IITA-Congo Basin- New research institute to find solutions to food, water, and climate change challenges



The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) are developing a new research facility, The Congo Basin Institute (CBI). It was launched during a signing ceremony on 20 June, in Yaoundé in the presence of H.E. Essimi Menye Lazare, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Republic of Cameroon, who expressed the support of the Cameroon Government for this initiative. The ceremony was chaired by Dr A. Namanga Ngongi, Vice Chair and a representative of the IITA Board of Trustees.



The Congo Basin is a total of 3.7 million square kilometers and home to some of the largest undisturbed stands of tropical rainforest on earth in addition to large wetlands. It increasingly faces severe challenges in the areas of water, health, food security, biodiversity as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Congo Basin Institute is designed to establish an environmentally friendly research campus which will serve as a nexus for interdisciplinary research, education, training, and technology development. It will focus on finding solutions to those critical issues in the Congo Basin.


During the opening ceremony, the IITA Deputy Director General, for Partnerships and Capacity Development, Dr Kenton Dashiell said: “I am happy to participate in the inauguration of the Congo Basin Institute as it will allow scientists from Africa and the US to work together on the most pressing issues of the day. Only by working together beyond country borders and science disciplines can we find sustainable solutions to food security in an integrated approach”.



The facilities at the campus will include a large conference center, a distance learning center, an equipment repair establishment as well as lodging facilities for visiting students and researchers. Two existing state-of-the-art facilities–molecular genetics and analytical laboratories– and a newly established GIS and remote sensing training center were officially added during the inauguration ceremony. Dr Namanga stressed that the research results from the use of these facilities will be “put to test in incubation platforms to encourage the scaling up and use of viable and sustainable solutions to many of the challenges in nutrition, agriculture, health, human resource development, and the use of science to support sustainable livelihoods. Ultimately, these will impact the lives of millions of people in the Congo Basin and beyond and also contribute to the sustainable management of the Congo Basin ecosystem.”

The CBI will also serve as an incubator for start-ups and entrepreneurs and a meeting point for an international community of scientists and researchers.


Picture: IITA


For more Information, please check: HERE


Go back


Forests play a key role in tackling climate change

This briefing note from Coordination SUD and Fern analyses the issues we need to address to ensure forests help deliver tropical forested countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This includes respect for communities’ rights and preserving their livelihoods, protecting and restoring biodiversity, and improved forest governance. Tackling these challenges will require effective civil society participation.

Read more …

Cbd-Zero Draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework published by the Secretariat

The Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has been tasked with advancing preparations for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. It is expected that this process will culminate in the adoption of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework by the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, at the UN Biodiversity Conference in 2020 in Kunming, China as a stepping stone towards achieving the 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature".

Read more …

Ecozona-The Screaming Forest: An Ecocritical Assessment of Le Cri de la forêt

From a postcolonial ecocritical standpoint, this essay analyzes the play Le Cri de la forêt (2015) co-authored by Henri Djombo, a cabinet minister from Congo-Brazzaville, and Osée Colin Koagne, a stage director and environmental activist from Francophone Cameroon. Mindful of the rich biodiversity of the Congo Basin where the playwrights originate, the essay interrogates why the forest in the play is screaming and moves on to engage with related ecological questions such as the scapegoating of witchcraft and doubtful traditional beliefs amidst climate change.

Read more …

FERN: Five EU forest trends to watch out for in 2020 & Save the Date - February 2020 (Brussels)

In 2019, forests and forest peoples’ rights rose up the global political – and spiritual - agenda, and the EU made high profile commitments to protect forests abroad and at home as part of their European Green Deal.  But will 2020 see such commitments turned into action? Here are five questions we hope to give positive answers to at the end of the year...

Read more …

Overview and analyses of key national policies, strategies and action plans relevant to deforestation, child and forced labour, and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon

The overarching objective of this study is to identify laws and policies on deforestation, child labour, force labour and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon, and analyze how these policies support the private sector to align with the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber. This review clearly demonstrates that both government and private sector can achieve targets of curbing deforestation and ensuring effective respect of human rights along the supply chains of the selected commodities.

Read more …

Statement on the situation of wildlife in the Congo Basin (and in Cameroon in particular) - Resolving Conservation Conflicts in West/Central African Protected Areas

The statement is the outcome of a meeting of various CBFP partners at the Congo Basin Institute in Yaounde:  ...We are a group of scientists, including faculty members from respected universities in Cameroon and abroad, representatives of protected areas management units, law enforcement organisations (LAGA), rangers, and international organisations (TRAFFIC, WWF). In October 2019, we met in Yaoundé to assess the current status of conservation in the country and discuss ways forward to solve what we consider to be a conservation crisis...

Read more …

Final Communiqué of the Experts’ Meeting to Follow up on the N’Djamena Conference on The Sahel-Congo Basin Roadmap on the Operational Implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration Synthesis

The Kingdom of Belgium Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), in close collaboration with the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, hosted from 16 to 17 December 2019 in Douala, Cameroon, the Experts’ Meeting for the follow up of the International conference on Security, Poaching, Transhumance Management and the Movements of Armed Groups between the Sahel and Equatorial Africa.

Read more …

CAFI and EU join forces for the future of Central African Forests

Brussels, 4 November:  As part of growing commitments from donors to Central African forests and people, matching growing concern about accelerating forest loss of Earth’s 2nd lung, the  European Commission signed a15 million euros (16 million dollars) funding agreement to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) Trust Fund.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive