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NGOs met in Bamako, Mali on 16-20 August to prepare their input into the INCD. The conference was funded by the INCD Secretariat through the NGLS and co-organized by four African NGOs: KENGO (Kenya), ENDA-TM (Senegal), GUAMINA (Mali) and NEST (Nigeria).

The deliberations addressed local and global concerns. The local concerns included: land tenure policies (or lack thereof) that alienate local communities, especially pastoralists, from their traditional land-use systems and drought-coping mechanisms; and the need for true community-led approaches to combat desertification. It was stressed that local communities have the knowledge and expertise to best deal with local problems.

On global issues, NGOs emphasized the need to furnish governments with concrete examples of how aid and international trade policies impact on specific communities. NGOs stressed that there should be no additional funding for desertification but that part of the current development funding should be earmarked for combatting desertification and that the necessary structures should be established to ensure that funds actually reach their intended beneficiaries.