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Nairobi NGO 14 April 1995

THE EARTH TIMES

APRIL 30 – MAY 14, 1995

Deciphering documents, sharing data

BY ASHALI VARMA

NAIROBI, Kenya—We try to make sure that realities at the local level are being heard and understood at the international level, and one of our strongest programs is issue-based networking,” said Rob Sinclair, executive director of ELCI.

The Environment Liaison Centre International –generally known as ELCI—was started in 1974 to facilitate the role of grassroots organizations in international processes.  With a membership of 900 NGOs in 110 countries, ELCI maintains a database on more than 8,000 organizations and regularly communicates with them.  ELCI also has a newsletter called Eco Forum, which Unep helps support.  Eco Forum carries news about members’ work in sustainable development in various countries.

Four areas of concern to the NGO sector that have been identified by ELCI, are: desertification, biodiversity, women and the environment, and human settlements.

Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga, who has been with ELCI for over two years, said: “I coordinate the women’s program and the main focus has been the Beijing Women’s Conference.”

In order to get wider participation, ELCI translated the Platform of Action for the Beijing Conference into less arcane language.  “We got a lot of feedback from NGOs at prepCom3 held in New York,” she said.  “We were able to put their suggestion into the NGO document for the Platform of Action”.