Theme: Reducing deforestation in commodity supply chains in the Congo Basin: Recent initiatives, constraints and future prospects
Organised by Denis J. Sonwa (CIFOR), Louis Defo (PROFOREST) and Elsa Ordway (UCLA)
Context/Objective: In a global context marked by the need to reduce the carbon footprint of perennial crop value chains, this side event aimed to explore realities of deforestation and forest degradation associated with crops produced in the Congo Basin. It was structured around an introductory presentation, five presentations and discussions. After Denis' introductory speech, Richard Eba' opened the presentations with a paper on "imported deforestation" and the "zero deforestation" strategy. This was followed by presentations by Elsa Ordway, Eric Bososila, Louis DEFO and Gilles Etoga respectively on the dynamics of commodities in sub-Saharan Africa, the oil palm sector in the Yangambi landscape (DRC), the prerequisites for sustainable commodity production in the Congo Basin and WWF's interventions in the field of commodities.
Key messages, major conclusions and insights learned from this work are as follows:
In the context of discussions on 'imported deforestation' and the exclusion of deforestation from agricultural commodity supply chains, there are a number of issues including the definition of forest and by implication deforestation (net or gross? legal or illegal?), the tools for monitoring deforestation and the year from which it should be considered;
Since 2005, agribusinesses have acquired nearly 23 million hectares of land in sub-Saharan Africa and there has been a significant expansion of agricultural land in that region of the world at the same time;
The expansion of agricultural land has been driven much more by agricultural production for domestic markets and cocoa production than by other export-oriented agricultural commodities;
The most vulnerable countries in the Congo Basin to agricultural expansion at the expense of forests are the DRC, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo;
In Cameroon, between 2000 and 2015, the increase in palm oil production was driven much more by the expansion of cultivated areas than by increases in yields or productivity;
Smallholders and artisanal millers are very important players in the oil palm sector both in terms of cultivated area, production volume and forest footprint. Any attempt to eliminate deforestation from the value chain should consider them properly;
In terms of eliminating deforestation from commodity supply chains, efforts to define and implement land-use plans, land-use planning, coordination of policies and actions of sectoral ministerial departments and good governance in land tenure are prerequisites in the Congo Basin;
The payment of sufficiently remunerative prices to smallholders and the fight against poverty within communities in forest areas are also prerequisites for the sustainable production of agricultural commodities in the Congo Basin. This sustainable production also requires the development and effective implementation of appropriate agricultural codes by the states concerned;
How can the emergence ambitions of the Congo Basin States, whose economies are partly based on agriculture, be reconciled with the imperatives of "zero deforestation"?
This thematic summary and Compendium serve to compile the discussions, recommendations and conclusions reached over 4 intensive days of work in thematic ateliers (Streams), plenary, side events and political discussions.
Mr Christophe Guilhou, Director of Sustainable Development, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France, and Mr Ghislain Moussavou, Director General of Forests, Ministry of Water, Forests, the Sea and the Environment, in charge of the Climate Plan and the Land Use Plan, Gabon, were officially installed as CBFP Facilitators on 12 July 2023 during a ceremony to hand over the CBFP Facilitation from Germany to Gabon and France, presided over by Prof. Sanctus Niragira, Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Burundi, and current Chairman of COMIFAC.
At the 11th Meeting of the Governing Council of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) on 12 July 2023, the Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck presented to the members of the said Council an 11 point summary of the activities carried out by the CBFP Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany during its mandate....
The French-Gabonese facilitation is part of this unprecedented framework. Firstly, because this is the first time since the creation of the Partnership that this work has been carried out jointly by a donor country, France, and a Congo Basin forest country, Gabon. In addition, the One Forest Summit, held in Libreville in March 2023, reiterated the importance of Central Africa's forests, promoting greater scientific cooperation, sustainable value chains and the development of innovative financing mechanisms.
The 11th meeting of the CBFP Governing Council was held on July 12, 2023 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This "statutory" meeting in the organised by the CBFP, of which the objective was to present the Roadmap of the Franco-Gabonese Facilitation to the members of the CBFP Governing Council, took place just after the handover of the CBFP Facilitation from Germany to France and Gabon.
M. Christophe GUILHOU was recently appointed Co-Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) by the Government of the French Republic for the period July 2023 to 2025. Please download his biography...
The presentations of the CBFP geographical blocks at the Second International Conference of Ministers on Transboundary Transhumance Nexus: transhumance, protected areas and natural resources, development, peace and security from 10 to 12 July in Yaoundé Cameroon are available. Please download the presentations of the Country Investment Plans (PIP) of the different blocks....
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We hereby cordially invite you to our regional launch of the German cooperation project "Peaceful and inclusive transhumance in Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad" at the Second International Conference of Ministers on Transboundary Transhumance.
Dear Panelists, dear Guests, You are invited to take part in the sharing and reflection workshop that IOM Cameroon and KAS are organizing on the theme: "Practical solutions to migration, security and climate change: Initiatives and commitments by civil society and the United Nations to address and resolve challenges". As part of the Second International Ministerial Conference on Transboundary Transhumance - Nexus.
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Yaoundé, Cameroon, June 9, 2023- The COMIFAC Gender Committee, created by a memorandum dated January 11, 2023, held its first meeting at the COMIFAC Executive Secretariat Head Office. The meeting was attended by some twenty members representing the COMIFAC Executive Secretariat, technical partners and civil society organizations, including FAO, FTNS, GIZ, Rain Forest Alliance, REFADD, RIFFEAC and IUCN.
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Celebrations for World Environment Day 2023 kicked off in host-country Cote d’Ivoire, as millions of people prepare for similar activities across the world. Venues across the capital city, Abidjan – from its historic lagoon to its first modern art museum - shone the spotlight on this year’s theme #Beat Plastic Pollution.
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Geneva and Yaoundé, 26 May 2023. The Ministry of Economy, Planning and Land Planning of Cameroon (MINEPAT) and CAFI are launching two Calls for Expressions of Interest today to all relevant implementing organisations concerned, representing a maximum of 60 million US$.
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