In almost equal measure, discussions and actions around racism in 2020 have been extremely painful, and extremely hopeful. The following scenarios came from a wider discussion around race and privilege that began in February at the Pathways 2020 Human Dimensions Conference held in Nairobi.
The College of International NGOs of the CBFP mobilized, in close line with the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany of the CBFP, Dr. Christian Ruck
The Largest participation of the Members ever of the international NGOs CBFP College and revitalization of the process towards a common position of the Partnership CBFP and way forward, in the framework of this Important ‘year of biodiversity and forests, climate’ with major international conferences: EU/China summit ; EU/Africa summit ; CBD and UNFCCC process as Important opportunity to promote the profile of the Congo Basin and the CBFP and key /Important that the Congo Basin presents with a common voice at these conferences.
The participants exchanged intensively on the following different articulations of the agenda as below:
- Co Leaders Welcome Remarks
- Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitator Remarks - Synthesis of the CBFP Facilitation Road Map; process for collecting ideas and statements from CBFP´s members; Agenda of CBFP
- Covid 19 and Conservation activities in Congo Basin
- Nature conservation and Human right in Congo Basin
- Next steps
Please find here below the Co-Leaders Notes from CBFP INGO College virtual Meeting with the facilitator
Thanks Andrea Athanas for taking the notes
There were 37 participants. Andrea Athanas, Achille Djeagou, Alistair Pole, Alliance GSAC, Kenneth Angu, Thomas Breuer, Catherine Long, Charles Barber, Charles Bracke, Charly Facheux*, Christian Asanga, Dany Pokem**, Duclaire Mbouna, Elie Hakizumwami, Emma Stoke*, Francois Awounkeu, Fred Kumah, Ilka Herbinger, Iven Schad, Jean-Baptiste Deffontaines, Joe Eisen, Manfred Epanda, Mangouende, Marie-Ange Kalenga, Maud Salber, Mbitikon, Nadege Nzoyem, Clotilde Ngomba, Olivia Rickenbach, Paul Elkan, Paul Kariuki Ndanganga, Roger Fotso, Roland Melisch, Christian Ruck**
Charly Facheux, co-Leader of the College: After the opening of meeting and overview of the agenda the following points were mentioned relating to the agenda:
- Kenneth suggested merging the way forward and technical response with the note from the Facilitator and Emma specified that the focus of that agenda point is to agree a process rather than discuss the details of the technical response in detail.
- Marie-Ange Kalenga suggested discussing the formal and information responses of the government as part of the Covid 19 discussion.
Dr. Christian Ruck, Facilitator
- The Covid 19 situation has prevented planned travel to the region and to the US.
- Dr. Ruck completed his PhD on the Economic effects of protected areas in developing countries, or how to make a national park a development project. He served as a member of the German Bundestag and headed the Working Group on Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2013 he took up a KfW role in the Congo Basin working on developing projects supporting protected areas.
- The handover from the Belgian Facilitator at the end of 2019, and the taking over of the Facilitation on 1 January 2020. The Road Map has been developed and approved by the COMIFAC President in Office. There is continuing support for the N’Djamena process that was launched by the previous Facilitator and the support to transhumance and transboundary anti-poaching effort, as well as the China dialogue which is more important than ever. The German facilitation is dominated by the EU Africa Summit, the EU China Summit and the CBD and UNFCCC conferences. These present important opportunities for the Congo Basin, and the Facilitator envisages the CBFP as a means of providing a clear and common voice from the Congo Basin at these global platforms. Coming together with one voice also presents the opportunity to create some discipline in coming together to create a shared declaration. The primary focus over next months is to prepare a declaration from the Partnership. In Douala many members expressed an interest to strengthen communication within, between and from the Colleges. It is therefore the purpose of the technical questionnaire is to gather structured input from the Colleges for input into the Declaration and backup information that will substantiate the points made in the Declaration. The normal agenda would have been to collect responses, convene the Council at the end of May and discuss the feedback through workshops and prepare the Declaration which would then be shared at the Member meeting at the end of the year. The German Ministry would then have invited the Congo Basin Ministers to Berlin to announce the Declaration to the world. But this timeline has now shifted with Covid 19. The EU summits with China and with Africa as well as other meetings (e.g. the IUCN World Conservation Congress) are postponed. Another effort that is being proposed is a donor mapping of the support going to protected areas and conservation throughout the region. There is a need to support biodiversity on one hand and the forests of the basin on the other. On biodiversity, there is an initiative of the German government to provide long term finance to protected areas and landscapes which would be particularly well suited to supporting the region. The Glasgow meeting input is targeting an effort to support payments to the region for ecosystem services from the Congo Basin forests. The International NGO college is particularly important for this road map. Dany Pokem is responsible as coach for the College during the facilitation. The Facilitator has received 7 declarations of interest from the College. The contributions can be submitted by 1 July so as to enable the Facilitator to prepare by summer holidays.
