18th Meeting of CBFP Parties - Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium, 27 to 28 November 2018
Save the Date: 18th Meeting of CBFP Parties - Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium, 27 to 28 November 2018
Chair: Minister of State, François-Xavier de Donnea, Kingdom of Belgium CBFP Facilitator
Main theme: "Towards a sustainable future for the Congo Basin forests, their inhabitants, flora and wildlife"
The 18th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) will take place on 27 and 28 November 2018 in Brussels in Belgium. Held every year, the Meeting of CBFP Parties is the highest decision-making body of the CBFP and will convene Heads of State, ministers and senior multilateral officials from around the world. Reflecting the diversity of stakeholders making up the CBFP’s 107 members, the meeting will also attract participants from international organizations, multilateral partners, civil society organizations, indigenous peoples, Youth, Women, the media, academia and the scientific community, universities/scholars, foundations and the private sector.
The high-level Meeting of CBFP Parties will be organized by the CBFP Facilitation with the financial support of the Kingdom of Belgium, the European Union and Germany. It is expected to be a major event with close to 400 participants coming together to celebrate past achievements, and discuss and share views on a variety of topics relating to conservation of biodiversity, wildlife, the fight against climate change, sustainable management of Congo Basin forests as well as local development of the Congo Basin people.
The 18th Meeting of CBFP Parties thus offers a unique opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and solutions to some of the most pressing environmental issues in the Congo Basin with implications for the whole planet.
Focus of the 18th Meeting of CBFP Parties
The Brussels meeting comes at a time when the Congo Basin forests are facing increasingly complex and serious challenges: The region is also making a major "shift" in its economic model which is currently geared towards diversification driven by investments in territorial development related sectors such as mining, the food and agricultural industry, infrastructure and other large scale projects, bolstered by a strong drive for medium term emergence which was virtually absent at the time of the launch of the CBFP. There is an urgent need to establish better linkages between sustainable forest management strategies, conservation approaches and the region’s economic development objectives which in turn requires better opportunities for dialogue and commitment around relevant issues, including cross-cutting issues and follow-up of shared viewpoints.
The CBFP can and should be able to play a key role here. However, given the severity and complexity of the challenges facing forests and the significant increase in CBFP membership and topics to be discussed, there is a need to strengthen the CBFP’s capacity to fulfil this role, especially on the policy front and at the highest levels. Making progress in this area is a key objective of the Brussels meeting. Some key steps towards in this direction may include:
- Identifying and highlighting the added value of the partnership;
- Explicitly attributing more credit and visibility to the CBFP as a conducive framework for more effective partner action;
- Taking increased common responsibility for the functioning and development of the CBFP and promoting ownership at the highest level to enhance the efficiency of contributions resulting from cooperation within the Partnership;
- Promoting significantly increased engagement of private sector entities and the scientific community in CBFP cooperation, in order to strengthen the Partnership’s capacity to address the ongoing complex and cross-sectoral challenges facing Congo Basin forests;
- Harnessing the potential of the reinforced cooperation structures – i.e. the CBFP colleges and Council – to strengthen dialogue and exchanges within the Partnership and thus foster stronger convergence of collectively held views and concerted commitment around key issues and improving continuity and follow-up of CBFP partners’ efforts.
To this end, the meeting will focus on fostering stronger and more adequate political leadership, to ensure better ownership of guidelines discussed within the CBFP and strengthen impacts on the ground, including through relevant regional institutions (COMIFAC and ECCAS) and member countries as well as CBFP parties as a whole. The 18th Meeting of CBFP Parties (MoP) in Brussels will serve as an opportunity to build on previous efforts and consolidate the gains in terms of strengthened CBFP governance and international partnerships abroad on behalf of the Congo Basin. It aims to promote dialogue and spur action towards more effective implementation and follow-up within the CBFP.
Accordingly, a draft Brussels Declaration produced by the 18th Meeting of CBFP Parties will be submitted for review and subsequent adoption by all the CBFP Parties. The Brussels Declaration will pave the way for key measures to address climate change, illegal exploitation of wildlife/ loss of biodiversity and community development in Central Africa. The Declaration will outline ambitions through a series of commitments made as a coalition with the CBFP Facilitation of the Kingdom of Belgium, COMIFAC and ECCAS being tasked with ensuring follow-through on the part of the CBFP partners. The next few months after the MOP will be devoted to their implementation.
Exhibition, side events and networking
The meeting will be held for two days to allow time for networking and side events hosted by CBFP partners. A CBFP partners’ exhibition area will be set up with enough space to accommodate a dozen exhibitors. Side/related events will also be held back to back with meetings on the official agenda. The side events will help to showcase groundbreaking projects with tangible impacts as evidence of practical local and regional solutions to challenges facing Central Africa. Such projects will have to be scaled up and replicated and serve as a source of inspiration for people across the region. They reflect our commitment to protecting the Congo Basin’s future.
Throughout the meeting, members of the partnership will be entitled to participation in appropriate forums for dialogue.
The detailed agenda of the 18th Meeting of Parties as well as practical and logistical information, will be posted on the CBFP website as soon as they are finalized.
Registration and invitations, beginning 23 July 2018
Hoping you can join us in November and looking forward to welcoming you to the Meeting!
The Organizing Team