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Sahara and Sahel Observatory
Intergovernmental Organisation
The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) is an international organisation whose mission is to serve as a tool for liaison and an international framework for partnership and consultation, and to contribute to the mastery and exchange of information of use in the combat against desertification and the attenuation of the effects of drought (Article 1 of the OSS Statutes).

It is composed of African and non-African states, sub-regional organisations devoted to combating desertification and attenuating the effects of drought (CILSS, IGAD, UMA...), United Nations organisations, intergovernmental organisations that contribute and/or adhere to the Statutes, and non-governmental organisatios that have been admitted according to procedures set out in the Statutes.

The OSS mission is to be carried out within the framework of the CCD and Agenda 21 in Africa. Its main objective is to promote development and capitalise its partners' wealth of information in order to optimise means intended for use in the combat against desertification. As part of an overall movement to protect the environment to secure sustainable development, OSS has based its activities on the following three basic principles:
  • favour synergy among the various players in the combat against desertification;
  • create a context for sharing experiences, directed towards combined objectives, viz. mastering information technologies, greater access to common data bases, mutual benefits from know-how;
  • active participation by all partners in implementing scientific and technical programmes that meet their needs.

Three federating axes form the scientific and technical platform for OSS actions:

  • the mechanism for desertification observation, monitoring and evaluation (DOSE - Dispositif d'Observation, de Suivi et d'Evaluation de la D√ɬ©sertification),
  • the Natural Resources Management Programme,
  • the Research for Development Promotion Programme.

Through its programmes, OSS:

  • ensures dissemination of results obtained to its partners and the maximisation of these results;
  • enrols the scientists and institutional correspondents;
  • develops all forms of information contained in expert networks of both the North and the South.