Climate Action Network West and Central Africa (CAN-WA) CAN-West & Central Africa Charter
CAN-WA’s rules and guiding principles for network governance
This document aims to provide clarity and set rules for the way the CAN-WA network is organized and works. It should be used as a guide to define how members work together with the ultimate aim to bring the change we need.
CAN-West & Central Africa is a regional node representing both the Western and Central African region which encompasses twenty-two 22 countries spreading across semi-arid areas in the Sahel, large coastal areas on the Atlantic Ocean and along the Gulf of Guinea and tropical forest covering many countries from Guinea to the Republic of Congo, through Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Gabon. Western and Central Africa is a vast region with diverse cultures, beliefs, languages, and lifestyles.
Climate change has become today a real world challenge, because it is impacting more and more all the communities in every country, across every continent which means people, households, communities, countries and regions are all concerned worldwide.
The Western and Central African region, according to the UNDP is at the top of the global fragility rankings. This urgent global issue calls for collective and integrated actions worldwide to mitigate its impact.
The world must definitely mobilize altogether to build a radical change in order to mitigate climate change and promote sustainable energy development. These collaborative efforts really need the participation of community groups, ordinary citizens not only but also, all actors, governments, NGOs, the private sector, civil society – in collaborative efforts towards environmentally sustainable development.
Such actions like mobilization of public opinion, technical analytical capacity and skills, dialogue between civil society and authorities, agreement negotiations, campaigns, training and education are urgent to reverse the trend.
- DESCRIPTION, VISION AND MISSION
- CAN-West & Central Africa is a regional node of civil society organization and grassroot organizations from Western and Central African region committed to energy efficiency, access to renewable sources of energy as well as combating harmful climate change and advancing climate justice and equity. This network of organizations is based on trust, transparency, democracy, and inclusiveness and should hold itself accountable for this.
- CAN-WA members are from the National and Regional grassroot organizations from Western and Central african region addressing the environment and energy issues.
CAN-WA is member of CAN International and engage altogether at the international level to face the issue.
CAN-WA is fully responsible for the actions taking place in its intervention countries or region,
CAN-WA is endowed with its own charter and internal code of conduct.
As a whole, CAN-WA has its own governance structure that is fully and autonomously accountable for the activities within its Node.
CAN-WA has its own Code of Conduct for dispute resolution which will not be in conflict with the provisions of this CAN-I Charter, Code of Conduct and the « Our CAN Values » Statement.
In the event of a failure of this accountability, the members may report this to the CAN International Board, which may take appropriate action.
- CAN-WA is led by the power of its members aimed at creating change, at national and regional level.
- CAN-WA notes that the region is under severe threat from catastrophic climate change, energy issues which is being caused by humans through our constant production
- The vision of CAN-WA is a region striving actively towards and achieving the protection of the global climate in a manner which promotes equity and social justice between peoples for sustainable energy, sustainable development of all communities.
CAN-WA unites to work towards this vision and empowers civil society’s grassroots organizations.
- CAN-WA’s mission is to support and empower civil society organizations to influence the design and development of an effective regional strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure its implementation at international, national and local levels in the promotion of equity and sustainable development.
- The objectives of CAN-WA are:
- a) To achieve access to sustainable energy sources
- b) To prevent dangerous climate change through awareness and capacity building of governments and Citizens worldwide;
- c) To protect the global climate from dangerous human interference;
- d) To be the conscience of the world concerning issues of climate change;
- e) To promote the protection of the global climate from dangerous human interference; and so to facilitate the radical transformation in the way we use resources, the land and energy;
- f) To prioritize sustainable development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;
- g) To inspire government, business, community, and individual action to this effect;
- h) To develop an objective understanding of climate change and its causes, and share this information with all people, especially all members;
- i) To organize, support, inspire and coordinate its members to take effective action on climate change, either as one global voice, or in the regions where members operate.
- The Strategies of CAN-WA include:
- a) influence local policies at the national, regional and international level concerning climate and sustainable energies.
- b) influence the national, regional and international bodies like the Economic Community of West African States (WAEMU) and the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) and the African Union (AU) through its 20/63 Agenda
- c) Active participation in the international energy, climate change negotiations and all other relevant fora;
- d) Raising awareness and pushing issues onto the global agenda to influence the energy and climate change decision-making process;
- e) Placing new climate change, equity and sustainable development issues on the global agenda;
- f) Contributing to the establishment of global, regional, national and local climate change agendas through mobilizing a genuinely inclusive civil society process at all levels;
- g) Ensuring the gains at the global level are translated into concrete benefits at the national and local level, and are implemented effectively and work to benefit of poor people and countries;
- h) Facilitating a national, regional and global process for developing campaigns and negotiating strategies at the global level;
- i) Holding global institutions and the private sector accountable for their actions and ensuring they respond to social and environmental concerns;
- j) Developing and disseminating knowledge that is crucial to addressing the trans-national challenges of climate change;
- k) Addressing the participatory gap through the creation of inclusive processes.
