was agreed among participants that the finalised two concept notes will be shared with AI-CD partners, and there will be further discussions among participants for the continuation of the process of developing projects.
Through the workshop, participants also learned that the elaboration of such concept notes requires not only the active involvement of competent staff from ministries in charge of rural development and transversal thematic (gender, human rights, equity, etc.) but also involves those concerning financial resources.
In the closing session, Mr. Balma Eugene, on behalf of the PS-NCSD, pointed out the quality of the group work and the amendments made during the plenary session. He renewed the gratitude and the availability of the PS-NCSD for working with AI-CD and JICA, in order to reach the objectives of the ministry in charge of the environment, specifically about Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
Ms. Some, on behalf of the Chief Representative of the JICA Burkina Faso Office, renewed her thanks to all participants and expressed her appreciation of the friendly atmosphere in which the workshop took place throughout the 5 days.