The CBFP in the heartland of Malabo: Sixth CBFP Council mobilizes stakeholders
Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) 13 June 2019 - Sixth CBFP Council Meeting. The High-Level Policy Dialogue was chaired by His Excellency Mr. François-Xavier de Donnea, Minister of State, CBFP Facilitator of the Kingdom of Belgium. The meeting was graced by politicians, Ministers of Forests/Environment of Central African countries and senior representatives of ECCAS, COMIFAC, OCFSA and GVTC.
There were 150 other participants, representing the seven CBFP colleges, namely:
- The CBFP regional college: ECCAS, COMIFAC along with the COMIFAC National Coordinators of the ten COMIFAC member countries.
- The CBFP Civil Society College: The CEFDHAC-CPR and the African Community Rights Network (ACRN) along with the representatives of the REJEFAC, REFADD, REPALEAC, SEEAC, REPAR, RIFFEAC networks and representatives of RECEIAC
- The CBFP International NGOs College: ZSL representing WWF and AWF
- The CBFP Private Sector College: The ITTTA, TFT (earthworm) with a written contribution from Volcanoes Safaris
- The CBFP Donors’ College: The EU and the US along with Germany, Belgium and France.
- The CBFP Scientific and Academic College: CIFOR and IRET
- The CBFP Multilateral College UNESCO and GVTC
The agenda of the sixth CBFP Council was built around a first segment during which opening ceremony was held. It included a welcome address by Minister of State, François-Xavier de Donnea, CBFP Facilitator of the Kingdom of Belgium, a statement by Mr. Benoit Jobbe-Duval, General Manager of ITTTA, representing the Private Sector, a statement by Mrs Chantal Marijnissen, Head of the C2 Unit; Environment, Natural Resources, Water of the General Directorate for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), the European Commission, representing the financial partners, a speech by H.E. Ms. Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy-Acting President of OCFSA, a statement from COMIFAC delivered by Mr. Primes NGABONZIZA, General Manager of the Water and Forests Department of Rwanda, representing H.E. Hon. Dr. Biruta Vincent, Minister of Environment of Rwanda, a statement from ECCAS delivered by Mr.Mukongo Remy, technical expert, representing Ambassador Ahmad Allam-Mi, Secretary General of ECCAS and lastly the opening speech of His Excellency Mr. Nicolas HOUNTONDJI AKAPO, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests and Environment of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Following the opening ceremony, the participants listened with keen interest to the report of the Minister of State François-Xavier de Donnea, CBFP Facilitator of the Kingdom of Belgium, on the CBFP Facilitation’s activities and prospects. Key points from his speech included the following:
- The successful organizing and holding of the international conference of Ministers of Defense, security and protected areas on the fight against poaching and other cross-border criminal activities.
The meeting drew a dozen Ministers and close to fifty senior officials from Central and West African regional institutions and technical and financial partners. The participants adopted a statement entitled the “N’Djamena Declaration” on the need to shape regional transhumance dynamics to better integrate issues relating to security, wildlife management and growing ecosystem deterioration resulting from climate change. The ice-breaking Statement helped advance the discussions on the issue of transhumance and the circulation of armed groups between the Sahel region and north of the Congo Basin, 3 blocks (sub-regions) were identified.
As a direct and tangible result of the Ndjamena conference, a technical mission was conducted in Garamba on 19 May 2019 in a bid to identify ways of supporting cooperation between South Sudan and the DRC. Regarding the transboundary complex between Chad, Cameroon and the CAR: Ongoing advocacy for Cameroon to sign specific protocols. The 2nd Ndjamena expert meeting is scheduled for December 2019 to follow up on the implementation of the Declaration.
- Emphasis on policy dialogue among partners: Promoting stronger and more adequate leadership of the Partnership.
Policy Dialogue in Malabo
The CBFP Facilitation of the Kingdom of Belgium hosted a High-Level Policy Dialogue, bringing together senior representatives of the financial partners (gathered within the CBFP Donors’ College) and the Ministers of Forests/Environment of the Central African countries, members of COMIFAC/ECCAS (CBFP Regional College). The dialogue discussed financing of economic and social development projects for the benefit of forest-dwelling and local communities in forests and protected areas. During the meeting financial partners reported on their efforts in this area within the Congo Basin. The members of the Regional College shared their expectations for the future. The high-level policy dialogue was also used as an opportunity to prepare for major upcoming international events.
Supporting dialogue between China and Central Africa
The idea is to ensure that the CBFP is represented during talks with companies and Chinese minister on the GGSC (Global Green Supply Chain) initiative made up of 12 Chinese companies with USD 12 billion in company capital, involved in promoting sustainable exploitation of natural resources and the CTWPDA (Chinese Timber Wood and Products Distribution Association). In fact, with more than 50% of African forest products going to China, Congo Basin forests stand to be greatly impacted by Chinese importers both now and in the future. It was recalled that the GGSC conference in Shanghai will be held jointly with the ITTTA during the week of 21 to 25 October. The GGSC’s operating mechanism is set to be announced at the conference. A cross-sectional view of the State of Central Forests will also be presented. The report’s aim is not to pontificate highlighting the CBFP’s participation in the Shanghai Forum, it was recalled that the hope was that Chinese actors would join the CBFP and therefore it was advocated that the GGSC should join the CBFP and eventually that other institutional actors would as well.
- On prospects and next steps:
- Participation of the Facilitation in the 10th COMIFAC Ministers’ Council and support for the Acting Chair of COMIFAC
- Participation of the CBFP Facilitation in the GGSC conference in Shanghai and the ITTTA forum in Shanghai with a special side event focusing on the Congo Basin (21-25 October 2019)
- Organization of a two-day expert meeting on Ndjamena 2 to operationalize the Ndjamena Declaration I (16-17 December 2019)
- A special Civil Society Day held on the sidelines of the 7th CBFP Council meeting (18 December 2019)
- Organization of the 7th CBFP Council Meeting (19 December 2019)
- It was suggested that Cameroon should host the CBFP meetings in December 2019.
Each CBFP college took the floor for 30mins to provide an update on the College (news) and its outlook or planned activities. Emphasis was placed on the Regional College. Namely, recent developments within the regional organizations (ECCAS, COMIFAC, OCFSA; the Congo Basin Climate Commission). A summary of the High-Level Policy Dialogue between the financial partners and the COMIFAC-ECCAS member Central African countries held on 12 June in Malabo. Next on the agenda were issues relating to the 19th Meeting of CBFP parties.
Furthermore, on 14 June, the Government of Equatorial Guinea conducted a field visit.
Please download the officials’ speeches:
- Welcome address by the CBFP Facilitator
- Welcome address by the CBFP Facilitator, welcoming participants to the 7th CBFP Council Meeting
- ECCAS’ statement
- COMIFAC’s statement
- OCFSA’s statement
- Equatorial Guinea’s opening speech
Please download the CBFP colleges’ contributions to the 6th CBFP Council Meeting:
- The CBFP Civil Society College: The CEFDHAC-CPR and the African Community Rights Network (ACRN) along with the representatives of the CEFDHAC networks and representatives of RECEIAC CEFDHAC - ACRN
- The CBFP International NGOs College: WWF, AWF, read by ZSL containing contributions from AWF, WWF and WCS- TRAFFIC- FERN
- The CBFP Private Sector College: The ITTTA, TFT (earthworm) with a contribution from Volcanoes Safaris ITTTA- Volcanoes Safaris