On 16 May 2017, the city of Libreville hosted the 2nd CBFP Council meeting
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CBFP results driven governance now operational: The 2nd CBFP Council meeting capitalizes gains, lends credibility to the governance reforms and is actively preparing for the 17th Meeting of Parties of the CBFP
Libreville (Gabon), 16 May 2017 -The second meeting of the CBFP Council took place. The gathering saw the active participation of representatives of the seven colleges which make up the CBFP namely:
- The CBFP Regional College: ECCAS, COMIFAC and Gabon
- The CBFP Civil Society College: REFADD and the Community Rights Network (CRN)
- The CBFP College of international NGOs: AWF and WWF
- The CBFP Private Sector College: ITTO:
- The CBFP Donors’ College: The EU and the US
- The CBFP Scientific and Academic College: CIRAD and UCLA
- The CBFP College of multilateral actors: FAO and GVTC
Some of these college representatives were accompanied by advisers. The meeting drew close to 40 participants with a noteworthy turn out of the CBFP regional college.
The CBFP Council Meeting was chaired by Mr Anders Henriksson, the European Union CBFP Facilitator and graced by the effective presence of Her Excellency Madam Estelle Ondo, Minister of Forest Economy, Fisheries and the Environment responsible for the Protection and Sustainable Management of the Forest Resources of Gabon.
Speaking at the opening, Mr. Henrikson welcomed the participants and thanked Gabon for the warm welcome extended to them. He then introduced the Minister, inviting her to deliver her speech. In her statement, she welcomed the participants to Gabon on behalf of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Mr Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet. The Minister also welcomed the enthusiasm and commitment of partners from all walks of life to preserve the forest areas which help maintain the global climate balance.
She once more hailed the establishment of the CBFP and reaffirmed Gabon’s willingness to support efforts to improve its efficiency. Stressing the relevance of the sub-regional institutional architecture, the Minister highlighted the issues facing the Congo Basin States as they address the new challenges related to these institutions. In this vein, she pointed out that each stakeholder in the sustainable management of forest resources must make robust contributions to build up a significant common effort that will prompt genuine change.
Mr Henriksson presented a follow-up report on the activities of the EU CBFP Facilitation, highlighting the status of implementation of CBFP governance reform, as well as the prospects offered with regards to the recommendations from the 16th Meeting of the Parties in Kigali, Rwanda. He stressed the need for the CBFP to draw up a list of medium term priorities which he summarized in a draft document put together by the EU CBFP Facilitation, reflecting the CBFP colleges’ comments on the proposed list of priorities.
Following lively deliberations, the participants agreed on the one hand on the content of the CBFP’s medium term priorities (2018-2022) as well as on the framing, the principle of annual priorities arising therefrom, on the other hand. They further agreed on the format, structure and content of the 17th CBFP Meeting of the Parties, stressing the need to reduce number of streams which would drop from 5 to 3 and the number of days of the Meeting of the Parties of the CBFP from 5 to 4days.
In this regard, it is safe to say that the establishment of new informal structures within the CBFP: Colleges and council and MOP help foster dialogue and useful exchanges between the CBFP partners as they strive to cope with the growing challenges facing the Congo Basin forests. In other words, they significantly enhance dialogue between the partners, by providing greater opportunity for the whole diverse range of partners to share their views.
In fact, these structures promote the emergence of converging views on the main issues related to the protection and sustainable management of these forests, while reducing the burden on the Facilitation. This is borne out in the CBFP medium term priorities document as well as the guidelines for the organization of the 17th MoP of CBFP.