Rwanda is set to host the regional headquarters of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) following a presidential order signed by President Paul Kagame and issued in the national gazette. Founded in 1895, Wildlife Conservation Society is an NGO with headquarters in New York with the aim to conserve the world's largest wildlife and wild places in 14 priority regions home to more than 50 percent of the world's biodiversity.
Report of the last CBFP Scientific College Meeting: The Partnership´s scientific community gathers around the German Facilitator Christian Ruck
The virtual meeting of the CBFP Scientific College was held online on June 26, 2021 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Please download here below the minutes of the meeting:
Richard Eba´a Atyi (Co-Leader of College), Donald Iponga (Co-Leader of College), Christian Ruck (CBFP Facilitator), Dany Pokem, Claus-Michael Falkenberg, Robert Nasi, Guillaume Lescuyer, Benoit Mertens, Denis Depommier, Pierre Defourny, Sandrine Andong, Denis Sonwa, Virginia Zaunbrecher, Claude Kachaka, Marius Ekue, Aurelian Mbzibain, Vivian Rossi, Xiao Jianmin, Johannes Haas
- Introductory remarks (by College Co-Leaders)
- Introductory remarks (by CBFP Facilitator Dr. Christian Ruck)
- State of play on the CBFP declaration process (by experts Claus Falkenberg/Jean Marie Noiraud)
- Any other business (by College Co-Leaders and members)
- Short report on CAFI FAO Deforestation and Forest Degradation Drivers study by CBFP Technical Committee Representative Damase Khasa
- Other college activities in 2021, e.g. State of the Forests of the Congo Basin Report
- Closing remarks (by College Co-Leaders)
After the Co-Leader Richary Atyi welcomed all participants and introduced them to the agenda of the meeting, the floor was given to CBFP Facilitator Dr. Christian Ruck representing the German Facilitation to the partnership. The Facilitator gave a short overview of the activities the Facilitation has pursued since the last virtual meeting of the College. He stressed that the work on the Declaration supported by all members of the CBFP has continued since its official adoption at the CBFP Council Meeting in Kinshasa in December 2020. He also noted that the Facilitation is preparing for upcoming key conferences in multilateral environmental politics, such as the Conferences of Parties of UNFCCC on climate and of CBD on biodiversity. In this regard, the Facilitation is commissioning several thematic short-term studies on pertinent issues of forest and environmental politics, such as on REDD+ in the Congo Basin, on ecotourism, on sustainable value chains and on transhumance. Furthermore, he asked the Scientific College to help prepare the Facilitation and the Regional College of our Partnership for these upcoming conferences and preparatory negotiations. In particular, a numerical estimation of the Congo Basin´s “value” to safeguarding the global climate is needed to politically lobby for a more appropriate share of climate funding to be directed towards the Congo Basin rainforests. Thanks to the outstanding importance of the Congo Basin rainforest ecosystems for carbon sequestration and for other global and local ecosystem services, their crucial role for global climate mitigation and adaptation should be reflected more adequately also in financial terms. Reacting to a question from Pierre Defourny, Facilitator Dr. Ruck clarified that scientific evidence is needed to underscore political lobbying for the Congo Basin and make it more effective. Currently, the Facilitation is using the figure of 5% as demand for an appropriate share of all climate funding to be directed towards the Congo Basin rainforests. Additional input or other estimations are more than welcome.
Thereafter, Claus Michael Falkenberg introduced the College to ongoing work on the Declaration after it had been officially adopted by the CBFP Council in Kinshasa in December 2020. He clarified that the text has remained the same in principle and only minor adjustments have been made reacting to demands from the regional college, for example a formulation towards “zero deforestation” as objective instead of “no deforestation”. He also noted that – as had been agreed in Kinshasa – the Declaration has been sent to all COMIFAC Ministers in order for a cross-sectoral revision of the document with different concerned Ministries in the COMIFAC countries. Claus Falkenberg also explained that the Declaration is planned to be signed by the COMIFAC Ministers to give it more political weight and that it is envisaged to integrate key points of the Declaration into the NDCs of all COMIFAC states which are being revised currently. Having said that, it was stressed that the Declaration gains political weight through its elaboration in a participatory consultative process including all CBFP Colleges prior to the last Council Meeting. This demonstrates that the Declaration is more than an additional declaration by states, but that it was instead elaborated and is supported by all stakeholder groups represented in CBFP Colleges. It is thus a “joint perspective of the Congo Basin” and can be used as basic documents for negotiations on additional funding and international support to the region in exchange for commitments and actions on forest conservation and sustainable use.