- The Primary activities of CAN-WA are:
- a) Information sharing;
- b) Capacity Building;
- c) Lobbying on common positions;
- d) Coordination of media messages;
- e) Coordination of research efforts;
- f) Cooperation with other NGO groupings;
- g) Mobilization of public support and awareness;
- h) Any other activities which would promote the CAN-WCA objectives.
- CAN-WA MEMBERS
- All non-profit organizations, including community based organisations, that do not represent government nor industry interests and which actively promote ambitious climate action and sustainable development, are eligible to become members of CAN-WCA and may apply to do so.
- By applying for membership the applicant organisation declares that it will respect and apply the rules of this Charter, support the vision, mission and activities of CAN-WCA, and bind itself to its Code of Conduct.
- Applicant organizations must apply for membership by filling a CAN-WA membership file and the Board will decide their acceptance in the node.
- CAN-WA has its own procedures for accepting, suspending, expelling and resigning of members.
These procedures, while different, should all guarantee principles of trust, inclusiveness and transparency, need to be fully in line with all the principle of this Charter.
- By becoming a member of CAN-WA, the organisation will not only have access to the relevant membership services and engagement opportunitie.
- In case an application is refused by CAN-WA, and irrespective of any appeal procedures that may be, if that organization applies later again, will have to include in its application the reasons why it is submitting a new application and why its previous application was rejected.
- NATIONAL AND REGIONAL NODES
- CAN-WA is a node representing the Western and Central African Region.
There are also National Node that is an association of CAN Members in a particular country ; a Regional Node, an association of CAN Members, and/or CAN National Nodes, in a group of countries on an international basis.
- Nodes are formed to enable members to increase their capacity to reach out common objectives and bring the change that is needed.
18.The ambition is for every Node to be an effective one. The Nodes are requested to provide all necessary information to the CAN International Secretariat well in time for this.
CAN-WA representatives take part to the annual meeting bringing together representatives of the CAN International Secretariat aiming to:
– provide a platform for Nodes to discuss cooperation and coordination;
– support Nodes in their further development;
– strengthen the cooperation between Nodes and CAN International;
– initiate, further develop and evaluate joint projects between Nodes and with CAN International.
Members of CAN-WA Nodes work together to engage in energy efficacy, global climate politics.
- CAN-WA fulfils the function of dispute resolution agency. In the case of a dispute arising and not adequately provided for in this Charter, the CAN-WA Board must attempt to resolve the dispute, and CAN-WA members agree to this role
CAN-WA may appoint one or more of its members to act as an intervener in disputes, or may appoint an independent third party to do so. All dispute resolution procedures will be designed by the CAN-WA Board, and will in any case, include an attempt at mediation. Arbitration of a dispute may only occur if the parties to the dispute agree to do so and can agree to an arbitrator, who may be a CAN-WA Board. In the case of arbitration, the decisions of the arbitration will be final and binding. In all other cases where mediation has failed and arbitration is not agreed to, the matter will be referred to the next CAN-WA’s General Assembly for a final and binding decision.
- CAN-WA is a member-driven democratic network that seeks the largest possible cooperation amongst its members, in a transparent, inclusive and democratic way that allows all members to contribute to the decision-making processes. This includes ensuring that the General Assembly or any other form of members’ meeting of each node remains the highest decision-making body of the node.
- The respective General Assemblies of each of the CAN-WA should, autonomously, elect and give a mandate to a Board or a Steering Committee to ensure a more permanent governance in between General Assembly meetings. The election of the Board of Directors or Steering Committee shall be inclusive and transparent and their composition should reflect a balanced representation of genders, regions and interests.
- The General Assembly, the Board of Directors are governing bodies of the CAN-WA and with regards to the frequency, invitation, composition, quorum, mandate, nominations, election, decision-making, and so forth,
- CAN-WA’s POSITIONS, STATEMENTS AND STRATEGIES
- CAN-WA has its own rules for deciding on its positions, which should be available to all its members with the same principles of striving for consensus, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability.
- CAN-WA positions and statements should reflect the opinions of all members. This also implies all relevant members make an effort to engage in these processes.
- Statements of members should not be in contradiction with CAN-WA positions. Therefore, all CAN-WA members should strive to ensure that their views are reflected in CAN-WA positions on this basis, and CAN-WA positions should take positions of members into account.
- CAN-WA will not release a statement which is made in the name of CAN International, in conflict with an already existing position of CAN International Board. In that case CAN-WA will take the necessary steps to resolve the issues.
- CAN-WA positions are developed in a transparent process involving interested CAN-WCA members and Nodes through the relevant structures.
- CAN-WA positions should be adopted by consensus, with consensus being reached if only a small minority disagrees.
- Any member of CAN-WA that has duly participated in the position development process can request to have its disagreement to a position or specific elements of the position mentioned as a footnote in the position statement. If a member formally disagrees with a CAN-WA Statement, then the Statement cannot be adopted.
