Ninth Meeting of the CBFP Governing Council in Douala: major strides in the implementation of the CBFP and partners' roadmap and new challenges ahead

The 9th Meeting of the CBFP Governing Council was held on Friday 16 July 2021 in Douala Cameroon by video conference at the Hotel La Falaise.

Please download the minutes of the 9th Meeting of the CBFP Governing Council

This meeting was part of the CBFP's cooperation framework, which provides for the CBFP Council to meet twice a year, and followed Experts Meeting to follow up on the N'Djamena Conference on the development of country investment plans focusing on zoonoses, transhumance, the fight against cross-border poaching, security and sustainable development between the Sahel and the Congo Basin, which was held from 12 to 15 July 2021 at the same venue. The representatives of the seven colleges who attended the CBFP meeting actively participated, namely:

- CBFP regional College: ECCAS, COMIFAC;

- CBFP civil society college: CEFDHAC-CPR and ROSCEVAC accompanied by             representatives of the REFACOF and REFADD networks and RECEIAC;

- CBFP International NGO College: AWF, WCS;

- CBFP Private Sector College: ATIBT and Earthworm Foundations, Volcanoes Safaris;

- CBFP Donor College: USA, UK, Germany;

- CBFP Scientific and Academic College: CIFOR, IRET;

- CBFP Multilateral College: FAO, UNESCO and GVTC, ITTO.

 

The objectives of the CBFP Governing Council meeting, now in its ninth year, were, on the one hand, to consolidate the strengthening of CBFP governance and to provide an ideal framework to promote broad-base dialogue and effective cooperation between all the stakeholders within the partnership, whose membership has increased considerably since its creation.

 

On the other hand, to enable the CBFP Council members to have an overview of the coordination and harmonisation of actions in favour of the forest ecosystems of the Congo Basin.

And finally, to consider a better articulation between sustainable forest management strategies and economic development objectives in the region.

 

The CBFP Governing Council meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck and by the current President of COMIFAC, His Excellency Jules Doret Ndongo, Minister of Forests and Wildlife of Cameroon. It was organised with the financial support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the technical support of the German Technical Cooperation GIZ.

 

The programme of the ninth CBFP Council Meeting was structured around a first segment dedicated to the opening ceremony.

The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honorable Dr Christian RUCK, welcomed the participants and recalled the recommendations of the last CBFP Governing Council.

 

Dr. Honoré TABUNA, Commissioner for the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development of the ECCAS Commission, speaking in a video conference on behalf of His Excellency Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Veríssimo, President of the ECCAS Commission, recalled all the support that ECCAS provides to its specialised body, COMIFAC, in the area of forest management and natural resource conservation. He stressed that the first results of the restructured ECCAS Commission will be presented to the ECCAS Heads of State on 23 July 2021. He also announced that a workshop would be held in Brazzaville to adopt a common definition of the various key terms such as "forest" and "deforestation" in particular, as part of a strategic reflection on the forest economy and the role of forests in the sustainable development of territories/communities. Dr. Honoré TABUNA ended his speech by wishing every success in the work of the 9th CBFP Council.

 

In his opening speech, His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret NDONG congratulated the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Christian RUCK, for the efforts made to ensure the success of the Council meeting and Experts meeting on the follow-up of the N’djamena Declaration, despite the threats and risks related to COVID-19.

 

"The CBFP has already been providing increased support to the Congo Basin for 20 years by facilitating synergies between the countries of the sub-region. The efforts of the Congo Basin will be heard only in this way," stressed the Minister.

He recalled the challenges for the preservation of the Congo Basin ecosystems, including the fight against new forms of wildlife crime. Efforts have been made, but much remains to be done. He recalled COMIFAC's expectations with regard to the 9th Council meeting and the United Nations framework declaration. Finally, he encouraged the participants to combine their efforts to achieve the objectives of the 9th meeting of the Council.

The 9th meeting of the CBFP Governing Council started with a review and adoption of the items on the agenda of the CBFP Governing Council.

As planned in the agenda, the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honourable Dr. Christian RUCK, gave a progress report on the implementation of the CBFP facilitation roadmap.

 

Dr. Christian RUCK's presentation was highly praised by the participants. As a comment, the current President of COMIFAC appreciated the report and the effort made to have a common declaration of the Congo Basin aiming to speak with one voice during international meetings.

The Minister congratulated:

- the increase in the German facilitation fund via CAFI

- the increase in funding for the Congo Basin

- Technical and thematic studies on resource development

He requested similar studies this time on REDD+ for the development of ecotourism.

 

The CBFP Facilitator took note of the Minister's complaint and affirmed that efforts are being made to increase or expand funding for the Basin. He is optimistic that a deal for the Congo Basin will be reached soon.

Concerning the organisation of the Forestry Symposium in Germany, the Minister asked the COMIFAC SG to initiate correspondence to sensitise the countries, ensure their presence and plan their interventions during the Symposium.

According to the agenda, the meeting continued with the reading of the report of the Douala country Experts' meeting on the follow-up of the N'Djamena Declaration: Overview and future prospects.

This presentation led to discussions, particularly on the legitimacy of the CBFP to organise joint activities in the Congo Basin and neighbouring countries to fight transhumance. The Minister asked to add as a recommendation to the report: to rely on the Organisation for the Conservation of Wildlife in Africa (OCFSA) which has an African coverage to implement these activities.

 

It was agreed that the German CBFP Facilitation will no longer be the main organiser of the country Experts' meetings and the process towards N’Djamena 2, but that this responsibility will be given to ECCAS in close collaboration with IGAD and ECOWAS for the political, COMIFAC/OCFSA for the operational and organisational aspects. The German CBFP Facilitation and the Leaders and Co-leaders of the partners in the geographical blocks would provide support.

 

An update was made on the organisation of the 19th CBFP Meeting of the Parties (MOP): host Country, date, structure/articulation/architecture and desired outcomes/highlights of the plenary, funding and the next CBFP Facilitator after Germany (end of 2022) to be announced at the 19th MOP.

 

Another point was made on the common position: Overview and way forward on the Declaration of the ECCAS/COMIFAC countries for the Congo Basin forests and their periphery in preparation for major international events: Berlin Tropical Forest Symposium, Congresses and COPs

 

The last item of the meeting was the presentation of the CBFP Colleges reports and declaration to report on the activities (news), and its perspectives or planned activities.

Reports:

- Report of the Regional College: news from regional organisations: ECCAS, COMIFAC, OCFSA; Congo Basin Climate Commission

- Report of the CBFP Colleges

- Housekeeping and strategic planning (CBFP Facilitation)

 

Statements:

- Statement by representatives of financial partners (US, Germany)

- Statement by representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CEFDHAC, ROSCEVAC)

- Statement by representatives of international NGOs (AWF, WCS)

- Statement by representatives of the private sector (ATIBT, Earthworm Foundation)

- Statement by representatives of scientists and training (CIFOR, IRET)

- Statement by representatives of multilateral organisations (GVTC, UNESCO)

 

The 9th CBFP Governing Council ended with a question-and-answer session and miscellaneous. His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret Ndongo, Minister of Forests and Wildlife of Cameroon, and current President of COMIFAC, closed up the works of the 9th CBFP Governing Council at 2:00 pm.

 

Please consult photos of 9th CBFP Governing Council

 

Please download the report of the meeting below:

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