This publication outlines the GEF’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a snapshot of progress toward operational goals, and in support of enhanced fiduciary oversight and safeguards of environmental projects.
ATIBT -Earth Worm Foundation - CBFP: Private Sector mobilized around the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany
ATIBT co-facilitated the mobilization of the private sector of the timber sector to participate in the first meeting of the private sector college of Congo Basin Forest Partnership with the new facilitator Dr Christian Ruck and his team German Facilitation.
On Thursday 14 May, a first meeting between the CBFP private sector college and the German facilitation took place through Skype for Business. For the private sector college there were representatives from the forest-based sector, agribusiness and tourism. The meeting was co-moderated by ATIBT and Earthworm Foundation as co-leaders of the private sector college.
It was an opportunity for the German facilitation to introduce themselves and to explain its role as a facilitator by describing its roadmap.
For the German facilitation the challenge for the next two years is mainly political, to defend the interests of the forests of the Congo Basin at major international conferences such as the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow (2021), the COP14 on biodiversity in Kunming (first quarter 2021), the EU-Africa, EU-China Summits and the Tropical Forest Forum in Berlin (planned for Nov. 2020). In this framework, the objective of its roadmap is to obtain a common position which could be in the form of a declaration by all CBFP partners to participate in a close row in the events mentioned above.
In order to facilitate the gathering of ideas and declarations from the partners, the German facilitation had sent a questionnaire related to the CBFP roadmap 2020-2021 to the leaders of the colleges. According to the result of this questionnaire, ATIBT used to consult members of the forest-based sector.
Following these intensive consultations, ATIBT presented the their common positions during the meeting of the private sector college :
- About the national parks and their riparian populations :
o National parks are often surrounded by forest concessions. They know how to deal the dialogue with the local populations, and they are financing socio-economic development projects there. It would be effective for park managers to use this knowledge and contribute to projects. This will require greater synergy and learning between national park and logging concession managers;
o Due to the absence of the Government in the remote areas, companies play a multi-tasking role (not only in timber exploitation, but also in the areas of employment, health, anti-poaching and biodiversity protection, and local development), partnerships are important to support companies with these different tasks, to get those roles recognized. Companies want to focus on their business as a priority.
o There is a lack of clarity regarding the definition of buffer zones (distance from the edge of the national park, but also with regard to authorized activities) and there is a tendency to consider buffer zones as an extension of the conservation zone. This should be rectified, as conservation is in the national parks, and economic activities in the peripheral zones.
- About to forest and climate :
o The REDD+ mechanism does not work in the Congo Basin: there are different calculation methods, there is a lack of rules or standards, and benefit sharing between actors is not regulated.
o The companies certified for sustainable management of the concessions allocated to them provide numerous ecosystem services (carbon storage, protection of watercourses, protection of rare and/or endemic species, etc.). It is important that this role is recognized (and will therefore require a change in stakeholder opinion) and financially compensated to also encourage other concessionaires to engage in sustainable management certification. ATIBT is working on exploring a compensation mechanism with financial experts.
- About the sustainable use of natural resources :
o Attracting sustainable investment will require a healthy and stable environment, including national land use plans. This topic has been on the CBFP agenda for many years but has not been completed. Perhaps because only the Ministers in charge of Forests participate in the meetings? It would be necessary to involve other ministries in the CBFP as well.
o The development of agroforestry in the local development/agriculture development series could be a solution against forest degradation (due to slash-and-burn agriculture practices). Agroforestry will provide people with subsistence products (short term) and a cash flow through sold wood (long term) and coffee and/or cocoa (medium term).
o Priorities for forestry companies are the renewal of management plans after the first 25-year rotation to move towards inclusive adjustment, and the development of a real timber industry in Central Africa, based in particular on lesser known species (LKTS – Lesser Known Timber Species). The ATIBT will organize a technical sub-commission on this subject and it could become one of the themes of the next ATIBT Forum (2021).
- About the impact of COVID19 :
o The highest priority is the health of the people living on the bases, the employees and their families, who are numerous.
o Companies who are not able to get protective equipment (stocks available in the countries, logistics of transport in a containment situation, and budget), but procedures are setting up for the health safety of the inhabitants to avoid contamination in these often remote areas far from hospitals capable of providing intensive care ;
o The majority of contracts/orders are maintained, but delayed until after the crisis. The companies also encounter difficulties in the circulation and evacuation of wood;
o As a result, companies are experiencing serious financial and supply shortage, and are forced to lay off a part of their teams, particularly in the industrial sector; o The majority of contracts/orders are being maintained but delayed until after the crisis.
The ATIBT also presented the progress of relations with Chinese actors :
- The large number of Chinese participants who came to Yaoundé in 2019 to participate in the China-Africa International Workshop shows a growing interest in contributing to forest governance, and making sustainable investments;
- The discussion on timber legality and forest management with the GGSC and CTWPDA initiative continues since the conferences in Shanghai and Huzhou in October 2019 and the ATIBT will convene the issue of CBFP membership;
- The influence of GGSC it is not clear yet on the Chinese operators in Africa, but the CBFP could play a role by taking initiatives.
