Pretoria — Preparations for the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) have been taken a step further.
In a statement, the WSSD Civil Society Secretariat said it had secured funding from the Ford Foundation, a donor agency in Johannesburg, to the tune of R6-million.
It said the money would fund three processes. The first one is the South African Process that will see the convening of national and provincial consultative meetings, security and the development of the South African civil society's position on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad).
The second process will see the convening of the WSSD preparatory meetings by the Southern African Development community (SADC) countries.
The third, which is the Africa Process, will work on the convening of Africa-wide meetings and consultative conferences.
The aim will be to ensure the development and preparation of a common African position on crucial issues.
The WSSD, to be held in Johannesburg from 26 August - 4 September, is billed as the largest international conference ever to be hld on South African soil.
About 65 000 delegates from around the world, including more than a hundred heads-of-state and over 2 000 international media organisations, are expected to attend.
The summit will take a critical look at the resolutions of the historic United Nations (UN) conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.
It will focus the world's attention and direct action toward meeting difficult challenges.
These include improving people's lives and conserving natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with ever-increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services and economic security.