- Questions raised by the College members:
- Emma Stokes asked how the Facilitator would like the inputs from the College members and whether there is an expectation of how the College will compile inputs. Response – the points of interest in the questionnaire are indicative, and other thoughts are also welcome. The most important points are insights into what is needed to conserve the forests of the Congo Basin, to secure land use, and to finance conservation as well as pre-conditions of the Congo Basin countries. It is not sufficient to call for more protected areas, integration of local communities, or support in light of Covid, but really need to have the rationale behind the big points from International NGO perspective. There are many projects with success stories as well as failures and we need to know how we can do better…what is necessary administratively, and politically to get support for protected areas, to get financial flows (e.g. through payments for ecosystem services). Its not necessary for everyone to answer every question, but the Facilitation is looking for your experiences. We also need to discuss in the college and between the colleges.
- Marie Ange from Fern asked how the College will be able to consult with local CSO partners in the Basin to ensure inclusiveness of the CBFP membership. How will the Facilitation enable those who are left with no/limited connection to input into the process. Response: the Facilitator is struggling to have access to members of the CSO college given the Covid 19 situation. The initial idea was to discuss the issues in the College and then discuss across the other Colleges. CSO are an important College, and they are working in some difficulty at this point in time…and how to reach them. Raymond Mbitikon, the new CBFP Facilitator is coaching and supporting CSO inputs.
- Covid 19 situation and response: Fred Kumah provide a report of meeting with African Protected Area Directors and the impacts of Covid 19 and responses: The protected areas have been significantly impacted by the pandemic, with key issues including impacts on patrols, community engagement, and wildlife surveys. There are no standards and guidelines for protected area responses, there is a desire for a protected area network to come together share lessons and develop an emergency preparedness policy and guidelines and lobby governments to invest more in nature conservation at the center of crisis response. There is also a call to look across multiple sectors for a cohesive response. AWF will share the final report with the CBFP Membership. Paul Elkan of WCS pointed out that responses are different across the continent depending on different ecosystems, and that there is community awareness going on around different protected areas. Marie Ange pointed out that logging operations have been impacted, and independent forest monitoring work been affected. The impact of any crisis on logging activities and forest management needs further investigation. The European Parliament is discussing issues of disruptions of governance and management in the forest systems and how to sustain systems in times of crisis. Roland Melisch from TRAFFIC pointed out the continuation of trade, though at a reduced level, and the continued efforts to monitor trade through TWIX across the region. Field visits and capacity building have been impacted, but the web-based instruments are still working supported by webinars for capacity building. Kenneth Angu of IUCN clarified the connection between the protected area meeting and the Africa Protected Areas Congress.
- Human Rights: Marie Ange alerted the group to the statement that Fern and a group of other organizations made to the European Commission. The paper will be shared with the Membership. The College will come together to share approaches to addressing rights in the course of our work and to consolidating our response to those aspects of the technical questionnaire ( statement about the EU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and déclaration sur la réponse mondiale de l’UE à la crise du COVID-19)
- Nadege asked what the role of the agro-industries in the Facilitation Plan. This is very much part of the plan of the Facilitation going forward.
- Way Forward: Iven Schad from BMZ expressed gratitude to the International NGO College for the discussion, and stressed the importance of substantive responses to the technical questionnaire to provide input into the Declaration but also to vitalize the council meetings and get a sense of where there is broader interest among the Colleges and stimulate future discussions. Regarding the level of ambitions in the Declarations, there is an aim to have honest Declarations that lead to meaningful contributions to agreements on what each stakeholder group can do to contribute to a solution.
- Closing remarks: Emma Stokes, Co Leader, thanked the Facilitator for his presentation and to the Members of the College for the largest participation ever of the College and revitalizes the process towards the Declaration and way forward. Please also keep us involved through virtual interactions in the absence of being able to meet in person.
