A Digital Conference of the Multilateral College of the CBFP: College members mobilized around the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany of the CBFP

The partners of the CBFP multilateral college discussed the roadmap of the CBFP Facilitation by the Federal Republic of Germany ; the impact of Covid-19 on their interventions in Central Africa ; and the situation of human rights and conservation in Central Africa. The following were the  highlights of the meeting:  (1) The partners of the multi-lateral college agreed to respond to the questionnaire of the CBFP Facilitation within the framework of the preparation of major international events: CBD and UNFCCC process; (2) A consultation/survey within the college which will be launched to produce an inventory and status , of the impact of the Covid-19 on Protected Areas and Parks – towards an Emergency Fund for Covid-19 for Congo Basin and advocacy for integration of the Environment aspect in UN Emergency Fund; (3) towards the promotion and mainstreaming of human rights in the programs and projects of the partners, especially an increased accompaniment of Central African countries in the internalization of human rights in the training.

Approximately twenty-six (26) participants representing the following organizations took part: CMS, GVTC, GEF, ITTO; UN Environment, UNDP, UNFCCC and the CBFP Facilitation Team of the Federal Republic of Germany ... man in training.

The agenda adopted during the meeting covered the following items:

  • Co-Leaders´ welcome remarks
  • Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitator remarks - Synthesis of the CBFP Facilitation Road Map and process for collecting ideas and statements from CBFP´s members as well as the Agenda of CBFP
  • Covid 19 and Multilateral College members´ activities in Congo Basin
  • Nature conservation and human rights in the Congo Basin
  • Next steps and College Meetings

Co-Leaders´ welcome remarks, Dr Andrew Seguya, Executive Secretary of the GVTC

The opening remarks of the CBFP Multilateral College Leaders were delivered by Dr. Andrew Seguya, Executive Secretary of the GVTC. It consisted of a briefing by the Facilitator from the Federal Republic of Germany and the participants on a synthesis of the presentation of the CBFP Multilateral College Leaders at the last CBFP Governing Council held in Douala, Cameroon in December 2019. His intervention was crystallized on the action plan of the CBFP Multilateral College articulated around four axes of intervention, namely : (1) creation of new World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves and management (2) Sustainable Forest and Wildlife management (3) Strengthening ECCAS member States in law enforcement, prosecution and justice.

 

Please download: the presentation of Dr Andrew Seguya, Executive Secretary of the GVTC on the axes of intervention of the multi-lateral college of CBFP

Following his opening statement, the CBFP Facilitator from the Federal Republic of Germany - some highlights of the Facilitator's intervention

The Covid 19 situation has prevented planned travel to the region and to the US. 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 joint 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 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 contributions from the CBFP Colleges should be submitted by 1 July 2020, to enable the Facilitator to prepare by summer holidays.

 

Covid 19 and Multilateral College members´ activities in Congo Basin

Continuing the agenda of the meeting, Dr Andrew Seguya made a presentation on the impact of Covid-19 on Central African Protected Areas/Parks with an emphasis on the :  « REGIONAL EVD AND COVID-19 CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR MOUNTAIN GORILLAS” coordinated by the GVTC but with a coalition of partners including the IGCP, Gorilla Doctors, and other partners - Financial support from the IGCP coalition, partners in conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and UNESCO.

 

Dr. Andrew Seguya noted the need for intervention through the creation of a Covid-19 Emergency Fund for Protected Areas/Parks.  This Fund would cover among others This Fund would cover among others:

  1. Funds to sustain essential park operations,
  2. community engagement,
  3. livelihood support due to loss of tourism revenue;
  4. Personal Protective Equipment (conservation personnel, financial/supply) for park workers and conservation researchers;
  5. Hygiene facilities for conservation personnel/park edge communities and
  6. Training materials & dissemination.

This presentation is available for download...

 

A phase of discussion on this point of the agenda was opened with interventions from partners in particular:

The ITTO representative informed participants on their response to Covid-19 which is also available under the following link:

Pandemic pandemonium in the tropical timber sector.

Survey shines light on COVID-19 impacts on tropical timber sector..

 

Towards greater transparency in the tropical timber markets..

Furthermore, ITTO suggested that they would support the CBFP facilitation for dialogue on China. She recalled the organization of the major conference in Shanghai by ITTO last October 2019.

 

FAO proposed to all participant to download the following contribution of FAO:

 

UN Environment engagement:

Working With the Environment to  Protect People - UNEP’s COVID-19 Response.

UNEP steps up work on zoonosis, protecting environment to reduce pandemic risks.

The UN Environment also raised the idea on how to incorporate environmental dimension in the UN Multi-Partners international trust Fund (MPTF).

On the way forward:  Need for a survey to better understand the need which will support the process toward an Emergency Fund. What is the need!

The GVTC will reach out to the college to conduct the survey on COVID 19 which will support the design of the Emergency Fund.

 

Nature conservation and Human rights in the Congo Basin

Dr Annie-Claude Nsom's presentation provided an overview of the link between nature conservation and respect for human rights in the Congo Basin. Various organisations involved in the defence of human rights, notably Survival Interational and Rainforest foundation, denounced at the international level situations of violations in DRC, Cameroon, Congo and CAR, of the rights of local and indigenous communities in the protected areas of the Congo Basin. These violations are reportedly manifested mainly through arbitrary arrests, targeted executions, torture and rape, low involvement and lack of respect for cultural rights. This situation has prompted the UN to take a position in favour of respecting the rights of these communities in environmental protection initiatives. UNESCO's initiatives to contribute to the achievement of this objective have been highlighted.  These include the inclusive approach deployed in the creation and monitoring of Biosphere Reserves and heritage sites, the granting of an active and equitable role to communities in the area of resource management, the promotion of intra- and intergenerational transmission of knowledge and support for the integration of local and indigenous knowledge in the conservation and management of biodiversity promoted by the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) initiative. Finally, the participants were given the opportunity to ask for their opinions on these denunciations, the national and regional mechanisms likely to address this issue.

 

It emerged from the various interventions that punctuated the exchanges, the need to carry out a real and in-depth analysis of the situation on the ground, to examine the interventions of partners in relation to human rights, the strengthening of the capacities of the rangers by paying particular attention to the inclusion of human rights aspects in training curricula.

 

CAFI - The representative of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) made a remarkable intervention. In her address, the representative of CAFI brought to the attention of the participants some key information on the state of the initiative and presented the major actions of their interventions.  For more information...

DRC Independent verification of the milestones of the LoI : conclusions and next steps.

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