SESRIC and UNEP Explored Collaborations for Sustainable Development
Date: 17 May 2024
Venue: Virtual, Ankara - Türkiye

SESRIC and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened virtually on 17 May 2024, for a coordination meeting aimed at exploring potential collaborations and joint initiatives. Among the prospective collaborations discussed were capacity building programmes related to environment.

During the meeting, Dr. Nenden Octavarulia SHANTY, Director of Training and Technical Cooperation Department of SESRIC, outlined SESRIC’s role as the OIC’s subsidiary organ, covering 57 member countries. She informed UNEP colleagues that SESRIC has more than 20 capacity building programmes across various sectors such as agriculture, health, poverty alleviation, environment (i.e., Environment Capacity Building Programme (Environment-CaB)), and tourism (i.e., Tourism Capacity Building Programme (Tourism-CaB)).

Recognizing UNEP’s significance in the environmental sector and its link to sustainable tourism, Dr. SHANTY extended an invitation to the UNEP team to contribute to the upcoming Workshop on “Developing Sustainable Ecotourism in West African OIC Member Countries” which will be held virtually on 28-29 May 2024. This collaboration is seen as a critical step in enhancing cooperation between SESRIC and UNEP.

In response, Mr. David RUBIA, Programme Management Officer at UNEP, welcomed the invitation, highlighting the significance of sustainable tourism in Africa, particularly in light of the challenges posed by COVID-19. He referenced UNEP’s “SWITCH Africa Green” programme, initiated in 2013 to support African countries in transitioning to a sustainable consumption and production (SCP)-based inclusive green economy. This programme offers opportunities for the private sector to adopt more resource-efficient and environmentally sound business practices, fostering profitability, creating green jobs, and reducing poverty.

Ms. Svitlana MIKHALYEVA, Coordinator of UNEP’s One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme, also mentioned UNEP’s Plastic Initiative and its relevance to the tourism sector. Additionally, Mr. Mohamed ATANI, Head of UNEP Office in West Africa, expressed interest in exploring concrete strategies for sustainable implementation.

The meeting concluded with both institutions expressing their eagerness to strengthen and expand their collaboration, thereby making an important step towards leveraging the collective expertise and resources of SESRIC and UNEP.