On the following agenda point, Prof. Damase Khasa introduced the College to the status quo of a CAFI-funded and FAO-executed regional study on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the Congo Basin. Prof. Khasa is representing the CBFP Scientific College in the technical committee of this study. The presentation is attached. It was discussed how the mentioned study is overlapping with comparable regional studies, e.g. a recent study by OFAC and Vancutsem et al. (2021). The discussion in the College clarified that there are some overlaps but that when FAO and CAFI designed the current study project, the recent papers had not been published yet. Furthermore, different perspectives on the same question van be very helpful. Also, one focus of the project is to specifically use open-access sources such as SEPAL, to improve the methodology of deforestation monitoring and to make this methodology available to partner countries so they can reproduce studies and ideally create a feeling of ownership. Results will be shared in early 2022 in the form of a white paper as well as by means of several peer reviewed articles.
Co-Leader Richard Atyi then informed the College that the regional “State of the Forests of the Congo Basin” study is being finalized and that it is planned to publish the report by the end of 2021. He underlined that this regular effort is carried mainly by voluntary contributions of numerous scientists working on Congo Basin forest issues.
Concerning any other business, the University of Louvain will be hosting a large conference on land use issues in 2022 while the Global Landscapes Forum on drylands in Africa will take place online already beginning of June 2021.
In the closing remarks by the Facilitator Dr. Ruck and Co-Leader Richard Atyi, the College was also informed that the German Facilitation to the CBFP has been extended until the end of the year 2022. The Facilitator thanked the College for all provided support and encouraged the group to jointly keep pursuing the fight for conservation and sustainable use of the Congo Basin´s rainforests.
Please download the Documents here below:
Researchers consider the benefits of conservation retreat: smaller reserves and focused funding – Anthropocene magazine
Decades of declining herbivore populations in central African national parks have conservation scientists arguing that smaller reserves might be better for wildlife. As conservationists press for a major expansion of protected habitat around the world, scientists with years of experience in central Africa say new evidence calls for just the opposite in the region.
At the beginning of this year, we learn that Ben Gunneberg is leaving his position as CEO after 22 years at PEFC. ATIBT wishes him the best for the future.
ClientEarth launches this month a consultation on women's rights in the forestry sector in Gabon and the Republic of Congo
This mission will focus on the status of women's rights in the forestry sector legislation applicable in Gabon and support to Gabonese and Congolese civil society through capacity strenghting and gender inclusion.
ATIBT has conducted numerous press actions throughout 2021 mainly around Fair&Precious brand. A look back at these advocacy activities for a sustainable trade of tropical timber.
The year 2021 ended with excellent news for the Congo Basin PAFC project: the scheme is now recognized by the PEFC Council!
For decades, Fern and partners have campaigned to strengthen the rights of forest peoples and protect and restore forests. There have been locust years, when things went backwards, and harvest years, when plans come to fruition. Gratifyingly, 2021 was a year in which the forest movement achieved outstanding successes and we enter 2022 energised and ready to defend and build on them.
New paper Paul Scholte et al. : Conservation overstretch and the long term decline of wildlife and tourism in the Central African savannas
When in 2010 the world's governments pledged to increase protected area coverage to 17% of the world's land surface, several Central African countries had already set aside 25% of their northern savannas for conservation. To evaluate the effectiveness of this commitment, we analyzed the results of 68 multispecies surveys conducted in the 7 main savanna national parks in Central Africa (1960-2017).
ITTO appoints Executive Director, sets new priorities to increase economic contribution of tropical forest sector while reducing deforestation and increasing resilience
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN, 20 December 2021: The International Tropical Timber Council appointed Ms Sheam Satkuru as the new Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) at its virtual 57th session concluded in early December 2021 and also endorsed a strategic action plan to set the Organization’s path for the next five years.
