The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) Participation in the UNFCCC COP 22, 7 - 18 November 2016, Marrakech (Morocco)


An OSS delegation took part in the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC held in Marrakech from 7 to 18 November 2016. The delegation was present throughout the Conference duration. OSS intervention focused on panoply of themes, including climate finance, women mobilization and sustainable land and water resources management in the Sahara and Sahel region for more resilient African population.​

4 side-events were organized by OSS and aimed to discuss with concerned parties environmental and climate related themes: groundwater, sustainable land management, climate finance, women mobilization in the water sector. OSS, represented by its Executive Secretary and a number of other representatives, took also part in other side-events. A cultural program was also held and included the screening of a documentary, narration of water-related stories, and testimonies on the role of Maghrebian women in sustainable water resources management.

OSS also held jointly with the University of Reading an information booth throughout the Conference which aims to present to visitors OSS projects, programs and new publications (2015-2016).

  • Sustainable Land Management in the Sahara and Sahel Region[télécharger le flyer]November 2016; 1.00 – 2.30 p.m. Moroccan Pavilion :
    This side-event was inscribed within the framework of the JNLCD and aimed to present approaches for resilient agriculture through examples of successful experiences in the Sahara and Sahel region. The event was moderated and introduced by OSS and examples of experiences displaying innovative technologies and agricultural practices in three African sub-regions, namely North, East and West Africa, were presented and discussed. Panelists included notably the representative of HCEFLCD and the Executive Secretary of PAGGW.

Exchanges and discussions focused on:

  • Land use;
  • Agricultural approaches suitable for the Sahara and Sahel region;
  • Bushfires as a factor of land degradation;
  • Demography and its impact on land degradation;
  • Land productivity.


  • Groundwater and Climate Change [télécharger le flyer]8 November 2016; 3.00 -4.30 p.m. – Green Zone (Civil Society Space)..
    This side-event aimed to highlight necessary efforts to undertake for groundwater mobilization, management and valorization and its primordial role in populations adaptation in the Circum-Sahara region. The transboundary dimension was also underscored through the presentation of past experiences and future prospects of different regional organizations.
  • Adaptation Fund– What next? Past experiences and future prospects for the Adaptation Fund [télécharger le flyer]9 November 2016; 11.30-1.00 p.m. Mediterranean room, Blue zone.

This side-event was co-organized by OSS and Germanwatch. The event was an opportunity to discuss and share experiences of different stakeholders in the development and implementation of projects funded by the Adaptation Fund. It aimed to present past experiences and major difficulties faced in mobilizing climate financing and to explore future prospects and efforts that should be undertaken by countries for more access to climate finance. The project of Uganda funded by the Adaptation Fund through OSS was presented as an example. The side event counted about 130 participants and was broadcast live on the COP22 website.

  • Side-event : Confronting Climate Change: African Women mobilization in the water sector”, Blue zone 12 November 2016; 4.00-5.30 p.m

This side-event aimed to highlight the role and importance of women participation in sustainable water resources management through the presentation of examples of successful experiences. The event was opened by the Minister of Environment and sustainable development of Mauritania and the event panel was composed of personalities from the civil society and research community. The side-event called for a more involvement of women in decision-making related to water sector and notably at the local level. More than 60 persons attended the side-event, 1/3 of them were women.

  • Water-centered cultural event, 10 November 2016, Green Zone; 10.00-11.00 a.m.- and 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. OSS/GIZ (CREM project);

Two cultural events were organized:

The first event was held in the Oasis and Arid zones and included the screening of a documentary produced by GIZ within the framework of the « women ambassadors » project and the narration of a story on water by a Moroccan storyteller. This session was followed by a debate with the audience who greatly appreciated the women ambassadors experience and the idea of strengthening women capacity through storytelling and narration, which represent the main objective of the « Storytellers from the Maghreb” project, conducted by GIZ in partnership with GIZ. The participants of Burkina Faso expressed their wish to see a similar experience conducted in in their country.

The second event was hosted by the youth space from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. and was moderated by SDC-Switzerland. Several youths, looking for understanding the linkage between storytelling and water management, attended the event and took part in the discussions that followed.

  • Terres et eaux : Mise en œuvre de la LDN, 8 November 2016, 9.30–10.30 a.m. Innovation and Civil Society Space (Green Zone)

This event was organized by the CARI –NGO. Panelists discussed the new concept of Land Degradation Neutrality and gave their opinion on science, science/parties interface, approaches for implementation of LDN and their vision as a field operator for LDN implementation. Exchanges focused mainly on women access to land, ecosystem services restoration, Land Degradation Neutrality, and payment for environmental services provided by small producers. The coordinator of the Environment program at OSS was one of the panelists.

  • « Mise en œuvre des Contributions Prévues Déterminées au niveau national, Enjeux et opportunités, 10 November 2016 Blue zone, Mediterranean Room ; 11.30-1.00 p.m. (ECOWAS/OIF/CILSS)

Organized jointly by ECOWAS, OIF and CILSS, This side-event provided an exposé on the general framework of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The latter are at the core of the Paris Agreement and contribute to its implementation taking into account national realities. All interests and approaches were evoked by the panelists followed by a number of presentations of practical cases on NDCs. The importance of capacity building, improved governance and of the identification and formulation of structural projects and monitoring-evaluation mechanisms was also highlighted.

  • “Financing climate resilient water infrastructure in Africa”, Organized par CDKN / GWP / Uganda, 11 November 2016; Africa Pavilion, Blue zone 1.15-2.15 p.m

Organized jointly by CDKN and GWP, this side-event emphasized the major constraints and challenges facing actors in financing water infrastructures. The side-event showed that different financing opportunities are available but insufficiently known among actors. The OSS representative in this side-event recalled OSS mission and experience in financial resources mobilization for addressing water land issues.

  • Side event : “The GCF Update — 2016 Progress in Supporting Low-Emission and Climate-Resilient Development Pathways”, 11 November 2016; Africa Pavilion 10.00-11.30 a.m.

The GCF presented its current state of development towards supporting developing countries in financing of projects/programs. It also briefed on measures taken to strengthen the Fund's approach to programming, and initiatives to build on complementarity and coherence with other Funds.