Ramsar's Africa Coordinator moves to manager of GEF project for Lake Chad
Anada Tiéga bids farewell to the Ramsar Bureau and describes his new challenge
As I leave the Ramsar Bureau after more than five years on the team, I would like to take a moment to thank my colleagues and also to describe the position that I will be taking up when I leave Switzerland, since it is a very interesting continuation of some of the Bureau's African work in recent years.
First I want to offer my thanks to my colleagues in the Ramsar Bureau, to the Administrative Authorities in the region, and to the International Organization Partners, all of whom helped me very much in my work - I express my gratitude for everything that I have learned from these people, and I express my commitment to do my best to use what I have learned from them in my new position. I urge them all to keep in touch in the coming years.
As to my new post, I will work for the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), a major service provider of project management and implementation services to the United Nations System and developing countries. UNOPS will execute the following project on behalf of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank as Implementing Agencies. My job position is "Project Manager (Chief Technical Advisor)" based in NDjamena, Chad, and the project title is: "Reversal of Land and Water Degradation Trends In the Lake Chad Basin Ecosystem: Establishment of Mechanisms for Land and Water Management" (http://www.cblt.org/reversal_land_&_water.htm). The first stage of the Project will be for four years with a total budget of US$ 18,928,900.
The long-term objective of this GEF project is to achieve global environmental benefits through concerted management of the naturally integrated land and water resources of the Lake Chad Basin. The specific purpose of the project is to overcome barriers to the concerted management of the basin through well-orchestrated and enhanced collaboration and capacity building among riparians and stakeholders. This basin-wide intervention will involve the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) (with which the Ramsar Bureau has a Memorandum of Cooperation) and its member States: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
Transboundary issues have already been identified and agreed by the five member States of the LCBC in the regional LCB Strategic Plan. This Stage I of GEF support will therefore involve completion of a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and lead to the formulation of a GEF-supported Strategic Action Programme (SAP). The SAP will include necessary baseline and additional actions to address the priority transboundary issues and provide an essential monitoring and evaluation tool for implementation. Stage I will require the development and testing of set of institutional mechanisms and implementation methodologies, including pilot demonstrations, that explicitly link regional, national and local initiatives in land and water management.
Additionally, it will involve preparation of a basin-wide synthetic framework in which transboundary priorities can be addressed and project interventions monitored. A later Stage II of GEF support will cover full-scale implementation of the GEF SAP, including investments. The project provides for a process of formal endorsement of the GEF SAP by the participating governments, support for the translation of SAP provisions into national and regional policy and legislation, and the mobilisation of institutional and investment resources for its implementation.
You can see from the objectives of the project that it is fully in line with the Ramsar Strategic Plan, with an emphasis on strategic planning and regional policy at basin scale. It may well serve as a concrete example for the implementation of the CBD/Ramsar River Basin Initiative.
As the Project Manager, I will be responsible for the overall coordination of all aspects of the project in general and in particular. I will liaise directly with designated officials of the participating countries, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Implementing Agencies, the Executing Agency, UNDP and World Bank Country Offices, existing and potential additional project donors, National Focal Points, and others as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Project Steering Committee and by my personal judgment.
I will also be responsible for delivery of all substantive, managerial and financial reports from and on behalf of the Project. I will provide overall supervision of the GEF staff in the Project Management Unit.
The project will enhance collaboration and will develop capacity among riparian countries and relevant stakeholders through the completion of a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and the formulation of a Strategic Action Programme (SAP). It will also support the creation of regional programs and the execution of demonstration projects to test and validate methodologies, secure stakeholder involvement and develop implementation modalities. I expect that there will be many opportunities for me to ensure that Ramsar principles and recommended practices will be fully incorporated in the project results.
I look forward to taking up my challenging new post, but I will be sorry to be leaving my friends and colleagues in the Ramsar Bureau and the IOPs. I am certain, however, that I will have many opportunities to work closely with many of them in the future.
Regional Coordinator for Africa
Bureau of the Ramsar Convention
Rue Mauverney 28
Tel 41 22 999 0164
Fax 41 22 999 0169
Web site www.ramsar.org