TRANSHUMANCE DAY SIDE-EVENT: Multidisciplinary approach to pacific management of cross-border transhumance aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence
The "Transhumance Day" side event was held on 9 December 2020, in the Kinshasa meeting room of the Congo River hotel. The day was devoted to strategic reflection on the topic of peaceful transhumance and gathered experts from the different geographical blocs established as part of the implementation of the N’DJAMENA Declaration. Please download the report of Transhumance Day .
During the meeting, participants were presented a roadmap and a logical framework, which had been developed during previous working sessions. Various presentations spotlighted the wide range of initiatives being implemented by conservation actors, with a view to peaceful management of transhumance. The event was moderated by Ms Mayen Bertille, GIZ / PAPFor-TGS-FL Project Coordinator (GIZ BSB Yamoussa resource person) and chaired by the CBFP Facilitator, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, assisted by the CBFP Co-Facilitator, Minister Raymond MBITIKON, by Professor Michel BAUDOUIN, Director of ERAIF and by Madame Florence PALLA, Coordinator of the OFAC Support Project. The summary report on the working day presented below, highlights the participants’ observations, notes five main points that emerged from the reflections and presents the main recommendations formulated at the close of the proceedings.
Fact: Transhumant flows from the Sahel to the equatorial zone are on the rise, with attendant consequences such as all kinds of trafficking, insecurity, negative socio-economic impacts, threats and pressures on biodiversity conservation.
Countries are affected differently, and three categories have emerged:
Countries with a long-standing history of hosting transhumants are now overrun by uncontrolled and uncontrollable flows of transhumants;
Countries that were transit zones for transhumants have now become final destinations;
Countries that were unacquainted with transhumance, have recently been affected by the trend.
Five main points emerged from the discussions
Adopt a multidisciplinary approach to peaceful management of cross-border transhumance to ensure peaceful coexistence as an alternative to traditional transhumance management policies which carry the seeds of multi-faceted conflicts;
State involvement in peaceful transhumance management, given that transhumants are subject to State sovereignty;
It is a complex issue that transcends State borders and therefore requires actors at the diplomatic, political and operational levels to support the States in embracing and implementing agreements signed between the States on: transhumance management, concerted management of natural resources, biodiversity conservation and the fight against transboundary crime;
Involving traditional authorities is key to tackling this issue;
The considerable financial income from transhumance could be a major asset in structuring transhumant groups, as taxation could serve as a mechanism for regulating transhumant movements.
There is a crucial need for the countries and their strategic partners to integrate the "Peaceful Transhumance Initiative" at institutional level by coordinating the efforts of all actors;
Sustainable financing of country-level Investment Plans;
Monitoring transhumance routes / movements from the Sahel to the Equatorial zone.
At the close of the proceedings, the participants in the "Transhumance DAY Side Event" made the following recommendations:
To ECCAS: provide institutional support in the search for a peaceful transhumance solution in the sub-region and play a coordinating role in current or future initiatives;
To ECCAS and IGAD: sign an MoU for collaboration in transboundary management in the three blocs of the N’Djamena process;
To the CBFP Facilitation and ECCAS: Conduct short-term advocacy with the States to get them to take up the challenge of peaceful transhumance; continue implementing the political and diplomatic action sheet of the geographical blocs, conduct advocacy for the financing of the budgeted road maps of the geographical blocs;
To the States: adopt the innovative initiatives underway aimed at implementing the N'Djamena Declaration on transhumance, cross-border collaboration on concerted management of natural resources and develop Country-level Investment Plans;
To ECCAS and UNODC: conduct a review of existing bilateral and multilateral agreements between the respective countries concerned and assess their levels of implementation on the one hand and facilitate the development of cooperation agreements between requesting countries, on the other hand;
To the States: promote bilateral agreements that meet actors’ requirements while capitalizing on the achievements of ongoing collaboration agreements;
To public and private operators: implement pilot taxation schemes in connection with transhumance management and development actions in the cattle sector.
