the european networking initiative on Desertification


The European networking initiative on Desertification/UNCCD (eniD) was created in June 2001 by European NGOs involved in the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). At the moment this working group counts six organisations and networks, which are operational in the field of sustainable development in drylands, all of them introduced below.

EniD is dedicated to the implementation of the UNCCD in general and to the participatory approach of the convention in particular; considering both as essential steps on the way to sustainable development. EniD understands its initiative as a specific contribution to efforts that a larger community of like-minded actors from national, regional and international backgrounds are committed to.

The initiative seeks to improve the co-operation between civil society organisations (CSOs) at the European level in order to provide for more support to partners from civil society in affected countries, particularly in view of their active involvement in the decision making, implementing and assessment processes of the UNCCD.

The members of the initiative not only are actively involved in their respective countries in UNCCD related processes, but they are also committed in numerous working partnerships with CSOs in affected countries.

EniD's activities strive for :

One member of eniD currently acts as the regional focal point for Western Europe of Réseau International d’ONG sur la Désertification (RIOD), a world-wide NGO network in support of the UNCCD.

Position paper on several issues addressed during COP-6 of the UNCCD, 25 August – 5 September 2003

The organisations

  • Arbeitsgruppe Desertifikation (AG Desertifikation)

Type of organisation : National network of development and environment organisations
Address : c/o d.visions, Schifferstr. 33a, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Tel : +49-69 61 99 37 06
Fax : +49-69 61 99 37 07
Website :
Contact person : Jürgen Gliese,

Main areas of work :

AG Desertifikation is a network of organisations that are working for development in drylands and/or on global aspects of development. The network has ca 50 participants. Its objectives are :

· to follow-up the negotiation and implementation process of the UNCCD since 1992;

· to prepare and offer information and educational material related to desertification;

· to support exchange and networking of actors from civil society actors worldwide;

· to engage in the political and technical dialogue with responsible political decision-making levels;

· to emphasise particularly the promotion of active participation of civil society and local actors in the implementation process of the UNCCD.

Activities related to combating desertification :

Find out more about the activities of the participants of AG Desertifikation in drylands and the combat of desertification in the following documentations:

Relevant Publications :

· Work & activities by German NGOs in Drylands and their contribution to Combat Desertification and the implementation of the UNCCD (September 2001).

· The Combat of Desertification in Global Partnership. A challenge for Civil Society (May 1998).

· Die Desertifikationskonvention: Eine Orientierungshilfe. (December 2001)

  • Both ENDS

Type of organisation : non-profit foundation, environment and development service for NGOs.
Address : Nieuwe Keizersgracht 45, 1018 VC Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Tel : +31-20-6230823;
Fax : +31-20-6208049;
Website :
Contact person : Marie José van der Werff ten Bosch,

Main areas of work :

Both ENDS supports the work of environmental organisations, primarily in the South and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, through information, research, advocacy, campaigning, networking and capacity building.

The core of activities is in making connections, between South and North, environment and development, and between different sectors of society. The main focus is the realisation of sustainable forms of natural resource management and to promote sustainable policymaking in the Netherlands as well as worldwide. Particular support goes to environmental initiatives which - born locally - can have an impact globally.

Many activities of Both ENDS are organized around themes. The main themes are Food Sovereignty, International Capital Flows, Sustainable Land Use, Urban Sustainability and Water Management, and the interlinkages between them.

Activities related to combating desertification :

In November 2002 Both ENDS started the project “Enhancing NGO involvement in the UNCCD process”, within the broader Sustainable Land Use theme. The project’s goal is to help ensure that more Dutch civil society groups become involved in the UNCCD process, in close collaboration with Southern players, in order that the UNCCD is more widely supported and its potential better exploited. The project tries to involve organisations amongst others by surfacing the many existing and un-known cross-linkages of land degradation with other environmental issues. Both ENDS is also working on Ecological Restoration, an approach to restore degraded ecosystems, Non Timber Forest Products, Land Rights and Sustainable Production of Flowers.

Furthermore, within the Encyclopedia of Sustainability (in which Both ENDS unveils sustainable practices of natural resource management in an ever expanding - online - collection of innovative, people-oriented environment initiatives), a number of initiatives on sustainable land use are documented.

Relevant publications :

· Both ENDS information package on Desertification (Last updated August 2003);

· Both ENDS Donor Newsletter # 1-2003 on desertification;

· See further: Resource Centre Sustainable Land Use on

  • C.A.R.I. - Centre d'Actions et de Réalisations Internationales

Type of organisation : non-profit association, training center and network facilitator of environment and development actors
Address : Rue du Courreau, 34380 Viols le Fort, France
Tel : +33 (0)4 67 55 61 18
Fax : +33 (0)4 67 55 74 37
Website :
Contact person : Patrice Burger,

Main areas of work :

- Project based training in agro-ecology and local development

Providing technical and methodological support and training to groups involved in rural development based on 15 years experience in drylands and organic farming particularly in Africa

- Network Coordination

Sharing experiences and placing them on a network and facilitating that network. These exchanges give opportunities for comparing approaches, surveys, intercultural mediation, training sessions, production of methods and capacity building of organizations.

- Responsible citizenship and education

Action in developing countries should not be considered in isolation from the international context and the North-South relationship. Our activities aim to make people aware of global environment and development issues through public debates, training, education in sustainable development and intercultural dialog.