This first edition focusses on Indonesia and Vietnam and the articles were written in collaboration with our local partners. In many cases, they report that they are more able to contribute to policy discussions and that at least some authorities are paying closer attention.
The first call for proposals for Small Technical Grants for Assessment (STGA) is now open until 29 January 2021. It is an open ended-call and proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis in order of their receipt.
Comments received from stakeholders during public consultations on the forest management certification standard of the PAFC Congo Basin scheme (PAFC CB)
The development process of the PAFC CB forest certification standard sparked enthusiasm among forest management stakeholders who provided more than 300 comments.
Local community engagement, strong policy signals and long-term financing key ingredients for forest restoration – WWF Panda
New report shows the long-term benefits of restoring forests outweigh the costs. The long-term benefits of restoring forests outweigh the costs, and this is a key factor in driving the implementation of forest landscape restoration (FLR) in many countries, a new WWF and IUFRO study finds.
Taking stock of three years of implementation of payments for environmental services in Côte d’Ivoire - EU REDD Facility
Payments for environmental services (PES) are at the heart of Côte d’Ivoire’s REDD+ and forest policies, which aim to restore and conserve the country’s forest cover up to 20% of the country’s land area. The EU REDD Facility has analysed the experience and lessons learnt from two innovative pilot projects, which tested several PES models aimed at restoring forest cover in cocoa landscapes. I have the pleasure of sharing with you the results of this analysis.
Getting the incentives right. Why partnership agreements should be at the heart of EU efforts to end deforestation – FERN
The publication comes on the heels of the European Parliament’s report An EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation, adopted on 22 October. Such a regulation will only be effective if accompanied by action to tackle the drivers of forest loss and human rights violations on the ground. Getting the incentives right suggests that the EU negotiate partnership agreements with major producers of forest risk commodities.
Smallholder farmers across Côte d’Ivoire rely heavily on cocoa production, but rarely manage to generate a living income from cocoa alone. Balancing the well-being of farmers and the conservation and restoration of forests along with cocoa production is a pressing challenge.
The BIOPAMA programme will launch a series of new calls for proposals, with the first one to be issued in the following days! The indicative schedule of the calls is: End of November 2020: Call for proposals for Small Technical Grants for Assessment for improved protected area management and governance...
Read: CBFP Facilitator, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck, makes successful entrance into Congo Basin’s diplomatic and political scene; CBFP Facilitator, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, in audiences with high-ranking political leaders in Cameroon; 16 October 2020 – Implementation of N’Djamena Declaration in West Bloc gets major boost following visit of CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck…
September and October were marked by intense rainfalls and flooding of the Limbe river which dangerously weakened the protective wall at the Limbe Zoological Garden/ Limbe Wildlife Centre. We are extremely worried that it will collapse and put animals and infrastructures at risk.
Yaoundé, Cameroon, 29 October 2020 - In order to encourage informed decision-making for sustainable forest management, conservation and responsible use of biodiversity in Central Africa, the Observatory of Central African Forests (OFAC), a technical unit of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), has set up a new analysis platform with key indicators of regional, national and local policy trends and their impacts on forest ecosystems.
To read: Regulation on the social contract clause agreement forest concession in DRC; New partners for the brand Fair&Precious; Interholco, member of ATIBT publishes sustainability report….
CBFP technical and financial partners based in Kinshasa gather around CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck
Kinshasa, 12 October 2020 - A meeting of technical and financial partners based in Kinshasa was held at the Pullman Hotel in Kinshasa with close to twenty participants, including: Donors, Technical and financial partners, The private sector, Research institutions.
16 October 2020 – Implementation of N’Djamena Declaration in West Bloc gets major boost following visit of CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck…
The meeting of the West Bloc Coordination Platform will hold on 26 January 2021. Such was the conclusion of the meeting of partners and countries of the West Bloc Coordination Platform for monitoring the implementation of the N’Djaména Declaration.
CBFP Facilitator, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, in audiences with high-ranking political leaders in Cameroon
From 19 to 22 October 2020 - Yaoundé - The Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honorable Dr Christian Ruck is visiting Cameroon as part of his first sub-regional tour.
CBFP Facilitator, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck, makes successful entrance into Congo Basin’s diplomatic and political scene
The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honorable Dr Christian Ruck, paid a working visit to the DRC from 07 to 14 October 2020 and to Cameroon from 15 to 22 October 2020.
