Limpopo Transborder Programme
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IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The East and Southern Africa Regional Office for IUCN is in Nairobi, Kenya and its headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.


Our vision is a just world that values and conserves nature.
Our mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.


Knowledge: IUCN develops and supports cutting edge conservation science, particularly in species, ecosystems, biodiversity, and the impact these have on human livelihoods.
Action: IUCN runs thousands of field projects around the world to better manage natural environments.
Influence: IUCN supports governments, NGOs, international conventions, UN organizations, companies and communities to develop laws, policy and best-practice.
Empowerment: IUCN helps implement laws, policy and best-practice by mobilizing organizations, providing resources, training people and monitoring results



  • Conserving Biodiversity
  • Changing the Climate Forecast
  • Naturally Energizing the Future
  • Managing Ecosystems for Human Well-Being
  • Greening the World Economy

IUCN is first and foremost a union of members that cares deeply about biodiversity and whose fundamental expertise is on species, habitats and ecosystems. We recognize the intrinsic value of nature, and we have learned that biodiversity underpins the well-being of human societies and their economies. We have also learnt that conservation can only succeed if attention is given to the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, while actions are taken at the same time to mitigate the direct drivers of change. We have demonstrated that effectively managed natural resources are key to sustainable development, support peaceful communities and can help reduce poverty.
Building on this approach, and in view of the ever-growing threat to environmental health and the lack of progress towards sustainability, the IUCN Programme recognizes the continuing need to support biodiversity conservation at all levels, with governments, civil society and the private sector. It strengthens the Union’s heartland work on conserving biodiversity as the basis for developing more effective and strategic interventions linked to the global sustainability agenda in the areas of climate change, energy, poverty and security, and economy and markets.

The IUCN Programme 2009–2012 provides the framework for planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the conservation work undertaken by the Commissions and the Secretariat with and on behalf of members. It is a result-based, demand-driven plan of action that addresses global issues, incorporates national level priorities, and provides a structure for detailed work plans for the Commissions and the Regional and Global Thematic Programmes of IUCN. The IUCN Programme 2009–2012, through its 5 thematic areas and 10 global results, provides focus for the Union to take action and engage with members, partners and other stakeholders and deliver concrete results in our pursuit of a just world that values and conserves nature.

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DGCS (General Directorate for Development and Cooperation)

The DGCS (Direzione Generale Cooperazione e Sviluppo) is the section of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the investment on socio-economic and nature-based programmes in developing countries. The need for the DGCS stems from the understanding that the respect of human dignity and the economic growth are basic rights for humanity, particularly in the frame of a globalised economy charaterised by the  interdependency of widening markets.

In Italian recent history, development cooperation has been active, since the Fifties, with a number of actions in the field of technical and economic assistance, realized in former colonial countries, or administrated – as is the case of Somalia – under the UN mandate. These activities were, in their first phase, regulated by Law no. 38 of 1979; amended by Law  49 of 1987, more organic and holistic in scope.

As an essential part of our Foreign Affairs Ministry, Italian cooperation with developing countries contributes to UN efforts to combat poverty all over the world; and to help developing countries to strengthen their institutions through ‘good governance’, in respect of human rights and democratic participation to economic development – with no discriminations within social and gender actors.



The most important initiatives carried out by Italian Cooperation are:


  • G8 Plan for Africa, supporting African countries
  • G8 Plan of Action Education for All
  • G8 Genoa Action Plan to bridge the Digital Divide and Italian initiative “e-government for development”
  • Participation to rehabilitation and reconstruction in Iraq, and pacification and reconstruction in Afghanistan, as a leader in judicial institution building
  • Participation to combat famine in the world, through bilateral and multilateral initiatives: the activities of Food Security Special Fund of Fao, with Italy as first donor; the nutritional assistance interventions for development; the emergency programmes with Pam; the financiary contribution to Ifad concerning the rural development
  • The Global fund against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria
  • Support to Argentina, in response to the recent economic and financial crisis
  • Promotion of judicial and legal reforms and democratic systems in the developing countries
  • Protection of cultural and environmental patrimony
  • Women empowerment and protection
  • Combat human traffic; prevent and combat children exploitation in risky conditions, armed conflicts and work



Italian Cooperation collaborates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as the main donors.
Main partners of Italian Cooperation are local and central Administrations, Universities, international Organisations, Non Governmental Organisations and private enterprises.

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Cesvi, established in 1985, is  an independent association, working for global solidarity.  In the values which guide Cesvi, the moral principle of human solidarity and the ideal of social justice are transformed into humanitarian aid and development, reinforcing an affirmation of universal human rights.

Cesvi believes strongly that helping the underprivileged in developing countries, as well as people affected by war, natural calamities and environmental disasters, provides local support whilst contributing to long term development objectives that benefit humanity and our planet for present and future generations.
In the acronym Cesvi, the words cooperazione and sviluppo (Cooperation and Development) underline the fact that Cesvi bases its philosophy on the idea of giving the recipients of aid a leading role, working towards socio-economic benefit and sustainable use of natural resources. It is for this reason that Cesvi is strongly committed to ensure that international aid does not become mere charity,  nor is  influenced by the donors’ self-interest.

Cesvi assistance to people in need around the world can be divided into three main categories:

  • Immediate help to ensure survival and  overcome emergencies;
  • The rehabilitation and reconstruction of systems destroyed by war or natural calamities;
  • Cooperation programs and projects for the development of disadvantaged social groups and deprived communities.

In Italy and Europe, Cesvi carries out educational programs to develop global solidarity awareness, to increase the pool of donors and volunteers, and to influence private companies and public institutions to support cooperation projects for development.

To attain its objectives, Cesvi follows these guiding principles:

  • To recognize the needs and aspirations of local communities; respecting their culture, traditions and customs and to look for dialogue and collaboration with their organizations.
  • To work impartially for the needs of others, without distinction of sex, race, culture, or creed, but paying greatest attention to those most at risk: children, women, the elderly and  disadvantaged groups .
  • To promote forms of development leading to economic independence, through environmental sustainability and respect for human rights.
  • To act pragmatically by critically assessing the appropriateness and efficiency of its efforts to reach its defined objectives, also taking into account the satisfaction of the beneficiaries and of all those involved.
  • To ask for private donations, giving as much information as possible about fund-raising objectives and the results obtained.
  • To manage funds as efficiently as possible, by keeping organisational costs within acceptable limits and using as much of the funds as possible for the targeted groups and communities.
  • To audit and publish its annual accounts, clearly reporting on the objectives proposed, results obtained and any corrective action taken.
  • To recognize the value of volunteer work, and to provide information and training such as to allow collaborators and volunteers to reach their full potential.
  • To assess collaborators on the basis of their sense of responsibility and their merit.

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