GEF-convened civil society consultations focused on the need to prioritize voices of indigenous peoples and to integrate traditional knowledge into efforts to conserve biodiversity, address climate change, and combat other threats.
In collaboration with the Forest is life scientific team from the Faculty Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège), Nature + published at the end of 2020 a book entitled "Development and implementation of a management plan de la fauna - Technical guide for managers of production forests in Central Africa ”.
Since the landmark Paris Agreement of 2015, there has been a dramatic increase in private sector interest and action related to climate change. In just five years, hundreds of companies have set targets to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and have outlined science-informed plans to achieve them.
The Congo Basin contains the world's second-largest rainforest, crucial for regulating the world's climate. Inside it, a plan to halt the forest's decline is bearing fruit.
Feedback on the Sino-African meeting organized by CTWPDA and ATIBT the 17th and 18th December on Sustainable Timber - ATIBT
The Sino-African Sustainable Timber Online B2B Meeting jointly organized by China Timber & Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA) and the International Tropical Timber Association (ATIBT), was successfully held on 17-18th December.
CBFP Meeting - GIZ Side event: "Experiences of taking into account human rights in the processes of sustainable management of forests and protected areas in the COMIFAC area".
Organized on the sidelines of the 8th Meeting of the CBFP's Governing Council, the Side Event on "Experiences in taking into account human rights in the processes of sustainable management of forests and protected areas in the COMIFAC area" was an appropriate opportunity for the different programs, projects and non-governmental organizations involved in biodiversity conservation activities and protection of indigenous heritage, including REPALEAC, GIZ-BGF, GIZ-COMIFAC and GIZ-COMIFAC-BSB-Yamoussa to share success stories, key challenges and work sites they are facing.
Here, we describe how the crisis creates a perfect storm of reduced funding, restrictions on the operations of conservation agencies, and elevated human threats to nature. We identify the immediate steps necessary to address these challenges and support ongoing conservation efforts.
The Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany of the CBFP, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck wishes you the best for the year 2021!
In this festive season at the end of the year 2020, we are pleased to get back to you to express our appreciation, because from our interactions during this year 2020 that is drawing to a close, we have benefited from your diverse and rich contributions and proactive engagements that have enriched and enhanced our joint partnership. Together, we have moved forward and the successful implementation of the CBFP meetings in Kinshasa has confirmed this conviction. This is our joint success! Together, we have moved forward! Together, we have raised the standard of the Congo Basin and its peripheries.
Renewed clashes between herders and farmers have reportedly left 11 dead in southern Chad. Eleven people were killed in fresh clashes between herders and farmers in southern Chad, which is gripped by deadly conflicts between the two communities.
Side event ICCN-GIZ: Community conservation as a solution to the sustainability of conservation and local development actions: Standard-setting tools for PA management, the experience of ICCAs in the DRC
A side event was organized on Thursday 10 December, in room Panorama 3 of the Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa. Held on the sidelines of the 8th CBFP Council and its related meetings, the side event was entitled 'Community conservation as a possible solution to the sustainability of conservation and local development actions: Standard-setting tools for managing PAs, the experience of ICCAs in the DRC '. Moderated by Ms. Sarah Mam-bu, participants in the event discussed community conservation approaches that can help reconcile biodiversity conservation with local development.
For the third time this year, over 80 people - donors, partner countries, agencies and technical experts – met online from November 9 to 13 for CAFI’s 17th Board meeting. Assessing progress and charting a path towards a new phase for CAFI phas...
Forestry and Environment Ministers of COMIFAC member countries resume hiring of COMIFAC statutory staff
Convened by the Cameroon Minister of Forests and Wildlife, Acting Chairman of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany, Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), an extraordinary session of the Council of Forestry and Environment Ministers of the COMIFAC member countries was held on 10 December 2020 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the wings of the 8th CBFP Council meeting.
The Sahel G5 takes part in the 39th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) - sahel g5
The Executive Secretary of the Sahel G5 took part in the 39th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), held on 1 December 2020 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and chaired by Mr. M. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
Sustainable forest management in the DRC: participatory approaches for resilient development of local communities
A side event entitled “Sustainable forest management in the DRC”, was held on 10 December 2020 within the framework of the 8th CBFP Council and its related meetings, with a view to exploring specific themes with stakeholders active in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest management.
In 1994, Cameroon became the first Congo Basin country to adopt the concept of "community forestry" in its legal framework, allowing rural populations to secure land as a non-permanent forest domain for income-generating activities, based on a simple management plan validated by the administration. In conducting these activities, most of the community forests have opted for timber production, which is often favored by rural populations as the fastest route to significant income.
Blue economy/CCBC-F2BC: Ministers validate final report of the Blue Fund's preliminary study - Afriquenvironnementplus
From 1 to 2 December, the city of Brazzaville hosted an in-person and video conference, the 4th Steering Committee meeting of the Congo Basin Blue Fund’s preliminary study (F2BC) and ministerial segment during which the results of the study and the roadmap for the operation of the Blue Fund were presented for validation by the Environment ministers of the CCBC-F2BC countries.
