The JMB has also embarked on a process to facilitate the re-establishment of the GLTFCA Secretariat. The first phase of the process was to design for the form and function of the proposed GLTFCA Secretariat through an extensive stakeholder consultation process. At the macro-level, stakeholders identified three key, interconnected areas of delegated authority and autonomy whereby the Secretariat could enable and catalyse significant progress towards the identified strategic outcomes of the GLTFCA. These encompass broadly the establishment of the Secretariat as an independent legal entity, with the following characteristics: (1) Authority: The delegated authority and autonomy to implement and report back on JMB decisions, together with provision by the JMB of guaranteed core operational funds, at least during the establishment phase (3-5 years); (2) Funding: The legal autonomy and ability to independently approach donors and raise dedicated funds for pre-identified priority project implementation and core support; (3) Staffing Capacity: The capacity, skills and competencies to effect implementation towards GLTFCA strategic objectives.
These three, inter-related areas of autonomous ownership are seen as key to unlocking the ability to better bring into effect JMB decisions, through the establishment of an ‘implementing agency’ with sufficient autonomy, authority, funding (and/or ability to raise funds) and capacities beyond that of the current International Coordinator. Such a unit is seen as the broker and catalyst for action between the ‘top-down’ decisions taken at Ministerial and JMB level, and the ‘bottom-up’ implementation by respective stakeholders at project implementation level, irrespective of the area of focus.
The key outcomes of the design phase also recognized that in order for the GLTFCA to succeed, greater emphasis should be placed on Communications, Outreach and Partnerships. Within this broad portfolio are also the areas of traditional fund-raising for activities, as well as marketing of the TFCA, for growing tourism, and the broader socio-economic (e.g. employment, local economy) and conservation benefits of the initiative.
Following the above, the JMB has recognized that there is an opportunity to establish a mechanism / platform to provide for improved communication and coordination between the GLTFCA and its implementing agencies, and the key funding partners active in the broader landscape. The JMB has thus recommended that a GLTFCA Partners Forum be established under the JMB to provide a platform for improved communication, coordination and alignment of activities between the JMB and key funding partners, as well as between the development partners active in the GLTFCA landscape. The proposed mechanism is hereafter referred to as the GLTFCA Partners Forum.