Mr Anders Henriksson, the European Union Facilitator of CBFP wishes you a joyful holiday season and extends best wishes for 2018!
As my mandate as EU Facilitator of CBFP comes to an end, it is my pleasure to convey this end of year message to you.
I would like to express my genuine appreciation for your many valuable contributions in 2017 that helped enrich our shared Partnership. By working together, we made more progress!
Indeed, 2017 was a very busy year for our Partnership, with many new members joining our ranks, bringing the number of CBFP members to 105. As you know, the EU Facilitation of CBFP put a great deal of effort into promoting and consolidating the operational implementation of the new CBFP cooperation structures, i.e. the colleges and the Council. Having become useful and operational, these new structures are now driving a new dynamic and generating increasing enthusiasm for our Partnership. Their establishment has engendered a highly important and welcome sharing of responsibility within the Partnership.
This consolidation of CBFP governance was coupled with efforts to enhance the thematic content of our Partnership. This was achieved, on the one hand through the adoption of a list of medium-term priorities on which partners have agreed to cooperate during the next five years (2018-2022), and, on the other hand, through the introduction, on a pilot basis, of a system of annual CBFP priorities on which interested partners can cooperate under the aegis the Partnership from one Meeting of Parties to the next. These dynamics help consolidate a results-driven Partnership, in terms of better coordination and more effective harmonization of Partners’ efforts to preserve the Congo Basin’s forest ecosystems.
Regarding the next CBFP Facilitation, we worked hard on this and approached various partners likely to be both interested and capable of taking on the facilitation of CBFP after us. We looked for an ambitious and constructive solution, which would ensure a smooth and effective transition. I am therefore pleased that Belgium has committed to take on the CBFP Facilitation for the period 2018-2019. For its part, the EU will remain an active and highly committed member of CBFP. We look forward to working with the Belgian Facilitation and with all CBFP partners to "protect" and further develop the achievements of the EU Facilitation.
Finally, this is a welcome opportunity for me to thank you once more for your various contributions to the success of the mandate of the EU Facilitation, which is approaching its end and which I had the honor and responsibility to lead.
On behalf of the EU CBFP Facilitation Team, I extend best wishes for the holidays and wish you a Happy New Year 2018!
European Union Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership