Our Governing Bodies

A flexible structure
In July 1989, the G7 summit (Summit of the Arch), held in France on 14-16 July, recommended the creation of an “African Sahara Observatory” to monitor and better protect the arid and fragile regions subject to environmental degradation. The International Association OSS (AIOSS) was founded.

OSS works with its member countries according to the principle of subsidiarity. It acts as both an initiator and a facilitator of partnerships to address common environmental challenges.  The management of transboundary water resources and the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, notably those addressing desertification, biodiversity and climate change, constitute key areas in the organization’s work. Our programs and projects are funded by voluntary contributions, grants and donations from member countries, organizations, and partners.

A light and flexible structure, transparent financial management, effective governance and a competent, multicultural and multidisciplinary team constitute important assets that entitle OSS to make a significant contribution to the regional and international response to environmental challenges.

A reliable governance
The OSS General Assembly is convened every four years to examine institutional, strategic and statutory matters and adopt the four-year activities program. The General Assembly also elects members of the Executive Board for a four-year mandate.
Morocco currently assumes the presidency of the organization. H.E. Mr. Abdeladim LHAFI, High Commissioner for Water, Forests and the Fight against Desertification of Morocco is the President of OSS. 

The Executive Board, which convenes annually, implements the decisions and resolutions adopted by the General Assembly. The Executive Board examines the annual budget and activities program submitted for adoption by the Executive Secretariat and clears the organization's accounts after hearing the Auditor’s report.
The OSS Executive Board is currently composed as follows: 

  • Chair: Morocco
  • Cen-Sad area: Burkina Faso and Mauritania
  • Arab Maghren Union area : Algeria and Libya 
  • CILSS area: Chad and Niger
  • IGAD area: Uganda and Sudan
  • Non-regional members: Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Switzerland 
  • Other members: Egypt
  • Members representing sub-regional organizations: General Secretariat of UMA and CEN-SAD, Executive Secretariat of PAAGGW, CILSS , IGAD and LCBC 
  • Members representing international organizations: UNCCD and UNESCO
  • Members representing Civil Society Organizations: CARI

The Executive Board's Bureau is composed as follows: 

  • Morocco: Chair
  • France: 1st Vice-President
  • Niger: 2nd Vice-President
  • Sudan: 3rd Vice-President
  • Tunisia: 4th Vice-President
  • Algeria: Rapporteur
  • Egypt and Mauritania: Members


The Strategic Orientation Committee is a consultative body whose mission is to provide strategic thinking to underpin the organization’s programs.

The Executive Secretariat implements the Executive Board's decisions and takes all necessary measures for the efficient day-to-day management of the organization and the execution of its scientific and technical programs.