The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, Goodwill Ambassador of the COMIFAC Declaration, wishes you a happy holiday season 2021 and all the best for 2022
in this holiday season marking the end of 2021, I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to you. Your rich and various contributions and your proactive and dedicated involvement have enriched and enhanced the efficacy of our joint partnership. Our fruitful and close collaboration was an overwhelming success internationally and most tangibly during the CoP 26 in Glasgow, UK.
At this time of year, we find it instructive to look back at our most read stories for 2021. This look back reminds us how far we have come and helps to set our agenda for the following year.
The International Science Council convened a process to reorient funding for scientific research and institutional arrangements to support needed societal transformations. The resulting report sets out a roadmap for the production of actionable knowledge in five areas that pose the most risk to the Earth as a “safe operating space” within ten or 20 years.
The 2021 HLPF convened in a hybrid format from 6-15 July under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Leading up to the session, 42 governments had conducted VNRs, and they presented on these processes during the Forum. The DESA report notes that these governments recognized the second year of the pandemic as “a crucial time to conduct a VNR, in order to align their efforts towards a resilient recovery.”
For three scientists who have authored a new book titled Adaptive Collaborative Management in Forest Landscapes: Villagers, Bureaucrats and Civil Society (Routledge, 2022), it represents the conjoining of their disparate but likeminded visions and guiding strategic principles for Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) in forest landscapes and resource management.
Secure tenure and effective governance are central to the future of natural resources and agriculture. Although important on their own, tenure and governance are also embedded in the solutions to key global challenges: climate change; environmental management; poverty; gender equity and women’s empowerment; and nutrition and health.
Establishing standards for measuring, monitoring and assigning financial value to forest-related greenhouse gas emissions is a challenging process due to the wide range of variables at play, said delegates attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
VIENNA, 30 November 2021 – Gerd Müller, Germany’s acting Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, is set to take office as the new Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
A team of researchers led by the University of Sheffield has discovered that rates of deforestation and degradation in tropical forests are lower in Indigenous lands compared to other areas. The findings, published in Nature Sustainability, show that across the tropics, Indigenous lands had a fifth less deforestation on average compared to non-protected areas, and in Africa, Indigenous Lands reduce deforestation more effectively than protected areas.
The Congo Basin: Eight grants totaling $105.05 million were made to create more than 11 million hectares of new protected areas
The Congo Basin. The Congo Basin is home to 70% of Africa’s forests and is one of the most important places for biodiversity and carbon stocks on the planet—yet only 17% of the area is protected today. Each year, large areas are lost to deforestation, while remaining forests are degraded by logging, mining, agriculture, the building of new roads, fuelwood collection, hunting, and other pressures.
With this newsletter we would like to inform you about some of the current activities of FSC on behalf of the FSC Congo Basin team, and furthermore interest you with the actualities relevant to the tropical timber trade and our network partners.
The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck co-hosts a press conference with the President of COMIFAC on the Congo Basin’s involvement to the COP26 Climate in Glasgow
A press conference was held on Friday 17 December 2021, at 10 a.m. at the Djeuga Palace Hotel to discuss the involvement of COMIFAC countries and partners in COP 26 in Glasgow, UK. This press conference was co-hosted by the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Dr. Christian Ruck, and the current Chairman of the COMIFAC Council of Ministers, His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forests and Wildlife of Cameroon.
This report provides a technical analysis of pastoral dynamics in the region to support the development of adaptive management approaches. Rooted in genuine engagement, it presents a series of recommendations for regional actors and NGOs involved in pastoralism.
Cameroonian authorities say clashes between ranchers and fishers have left at least ten people dead and scores wounded Monday, forcing hundreds to flee into neighboring Chad. The clashes in Cameroon’s north broke out over water scarcity, a problem that authorities have struggled to address.
This discussion document gathers the views and perspectives of timber-producing country stakeholders on the EU’s policies to protect tropical forests and forest communities. It highlights potential innovations and revisions to the VPA model, and options to ensure its full integration into and contribution towards global action against deforestation.