In contrast to other regions of the world, Africa could soon become the continent of deforestation, with DRC losing more than 1 million ha of tree cover per year. In Central Africa, small-scale agriculture is the main driver of deforestation.
Gabon is pursuing a low-carbon development strategy that optimizes economic goals while preserving forests and their ecosystems. The country has therefore committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% within 2025 through sustainable land-use. Tackling forest degradation, often a result of illegal logging, is essential to reducing Gabon's carbon emissions, as such degradation accounts for 50-80% of the country's total emissions.
GENEVA, 7 October 2020 – Revising the operating procedures of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) is an endeavour that started earlier this year and has just received valuable recommendations from a new report by Transparency International (TI). Acknowledging the work achieved on transparency and integrity while identifying areas for improvement, the report released today by TI provides useful input into the process.
Thursday, 22 October 2020: Dr Christian Ruck, the CBFP Facilitator and Mr. Raymond Mbitikon the CBFP Co-Facilitator, undertook a working mission to the premises of the Reinforcement and Institutionalization Project of the Central African Forests Observatory.
22 October 2020, Yaoundé: The CBFP Facilitation team headed by the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck visited the COMIFAC executive secretariat in Yaoundé, for a discussion and work meeting.
Tuesday, 20 October 2020: The CBFP Facilitator of the Republic of Germany, the Honorable Dr Christian RUCK and the Permanent Secretary of OCFSA, Dr Ibrahim LINJOUOM, met for a working session at the offices of the German Regional Cooperation in Cameroon.
Monday, 19 October 2020, Hotel La Falaise, Yaoundé - the CBFP Facilitation team led by the Honorable Dr. Christian RUCK, the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany held discussions with civil society.
All ATIBT members, regardless of their status, are reminded that they can become partners of the brand simply as members of the Association.Created in November 2017 at the initiative of the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT), and with the support of AFD and KfW, Fair&Precious is a collective and collaborative brand.
VPA FLEGT Gabon: UFIGA works for the resumption of vpa flegt negotiations between Gabon and the European Union - ATIBT
Within the framework of the FLEGT-Certification program of ATIBT, the UFIGA requested and directed the realization of a review of the situation of the VPA FLEGT process in Gabon in order to contribute to an effective resumption of negotiations of the VPA FLEGT process.
White Paper: Build back better in a post-COVID-19 world – Reducing future wildlife-borne spillover of disease to humans
This white paper aims to provide Northern and Southern Development partners and decision- makers with a better understanding of: a) why spillover of disease from wildlife to humans occurs, and why these zoonotic disease outbreaks can spread and become epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19; b) what they can do to prevent, detect and respond to future spillover events, with a special focus on priority interventions at the human–wildlife–livestock interfaces.
Policy Brief - Build back better in a post-COVID-19 world: Reducing future wildlife-borne spillover of disease to humans
This policy brief provides decision-makers with a set of actionable recommendations1 that can be implemented to prevent future epidemics caused by the spillover of diseases from wildlife and wild meat.
IHC Interholco - Diverse, interdependent, together: an ALLIANCE to safeguard the future of Africa's forests
In 2020, INTERHOLCO has a word for it: ALLIANCE. It is a theme that runs right through in its Sustainability Report. With a rainbow, stretching over the forest it manages in the Republic of Congo.
CIB is thrilled to be recommended by the auditor for renewal of the FSC certification for 2021. Our four concessions, Pokola, Kabo, Loundoungou and Mimbeli-Ibenga are 100% FSC certified. This year’s audit was not free of challenges that the pandemic brought with it.
This training, organized by IFED in partnership with Queen's University (Ontario, Canada), will be facilitated by trainers and high-level professionals with proven (many years) experience in the field of training and management of protected areas. Registation deadline: October 26, 2020.
The Summit focused on the theme “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 GBF that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, “Living in harmony with nature.”
In many parts of the world, autumn is the time to gather the harvest and count our blessings. This year’s trials and tribulations have taught us that while we can count on blessings bestowed by other humans to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, we are wholly dependent on blessings bestowed by nature to survive and flourish.
Illegal trafficking and unsustainable trade in wildlife are causing unprecedented declines in some species. They can also potentially lead to the spread of zoonoses, such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. While the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has been in force since 1975, there are growing calls to build a stand-alone international instrument to address illegal wildlife trade and crime.
The session will interactively present the different tools available for policymakers, researchers, NGOs, donors, private sector and students working in the region to obtain information related to biodiversity and forest management.