Selected excerpts: Words of advice from experienced actors:
The Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany (2020/21)
The methodological approach of the N'Djamena process comprises three stages:
i) 2019 - the N'Djamena conference paves the way for high-level political consultations on the issue of transnational transhumance between the Sahel and Equatorial Africa with particular emphasis on the degradation of ecosystems around Lake Chad and the fight against poaching and other transboundary criminal activities; ii) 2020 - the process was implemented alongside other actions, in consultation with country experts in Douala and the development of programmatic working tools (logical framework, budgeted roadmap, diplomatic action plan of the Facilitator ); iii) in 2021 we need to take concrete action. The results of the implementation of the N’Djamena Process in the different blocs must be forwarded (or ascertain acknowledgment of receipt thereof) to the relevant sectoral ministries. The partners will support the States which will lead the way. N’DJAMENA 2 begins now with the States involved in the process as a guarantee of its success.
His Excellency Mr François-Xavier de Donnea (CBFP Facilitator of the Kingdom of Belgium 2017/18)
Some states have signed transboundary collaboration agreements. Priority should be given to bilateral agreements, before proceeding with multilateral agreements. There needs to be a bilateral collaboration agreement between the countries at each border (Cameroon and Chad, Cameroon-RCA, Cameroon-Congo Brazzaville, RCA-Chad, RCA-DRC, DRC-South Sudan…).
Between January and February, the experts should work on the documents to be submitted to the Partnership at the next meeting in March. In addition to the Covid 19 pandemic which has slowed down current initiatives, the talks initiated with the southern Sudanese delegation during the 1st Nagoru meeting on the agreement between South Sudan and the DRC remain suspended as a result of the cabinet reshuffle. These parties are plaintiffs and should be supported. There is no need to reinvent hot water, rather the aim should be to tailor the agreements to the other actors’ demands and challenges, similar to the Rwanda-Congo-Uganda agreement, signed 15 years ago in the aftermath of the civil war.
Mr Raymond MBITIKON, CBFP Co-Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany (2020/21)
The Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany has made transhumance one of the priorities of its roadmap. Transhumance requires multi-stakeholder commitment. There is a need to set up a Task Force on tax issues and other levies relating to cross-border transhumance. We must explore the boundaries of the institutional and coordination role of ECCAS which can potentially shoulder the political and diplomatic mission of establishing / maintaining collaboration with ECOWAS, IGAD, CILLS, OFAC, OFCSA, UNODC, and work with the CBFP to help develop a consensual roadmap and conduct advocacy with donors for related activities.
Professor Michel BAUDOUIN, Director of ERAIF
The Ndjamena and Douala processes were on track to be achieved before Covid 19 brought them to a halt. However, the effective signing of the agreements by the States concerned must take place in 2021. To this end, a concrete agenda is needed to move forward and finalize the agreements between the countries. Most of the budgets mentioned in the Logical Framework can be financed from an existing budget line;
Transhumance can be likened to a well-established bank whose source of income should be subject to taxes and regulation. Implementing taxes and other levies will take time. Pilot schemes should therefore be launched now (by voluntary operators).
Mr Maxime Nzita, Head of ECOFAC Mission to ECCAS
There is a crucial need to identify the institutional framework and appropriate hypotheses to be taken into account in supporting the implementation of country-level investments - Towards N'Djamena 2. The issue of sustainable financing of country-level investment programs remains the top concern of the States. The Facilitation should pursue efforts at the political level, to validate action plans with the COMIFAC / ECCAS member States. The States are advised to have separate logical frameworks which would define target actions that are likely to create conducive political and institutional conditions for the implementation of the N’Djamena road map.
Ms Florence Palla, Coordinator of the OFAC / COMIFAC Support Project
Building a regional mechanism for monitoring and managing cross-border transhumance is a key component of peaceful management of cross-border transhumance. It would be a good idea to move towards establishing or strengthening a transboundary consultation and data governance platform for transhumance management (Harmonizing monitoring indicators, independent of financial partners). OFAC and ECOFAC VI are involved in sub-regional institutional monitoring and institutionalized monitoring of transhumance.
Ms Bertille Mayen, Resource person for GIZ Support Project at the BSB Yamoussa Complex
The challenge of dualism which is deeply entrenched in conventional cross-border transhumance management policies is a key element to be taken into account in the multi-stakeholder approach. The four-volume study conducted by DFS-GIZ / BSB Yamoussa and the operationalization of the Egou-Gol (the Fulbe word for transhumance) platform highlights the need to include traditional authorities in pacific transhumance management systems in order to ensure peaceful co-existence. A cross-section of traditional agreements and cooperation agreements on transhumance around the Lake Chad Basin would provide an overview of existing provisions in order to adapt them to the needs of administrative, political and traditional institutions.
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