- The CAN-WA may propose, establish and support working groups, task forces, coordination groups and other relevant structures. Each of these structures should have clear terms of references which articulate how members can participate and be represented. These structures must function on the basis of legitimacy, inclusiveness, transparency, trust and accountability.
- CAN WA develops its own fundraising strategy to raise funds and ensure to function in line with the goals, the needs and expectations of its members.
- Funds raised by CAN-WA shall, depending on the conditions of the funder, and the needs of the node to provide the basic services it is expected to provide, be utilized both to fund the activities that need financial support to ensure a truly global network with adequate participation from NGOs from the South.
- CAN-WA and other Nodes and potentially members are can engage in funding and/or (joint) fundraising activities that can support their mutual strengthening..
34: Any funding to assist members or Node may be distributed on the following conditions:
- a) The allocation of funds is based on clear, transparent and inclusive processes;
- b) The allocation has been approved by the CAN-WA board as part of the general budget approval;
- c) The members or Node commits to proper regular reporting on the spending of these funds;
- d) the Node meets or is in the process of meeting the minimum requirement for Node status.
35.The CAN-WA will regularly provide CAN International with an overview of funding streams, within or outside of joint projects that it manages,
- CAN-WA can in coordination with CAN International,organize fundraising activities to avoid competition and increase the overall chances of success. CAN International informs CAN WA where a funder is hosted of their intention to make an application, in order to avoid competing demands and potentially sharing experiences to improve the application.
- All funds raised under the name of CAN-WA shall, to the extent that funding and resources allow, be subject to an annual audit based on generally accepted accounting principles.
- VALUES, CODE OF CONDUCT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
- CAN-WA is committed to mobilize efforts to promoting energy efficiency, access to renewable sources of energy and advancing climate justice and equity.
We therefore commit ourselves to:
- a) Participatory, accountable and transparent decision-making;
- b) Ensuring that the Network remains true to its vision, mission and objectives, which prioritizes communities, people, and the planet;
- c) Mutual respect, cooperation, collaboration and networking internally and with other organizations around issues of mutual concern;
- d) Reject all forms of racism, sexism and any other form of discriminatory and unjust behaviour.
- CAN-WA recognizes that all individuals who are contributing to realizing CAN’s vision and mission have a right that this work takes place in an environment that is free of harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and other similar harmful behaviour.
- CAN-WA has adopted a series of policies forming a « Code of Conduct » for its members, Nodes, as well as a number of the organs, roles and offices described in this Charter, which shall be made available to members on the CAN-WCA website.
- As a network of organizations, CAN-WA recognizes the importance of establishing and maintaining appropriate and effective bodies that will govern the internal functioning of our Network at the global, regional, national, and sub-national levels.
To this end CAN-WA will:
- a) Ensure that members have a clear vision, mission, objectives and policies, and adheres to them;
- b) Ensure all governance structures reflect the diversity of our node, including but not limited to race, age and gender as well as the various target constituencies of the Network, with regard to both their composition and their geographic spread.
- Our commitment to promote participatory, accountable and transparent decision making is enshrined in this code of conduct. Whilst not a binding obligation on members,
CAN-WA aims to:
- a) Develop mechanisms to enable all our members to be involved in planning programs that directly affect them;
- b) Provide opportunities for regular evaluations and updating of programs;
- c) Hold General Assemblies with full, open and accurate disclosure of relevant information concerning goals, programs, finances and governance;
- d) Hold regular strategic planning sessions to which all CAN-WA members are invited to contribute;
- e) Provide clear and transparent accounting on financial matters to the broader membership.
- CAN-WA is committed to governance « Code of Conduct ».
- All CAN-WA members are subject to the « Code of Conduct. »
Serious breaches of the Code include but are not limited to:
- a) Actions taken against the Node, including but not limited to:
(i) Misrepresenting the Network and its positions; and
(ii) Causing reputational damage to CAN-WA;
- b) Deceptive actions and practices, including but not limited to:
(i) Fraud or corruption; and
(ii) Financial embezzlement;
(c) Actions taken in disrespect to other CAN-WA members, including but not limited to:
(i) Publicly and actively undermining CAN-WA positions, decision-making processes, and shared values; and
(ii) Failure to fulfil duties to report and be held accountable to the CAN-WA Board, Secretariat, Nodes or other offices as appropriate;
(iii) Failure to make important decisions accessible and transparent to members; and d) Actions taken against fellow community members in the Network, including but not limited to:
- Actions reflecting racism, bullying, sexual harassment and harassment, and any other form of discrimination, which CAN takes extremely seriously as consistent with CAN’s relevant policies; and
- (ii) Actions that are violent in nature, including through communication and any other forms of violence.
45:.Breaches by CAN WA members may result in disciplinary action, which may, in the most serious cases, include the expulsion of members. Adoption of policies for addressing member discipline, sanctioning and redress for breaches by their members.
CHANGES TO THIS CHARTER
- This Charter may be amended or terminated by the General Assembly of CAN-WA