The Members of the Coalition will work together to lobby their national governments, EU bodies (Council, Parliament and Commission) as well as other policy formulating bodies/ agencies in Europe (e.g. the European Headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva and the FAO in Rome) to explicitly recognise and support pastoralism (and the people that practise pastoralism: pastoralists) in the drylands of Eastern Africa.
Actors cooperating under the Coalition and their roles:
Being part of the Coalition is on a voluntary basis and based on a shared commitment to and belief in the guiding mission statement of the Coalition. The Coalition’s mission is focused on Europe and as such involves European organisations foremost with a legitimate right to lobby their governments and the European Union (EU). However, the Coalition is not able to do this work without closely cooperating with pastoralist networks, experts, partners and organisations working in Eastern Africa, since these actors are able to provide grassroots information and formulate the problems/needs of pastoralism/ists (crucial as inputs for CELEP lobbying cases). The Eastern African organisations have the legitimate right to lobby their own governments, the African U and other regional African bodies. Therefore, the Coalition is based on close cooperation and information sharing between European CELEP members and Eastern African CELEP partners. As such, both European and Eastern African organisations are part of and equal partners in CELEP.
Functioning of the Coalition
In June 2009, the first meeting of the Coalition was held at the Cordaid office in The Hague, Netherlands. The participants of this meeting decided on a ‘light’ structure for their cooperation. This is guided by a ‘mission statement’, not so much about the ‘final’ objectives (blueprint), but rather about ‘going the same road’, especially in joint efforts to lobby the European Union.
- Informal organisation with annual general meetings (AGMs)
- “Rotating” focal point based in Europe
- Coordinated by a “core group” for a term of one year, to be reviewed / renewed at AGM
- Communication between Coalition members mainly by electronic means and phone.
The second AGM (2010) was hosted by Kimmage Development Studies Centre in Dublin, Ireland; the third (2011) by Practical Action in Rugby, UK; and the fourth (2012) by Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (VSF) in Brussels, Belgium. The AGM in 2013 was hosted by Terra Nuova in Rome, Italy, and the AGM in 2014 was hosted by Misereor in Aachen, Germany.
Currently (2015), CELEP has 24 member organisations from Europe and 7 partner organisations/networks from Eastern Africa (see right-hand column on opening page of the website).
The initial Core Team (2009–10) was made up of Cordaid, IWGIA, REGLAP/Oxfam GB, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, WISP, PACAPS, FARM-Africa UK and IKV Pax Christi. In 2011, IIED, Practical Action and VSF-Belgium became involved. Members of the current Core Team (2014–15) are Concern Worldwide (Ireland), Cordaid (Netherlands), RECONCILE (Kenya), Pastoral Forum Ethiopia, COPACSO (Uganda), Agrecol Association (Germany) and VSF–Belgium.
From 2009 to 2012, Cordaid served as the Focal Point. At the AGM in October 2012, the CELEP members elected VSF–Belgium as the new Focal Point. It has been serving in this capacity since then.
There are no special funding provisions for the cooperation under the Coalition. The 2012 AGM decided that CELEP members will start making annual contributions to cover the costs of the Focal Point, and membership fees are being paid since 2013.
A European organisation interested in joining CELEP can express an interest in this to the Focal Point and clarify what contribution it will make to the Coalition (membership fee payment and/or contribution in kind). The expression of interest is forwarded to the Core Team. If there are no justified objections within two weeks, the organisation is accepted as member.
Priority lobbying issues:
In its efforts to lobby and inform the EU and its Member States on pastoral issues, CELEP focuses on:
- Recognition of pastoralism as a valuable and viable livelihood system that contributes to national and regional economies, food security, employment and sustainable management of natural resources
- Mobility as a crucial condition for sustainable pastoralism and for community security in (cross-border) conflict areas
- Pastoralists’ rights of access to and management of natural resources (land, vegetation, water etc), also as a contribution to community security in (cross-border) conflict areas
- Pastoralism as a positive example of climate change adaptation.
Role descriptions for CELEP Core Group and Focal Point
- Core Group
The core group is elected every year during the CELEP annual meeting and is composed of European members and African partners. The contribution of the members to the core group is on a voluntary basis. They advise and guide the focal point of the Coalition. The focal point therefore regularly informs the core group and asks their collaboration.
- Focal Point
The CELEP focal point is elected on an annual basis during the annual meeting of the Coalition by the European members and the Eastern African partners. It rotates among the different European members of CELEP. Contributions of the European members are required to assure a minimal functioning of the focal point.
The tasks of the focal point include:
- To coordinate and monitor the functioning of the Coalition and to follow up on the organisational issues and the different engagements of the members and partners, as agreed upon during the annual meeting.
- To function as the official CELEP voice in the EU and therefore to maintain good contacts with the European institutions such as the European Parliament, Commission and Council.
- To request the advice and inputs from the CELEP core group when actions are undertaken.
- To Identify (unforeseen) lobby opportunities and to mobilise EU members and African partners regarding these opportunities.
- To manage the googlegroup and give input to the website.
- To follow up on the specific focal point pledges, agreed upon at the annual meeting.