Welcome to our New Partner: " University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)”!


The “University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)” officially joins the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)


Los Angeles (US), January 10th, 2014 – The “University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)” has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). By doing so, The University of California at Los Angeles believes that their activities in Africa are consistent with the very principles within the cooperation framework of CBFP members to advance sustainable management of forest ecosystems and conservation of biodiversity in Central Africa.


The University of California at Los Angeles is located in the city of Los Angeles, California, USA. With more than 40,000 students, it is among the largest universities in the United States. UCLA is a premier research university that is comprehensive in its scope, granting undergraduate and graduate degrees in many academic and professional fields. The Times of London ranks UCLA 8th in its Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings. For the last three years, UCLA has received approximately $1 billion US dollars each year in extramural research funding ranking it among the top five universities in the world for research funding. Additional information on rankings may be found at: http:www.ucla.edu/about/rankings.


UCLA’s faculty and students are engaged in the countries of Central Africa in many substantive ways that are consistent with CBFP goals.  UCLA carefully examined the relevant documents pertaining to membership and believe that their activities in Africa are consistent with the very principles within the cooperation framework of CBFP members.


Promote the well-being and economic development of local populations through sustainable management of forest and wildlife resources and conservation of the biodiversity of forests


UCLA operates the International Research and training Center (IRTC) in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and during the past three years, the IRTC has assisted more than 800 scholars from 15 countries in various educational and research endeavors on wildlife resources and conservation of biodiversity. The current facility provides lodging for scholars, assistance with research permits, logistical support, and acts as a major hub to connect international researchers with local scholars. UCLA is currently in the process of expanding the IRTC, in cooperation with the International Institute of Tropical agriculture (IITA), a global leader in finding solutions to hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, on the outskirts of Yaoundé to create the Center for Integrated Development/ Cameroon (CID/C). As a regional hub for interdisciplinary research, the Center will respond quickly and find practical solutions to critical problems facing Central Africa and create a scalable model for sustainable development.


Integrate UCLA’s actions into national and regional programs of COMIFAC member states


There are more than 36 UCLA faculty members from 17 divisions and schools currently engaged in building the new Center, with the belief that the CID/C has the potential to become a model for how universities can partner with COMIFAC Member States to further international development. They have strategically selected Cameroon as the site because it is the “hinge” between Western and Central Africa, both culturally and geographically; it is relatively stable politically; and it is bilingual, with both French and English as national languages. Cameroon will serve as a hub for activities in Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Chad, the CAR, Equatorial Guinea, and the DRC. CID/C’s consortium members currently collaborate on a range of projects in the region.


Other consortium partners include the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), dedicated to improving food security and increased resources for energy, sustainable agriculture, and ecosystem services; the Centre Pasteur du Cameroun, a longtime major contributor to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases through research, teaching, and public health initiatives; and all seven major universities of Cameroon.


Support institutional capacity building and strengthening of the consortium partners


With a green-designed Research and Education Park as its foundation, the CID/C will leverage the resources of universities, industry, and development organizations to expand and amplify the capacity of the IRTC and its partner organizations. The CID/C will act as a research and training hub and a test-bed for innovative technologies, supporting research and training programs that will focus on three overarching issues facing Central Africa: Biodiversity and Climate Change, Water and Health, and Food Security and Safety. Future plans for the CID/C includes the construction of: 1) a distance learning center for US and African students, 2) digital data repositories, 3) technical training and equipment repair facility, 4) remote sensing and GIS research and training lab, 5) molecular genetics and analytical laboratories, 6) platform/technology test bed innovation facility, 7) an incubator for start-ups and entrepreneurs, 8) lodging and conference center, and 9) logistics and administrative office to assist international participants and help partner them with local researchers. We believe the new campus will significantly advance many of the key objectives of COMIFAC.


Involve the civil society and the private sector in conservation and sustainable management actions of Central African forest ecosystems and set national and regional consultation processes to assure transparency in the management of the forest environment sector


Consortium members have strong, established relationships with all major universities, relevant ministries and other stakeholders in Cameroon, and universities in neighboring countries. The CID/C will strengthen these connections to build a culture of collaboration and innovation, thereby encouraging positive transformational change through partnership and exchange between Africans and Americans. The consortium will apply the best available science to human health and environmental issues, while bridging gaps among researchers, universities, local and foreign governmental agencies, business communities, and NGOs.


Leading these efforts is UCLA professor Thomas Smith, who is currently directing a multi-institution, five-year $5 million National Science Foundation funded research project centered in Cameroon and Gabon. The overarching goal of this project is to develop an integrated framework for conserving central biodiversity under climate change that is both evolutionary-informed and grounded in the socioeconomic constraints of the region (see http//www.caballiance.org/).


Welcome to our New Partner : The “University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)”!


For more Information, please contact Professor Thomas Smith (tbsmith@ucla.edu) and Dr. Kevin Njabo   (knjabo@ucla.edu) and consult the Official website of the The “University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)”!: http://www.ucla.edu/


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