The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) is an international scope organization with an African vocation which was created in 1992 and based in Tunis since 2000. The OSS initiates and facilitates partnerships on common challenges related to the management of shared water resources, the implementation of international agreements on desertification, biodiversity and climate change in Africa.
Today, the OSS has 33 member countries (26 African countries and 7 non-African countries), 12 member organizations representing West, East and North Africa, UN organizations including 3 non-governmental organizations.
Mission and expertise
The OSS mission is to support its African member countries in the sustainable management of their natural resources in a particularly disadvantageous climate change context.
Its action extends mainly over the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas of Africa.
In order to carry out its missions and conduct its activities, the OSS has developed expertise enabling it to shed light on current environmental issues and to contribute to strategic brainwork on the sustainable management of land and water resources and climate change through:
- The implementation of multilateral agreements on desertification, biodiversity and climate change ;
- The promotion of regional and international initiatives related to Africa's environmental challenges ;
- The definition of concepts and the alignment of approaches and methodologies related to the Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM), and climate change.
The OSS action covers a wide range of interventions relating to environment monitoring and surveillance in support of the countries' efforts in the fight against land degradation and desertification, the sustainable management of water, the resilience of populations and the preservation of the biological heritage.
The OSS develops concepts and methodologies for environmental monitoring, management of natural resources and adaptation to climate change on the scientific and technical "Land", "Water", "Climate" and "Biodiversity" programs to promote integrated and coordinated management of natural resources in Africa.
Thanks to its accreditations to Climate Funds, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Adaptation Fund (AF), the OSS provides support to countries in setting up projects to contend with the effects of climate change on populations and ecosystems.
In order to successfully accomplish its mission, the Observatory focuses on knowledge transfer, capacity building and awareness-raising for all stakeholders.