Second edition of the special CBFP Civil Society College Day: sharing of success stories and looking forward to upcoming climate and biodiversity events
On 8 December 2020, the second edition of the special Civil Society College Day of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) was held at the Pullman Hotel in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Press release and minutes of the second session of the Tripartite Supervision and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) on the Ndjamena Anti-poaching tripartite agreement between Cameroon, CAR and CHAD
At the invitation of Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife of Cameroon, Acting Chairman of the N’Djamena Anti-poaching Tripartite Agreement of (N'Djamena AT6LAB of 2013) between Cameroon, CAR and Chad, the expert meeting in view of the second session of the Tripartite Supervision and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) of the N’Djamena AT-LAB between Cameroon, CAR and Chad took place on 8 December 2020 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Climate: Civil society organizations from five Congo Basin member countries to speak with one voice at COP 26 - Environews-rdc
Members of civil society organizations in the Congo Basin sub-region met Wednesday 09 December in Kinshasa to discuss relevant strategies and resolutions that will go into their common position during the Conference of the Parties on the Climate next year in Glasgow, England.
Cameroon - MINFOF: First country in the sub-region to make the use of legal origin wood mandatory for its public contracts
ARTICLE 1. - (1) This decree shall lay down the terms and conditions for the use of wood of legal origin in public procurement. (2) It shall apply to public procurement initiated by the State and other legal persons governed by public law.
Fourth ordinary session of the Tri National Supervisory and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) of the Sangha Tri-National (TNS)
The fourth ordinary session of the Tri-national Supervisory and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) was organized on December 9 in Kinshasa, on the sidelines of the 8th Council meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). Please download the Final press release of the meeting…
Minutes of High-Level Political Dialogue between members of the CBFP Regional and the members of the Donor College
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 10 December 2020: A High-level dialogue was held between the members of the CBFP Regional College (member States, COMIFAC and ECCAS) and the Technical and Financial partners who belong to the CBFP Donor College.
Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) - 11 December 2020 – the CBFP Council held its eighth meeting. The gathering was chaired by the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret Ndongo, Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Acting Chairman of COMIFAC and hosted by: His Excellency Barrister Claude NYAMUGABO BAZIBUHE, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
TRANSHUMANCE DAY SIDE-EVENT: Multidisciplinary approach to pacific management of cross-border transhumance aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence
The "Transhumance Day" side event was held on 9 December 2020, in the Kinshasa meeting room of the Congo River hotel. The day was devoted to strategic reflection on the topic of peaceful transhumance and gathered experts from the different geographical blocs established as part of the implementation of the N’DJAMENA Declaration. During the meeting, participants were presented a roadmap and a logical framework, which had been developed during previous working sessions.
There’s a saying in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that refers to “Article 15,” a nonexistent paragraph of the country’s constitution during the Mobutu Sese Seko dictatorship in the 1970s. It stands for “figure it out yourself” and acknowledges the wide spread of corruption, implying that people cannot rely on the state to survive.
This agreement, which has just been signed by the two establishments, covers the implementation of technical activities relating to tropical timber, its processing and its uses.
The 7th annual STTC conference was held on 19 November on the theme "Holding the line and moving forward: roots for green recovery". The STTC team was delighted with this interactive and stimulating online event and thanks the participants for their presence and the ideas shared.
The Joint Implementation Committee took place on November 25 and 26, 2020 in the conference room of the Ministry of Forest Economy in Brazzaville and was co-chaired by Mrs. Rosalie MATONDO, Minister of Forest Economy and Mr. Raul MATEUS PAULA, Ambassador Head of the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Congo.
The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany in close collaboration with the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, hosted the Expert Technical Meeting alongside the 8th meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Council from 8 to 9 December 2020 in Kinshasa, DRC.
This study provides critical inputs to frame future media campaign messages and, by demonstrating some consumers’ interest in legal timber, to strengthen the domestic legitimacy of policies such as the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.
The 3rd ATIBT Think Tank on the theme "What future for certified companies in the Congo Basin" took place on the 2nd and 3rd of November 2020, by videoconference. Since its creation in May 2018, the Think Ttank has been supported by the ATIBT marketing program.
Efeca is currently undertaking a final evaluation review of this phase of CIFOR's Global Comparative Study (GCS) on REDD+ (2016-2020). This is an opportunity for you to express your opinions...
Edible Insects in Africa in Terms of Food, Wildlife Resource, and Pest Management Legislation - Article
As any other foodstuff, insects should be regulated by the government to ensure product quality and consumer safety. The goal of the present paper was to assess the current legal status of edible insects in Africa. For that, corresponding authorities were contacted along with an extensive online search, relying mostly on the FAOLEX database.
Several countries and financial institutions made new climate finance-related pledges, including: the United Kingdom, which pledged to double its climate finance contribution to USD 15.5 billion over the next five years; and the European Investment Bank, which announced a goal of 50% of investments going toward the climate and environment sectors by 2025.