A lot has happened since we were last in touch. Most importantly, after a year’s delay, COP26 finally took place. Debate continues on whether it was a good COP or a bad COP, but we made sure voices from over 15 countries were heard as they made this demand: stop corruption from diluting climate action. Before finishing up with 2021, let’s take a glance at our activities around the world.
03.12.2021. INTERHOLCO is proud to present Lobi, the spearhead of its first collection made from FSC®* certified Sustainable Hardwood, Made in Africa according to the most demanding socio-environmental criteria. Lobi means 'tomorrow' and 'future' in the broadest sense; the name is derived from Lingala, the most widely used language in Congo Basin countries.
This report reinforces the "Fair Deal" and "Fair Share" for the protection of the Congo Basin Forests which is the largest net positive tropical carbon sink in the world...
...and at the same time to contribute to "Saving" the planet with those 80 billion tons of CO2 Stored and which could come from the emissions of the intense industrial period ... Joint the "Fair Deal" Alliance to protect the Congo Basin rainforest...
« Fair Deal, Fair Share » Congo Basin : The Congo Basin becomes the world’s first tropical carbon sink
Today, despite their comparatively smaller area, the undisturbed forests in Central African of the Congo Basin now absorb more carbon than in the Amazon and Southeast Asia combined, and is thus the most important tropical carbon sink to date.
COP 26 – GIZ-COMIFAC-PFBC: Ministers from Central African countries around Ms. Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director General of the GIZ Presidium (Vorstand) - German GIZ Cooperation celebrated
COP 26, Glasgow, 8 November 2021, held a High-Level Side Event in the COMIFAC Congo Basin Initiative Pavilion on the theme: "Nature-based solutions as means of conservation and sustainable management of Congo Basin Forest landscapes for climate change mitigation.” This high-level event between ministers of the Congo Basin countries and representatives of development agencies was attended by Ms. Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director General of the GIZ Presidium (Vorstand).
After the removal of the Salonga National Park from the list of World Heritage in Danger last July, another piece of good news has come to mark the life of the park in this year 2021. Indeed, a new partnership agreement on the Salonga National Park concluded between the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation and the WWF will bring the collaboration between the two institutions to the phase of the implementation of an even more effective management framework to better address the specific challenges of the largest park in Africa.
COP 26 – A landmark event on financing: High Level Political Dialogue between COMIFAC countries and donor countries.
His Excellency Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, Goodwill Ambassador and CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, testifies about the participation of technical and financial partners in the consultative process that led to the Declaration of Commitment by COMIFAC Member States for Central Africa Forests and call for equitable financing and "Fair Share" and "Fair Deal" to which he was made a Goodwill Ambassador in Berlin on the sidelines of the symposium on tropical forests by Germany and the Ministers of the COMIFAC countries.
COP 26 - Glasgow: Honorable Dr. Christian successfully drives landmark mobilization – Fair Deal movement bears fruit: US$ 1.5billion to protect Central African forests in the Congo Basin.
For the first time in the history of Conferences of the Parties, Central African countries are securing a financial commitment from donors within the framework of the "Fair Deal" to accelerate the implementation of the COMIFAC Declaration of September 2021. This is a major achievement for COMIFAC, Central African countries, and CBFP partners.
COMIFAC at CoP26: Private Sector – British Timber Federation, China Timber Association and Central African countries call for global governance of the world’s forests for greater equity.
Co-organised by COMIFAC, German Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) and Timber Trade Federation of Great Britain (TTF UK), an important session on private sector took place on 6 November 2021, at the COMIFAC Pavilion at CoP26 in Glasgow, UK, on the theme: "Global Forests Need Global Governance".
Landmark International Mobilization for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities: US$ 1,7 Billion available – Central Africa Calls for a “Fair Share” – A Fair Share for its Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
US$ 1.7 billion international financial commitment aims to promote support to indigenous peoples' and local communities' land rights and forest conservation - Glasgow COP26, November 2021...
COP 26 – High-level visit of H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo to COMIFAC Congo Basin Initiatives Pavilion
COP 26 - Glasgow-Scotland, 3 November 2021: The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck and His Excellency Jules Doret Ndongo, current President of COMIFAC welcome to the COMIFAC Congo Basin Initiatives Pavilion, H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, President of the Congo Basin Climate Commission.