Morocco chairs the 25th session of the Board of Directors of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory by videoconference

The Board of Directors of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) under the presidency of Abdeladim Lhafi has just appointed the Tunisian Nabil ben Khatra to the post of Executive Secretary. The OSS indeed held, on November 16 and 17 by videoconference, the 25th session of its Board of Directors, under the presidency of Morocco.

The meeting was chaired by the High Commissioner for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification, Abdeladim Lhafi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the OSS, with the participation of member countries and regional and international organizations. , indicates a press release from the organization on Wednesday.

This session of the Board of Directors, of which Morocco is resident for the period 2016 – 2020, coincides with the end of the 2020 strategy and the launch of the OSS 2030 strategy, which will be presented at the 6th General Assembly to take place on November 25 and 26, 2020. The Board of Directors also approved the appointment of Nabil Ben Khatra (Tunisia) as the new Executive Secretary of the Organization, following a selection process by an international commission chaired by Dr Abdeladim Lhafi. Nabil Ben Khatra, who will be officially presented during the general assembly of the OSS, scheduled, online, from Tunis on November 25 and 26, will succeed the Algerian Khatim Kherraz, who has held the position of Executive Secretary since June 2012. Agricultural engineer and specialist in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, Ben Khatra began his professional career in 1995 at the Tunisian National Remote Sensing Center before joining the Ministry of the Environment in 2000.

The new OSS Strategy 2030 is structured around a strategic framework closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to the Strategies of the three Rio Conventions (UNCCD, UNFCCC and CBD), to the Commission’s Agenda 2063. of the African Union, the 5 priorities for Africa of the African Development Bank, the sector strategies (water, environment, agriculture and climate) of the sub-regions and countries of the OSS action zone, as well as the initiatives selected (3S, AAI, triple A and those relating to the Great Green Wall and Lake Chad). The 2030 strategy is aligned with the major initiatives and roadmaps of the Summit of African Heads of State and Government held on the sidelines of the COP22 that Morocco hosted in 2016 in Marrakech. The 2030 Strategy aims to support the countries of the OSS action zone in the implementation of their sustainable development strategies. It will implement a scientific and technical program entitled “Integrated and concerted management of natural resources” which constitutes the heart of OSS action and which is articulated around four thematic axes (Water, Earth, Climate and Biodiversity) inter – linked in a logic of integrated development.

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It should be remembered that the OSS is an international organization with an African vocation, created in 1992 and established in Tunis in 2000. Its action is located in the arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid zones of the Sahelo-Saharan region. The OSS counts among its members 25 African countries (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Chad & Tunisia.), 7 non-African countries (Germany, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Luxembourg & Switzerland.), 13 organizations (representative organizations of the West, East and North Africa, United Nations organizations) and 3 non-governmental organizations.

In North Africa, surface and underground water resources are scarce. According to the French Development Agency (AFD), this situation is caused by climate change and human action on the environment, and is expected to worsen in the years to come. In order to find a lasting solution to this now “urgent” problem, the French financial institution recently joined forces with the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) to launch the regional initiative “Water stress and climate change in South Africa. North ”. For several years, the region has suffered helplessly from the moods of climate change, not to mention the recurring violence exerted on the environment by human action on rivers, rivers, lakes and even the water table. AFD and OSS are planning, through the “Water stress and climate change in North Africa” initiative, to promote public policy dialogue in the sub-region (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) to a period of 18 months. Solutions are gradually being adopted in the countries of North Africa, in particular in Morocco which appears in the Top 20 of the countries in the world most affected by water stress, with only 500 m3 of water per inhabitant per year, a volume that was 2,500 m3 in 1960. In the Kingdom, several desalination plants are in development, notably in Agadir, Jorf Lsfar or Laâyoune. The various installations will be commissioned in 2021.

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