Activities related to combating desertification :

The three areas of work mentioned above are mainly focused on the drylands and on the link between land degradation, agriculture, social and environmental issues. CARI is working in field projects in the south as well as in the follow up to the process of implementation of the UNCCD in France, on the basis of the UNCCD agenda.

CARI as facilitator of French Desertification Working Team – (Groupe de Travail Désertification GTD)

Founded in 2001, GTD is a consortium made up mostly of french organizations committed to the combat of desertification and is a member of the french CRID NGOs coalition. Its objectives are to facilitate the implementation of the Convention and of strategies to combat desertification in European and international negotiations which includes:

Follow-up of negotiations, working out national and European positions, advocacy and proposals to policy-makers. Improve information and education among the various actors, policy-makers and the general public in France and among the foreign partners of French operators. Also to clarify the understanding of the process of desertification and the ways to combat desertification in the fields. To communicate on existing initiatives to combat desertification, and to analyze and improve visibility of the social, economical and environmental implications of the fight against desertification, as well as its link with poverty and sustainable development.

Relevant publications :

· 2003 - Guidelines and manual to the UNCCD for NGOs (in French)

· 2003 – Almanach 2004 as educational tool through photography, drawing from Touareg and french children and explanation and analysis (in French)

· Electronic newsletter “infos en bref” every three months (in French)

  • Danish 92 Group

Type of organisation : coalition of Danish NGOs
Address : C/O Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, Masnedøgade 20, DK - 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.
Tel : +45-3917-4032
Fax : +45-3917-4141
Website :
Contact person : Vibeke Munk Petersen,

Main areas of work :

The Danish 92 Group is a coalition of 20 Danish NGO’s working on environment and development. The group was established in 1991 in order to co-ordinate Danish NGO’s preparations of United Nation’s Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, 1992. The co-operation has continued since then. At present the Danish 92 Group is especially focusing on the follow-up of the Johannesburg Summit in 2002, on the national, regional and international level. Prior to the Summit the Group prepared for it through national as well as international projects and co-operation. The member organisations also co-operate on related issues, at the domestic as well as the international level. Activities cover e.g. the coordination of activities, joint actions on advocacy, lobbying and information activities, etc.

Activities related to combating desertification :

  • The political process on sustainable Development, e.g. Agenda 21, United Nation’s Commission on Sustainable Development, United Nation’s Forum on Forests, and World Summit on Sustainable Development;

  • Multilateral environmental conventions, such as the Convention on Climate Change, Biodiversity, Desertification, and persistent organic pollutants;

  • The World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the linkages between trade, environment and development;

  • Denmark’s environmental development assistance, and integration of environmental considerations into other kinds of assistance to developing countries.

Activities cover e.g. the co-ordination of activities, joint actions on advocacy, lobbying and information activities, etc.

Relevant Publications :

  • From Doha to Sustainable Development – Position paper for the 5th WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun
  • Sustainable Production and Consumption (only available in Danish)

  • Drylands Coordination Group (DCG)

Type of organisation : NGO driven forum, that constitute a platform for mutual sharing of practical experiences.
Address : Noragric, NLH, 1432 Ås, Norway.
Tel :+47 64 94 98 23;
Fax :+47 64 94 07 60.
Website :
Contact persons : Solveig Raaheim Grønsdal ( and Gitte Motzfeldt (

Main areas of work :

DCG is a forum for co-operation that promotes quality assurance of development projects dealing with food security and natural resource management in the drylands of Africa. DCG also focuses on capacity building through exchange of practical experiences and appropriate knowledge between NGOs and GOs, including research and policy making institutions. National DCGs exist in Norway, Mali, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Eritrea.

Activities related to combating desertification :

One of the main areas of DCG’s work is to contribute to the follow-up of national obligations related to the UNCCD, both in Norway and in the affected countries of Sudan, Ethiopia, Mali, and Eritrea.

The DCG network works in collaboration with the National Focal Points in Mali, Eritrea and Ethiopia, and in collaboration with the national network of civil society organisations that is supporting the UNCCD process. DCG supports activities such as studies (see publication list below), workshops, and capacity building activities. Examples of such activities are the DCG supported Training of Trainers in the Implementation of the National Action Programmes for the UNCCD in Ethiopia, and Workshop on Raising Awareness among Policy Makers of the National Action Programmes for the UNCCD in Ethiopia.

In Norway DCG works in collaboration with the Norwegian Government and the Norwegian Centre for International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) in undertaking UNCCD related training, seminars, as well as policy and advocacy work nationally and internationally.

Relevant Publications :

  • Jens B. Aune. Desertification control, rural development and reduced CO2 emissions through the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol - an impasse or a way forward? (2003)

  • Anne Mossige and Yonis Berkele: Indicators to promote Civil Society’s (NGOs and CBOs) Participation in the Implementation of Ethiopia’s National and Regional Action Programs of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. (2003)

  • Anne Mossige, Yonis Berkele and Sina Maiga.

  • Participation of Civil Society in the National Action Programs of the United Nation’s Convention to Combat Desertification. Synthesis of an Assessment in Ethiopia and Mali. (2001)

  • Wingspread

Type of organisation : non-profit association
Address : Foxwood, Flemmingstown South, naas, Co.Kildare, Ireland
Tel : 00353 (0) 45889364
Website :
Contact person : Brendan Nolan,