The European Commission has adopted the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and an associated Action Plan (annex) - a comprehensive, ambitious, long-term plan for protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems.
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.
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:
- Funds to sustain essential park operations,
- community engagement,
- livelihood support due to loss of tourism revenue;
- Personal Protective Equipment (conservation personnel, financial/supply) for park workers and conservation researchers;
- Hygiene facilities for conservation personnel/park edge communities and
- Training materials & dissemination.
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:
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:
- How is COVID-19 affecting the fisheries and aquaculture food systems
- COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses
- The impacts of COVID-19 on the forest sector: How to respond?
- COVID-19 and smallholder producers’ access to markets
UN Environment engagement:
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...
EU plan to tackle biodiversity loss in Africa not good news for people or nature, Ngos say – rainforestfoundationuk
The Rainforest Foundation UK, Minority Rights Group International and Forest Peoples Programme have today written to the European Commission expressing concerns over its plans for a new flagship biodiversity programme in Africa. The NGOs warn it could entrench an outmoded and unsustainable conservation model that has led to serious human rights abuses and dispossession of some of the world’s most vulnerable people while doing little for continent’s ecosystems.
On 24th September, 2020, Biodiversity Beyond 2020: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth Ministerial Roundtable was co-hosted virtually in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
Driven by a genuine desire for change, he piloted an initiative to support the empowerment of Batwa communities who live near the Bururi Forest Reserve. For this determinant action he has just won the National Geographic / Buffett Award 2018 "Leadership for the protection of the environment".
This brief aims to unpack these issues and highlights how the external dimension of the Farm to Fork Strategy could be expanded to drive an effective and a much-needed global just transition towards inclusive and sustainable agri-food systems. We call on the EU to strengthen its approach towards global issues as the Strategy is discussed and approved by the European Parliament and the Council, as well as in the subsequent implementation of the Strategy.
You can hear the bai before you arrive: an orchestra of low rumbles and trumpets reverberating through the dense trees. The clearing, known as Dzanga Bai, is crowded. Forest elephants, smaller in stature than their cousins roaming Africa’s savannas, wander in and out.
In the age of COVID-19, there are many new routines for all of us. Quarantines and social distancing do not come naturally to most human beings, nor do they always look the same across the various cities, communities, or countries in which we live. Thousands of miles away in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Indigenous Ba’Aka tribe of Dzanga-Sangha is taking social distancing to the next level.
On Wednesday 23 September 2020, Norway's Ministry of Climate and Environment entered into a contract worth up to NOK 400 million (approx. USD 43) with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) and its partners Airbus and Planet, to provide universal access to high-resolution satellite monitoring of the tropics in order to support efforts to stop the destruction of the world’s rainforests.
Read : Speech by the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck at the opening of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of COMIFAC; Cameroon cancels logging plan that threatened rare apes – reuters
Bonn, 21 September 2020 – The number of commitments to reach net zero emissions from local governments and businesses has roughly doubled in less than a year, as many prioritize climate action in their recovery from Covid-19
Decree No. 84/2020 of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea dated on the 15th of september indicates that "operators in the timber sector have continued to systematically cut prohibited species and to export logs" despite Decree 7/2017 which regulated the logging of certain species.
As a reminder, the EUTR states the need to obtain information concerning “the description, including the trade name and the type of products as well as the common name of the forest tree species and where appropriate, its full scientific name…”However, what do the names mean: commercial, common or even scientific? What do these regulations mean by "where applicable"?
Read: EMAC is moving towards an export ban on logs; Equatorial Guinea issues a presidential decree banning logging; ATIBT participated in ACSFI - FAO meeting; EUTR requirement: ATIBT recalls and explains the importance of timber names and their meanings…
Over the last fifty years, the sharp increase in world trade and consumption, as well as the strong growth of the human population and a gigantic urbanization movement have metamorphosed our world. These developments have led to unprecedented degradation of nature and overexploitation of natural resources. A handful of countries are home to the last remaining wilderness areas. Natural areas are being transformed faster than ever before.
Read: BIOPAMA signs a financing contract with the Observatory in West Africa; World Natural Heritage Report in Africa. The new IUCN report "World Natural Heritage in Africa - Progress and Prospects" is available in English and french...
Speech by the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck at the opening of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of COMIFAC
August 20, 2020 - At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife of Cameroon, current President of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, on behalf of all CBFP member partners, delivered a speech during the protocol segment of the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers in charge of Forests and/or Environment of the COMIFAC member countries.
Final Communiqué of the Meeting of Sectoral Ministers of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa: End of export of timber in the form of logs as of January 1, 2022
18 September 2020 - By Videoconference - The CEMAC meeting of Ministers in charge of Forestry, Industry and Environment of Central Africa adopts several decisions with a major impact on the development of the forestry and timber sector in Central Africa.
To read: Carlos Manuel Rodriguez takes over as head of the GEF; ICCF briefing on deforestation, wildlife, and pandemic risks; Mapping nature for a global biodiversity framework; World Water Week at Home…
Forest article-Contribution of Non-Timber Forest Product Valorisation to the Livelihood Assets of Local People in the Northern Periphery of the Dja Faunal Reserve, East Cameroon
This study therefore evaluated the contribution of NTFP valorisation to the livelihood assets of local people around the northern periphery of the Dja Faunal Reserve (DFR), East Cameroon. To achieve this objective, data collected from 215 households in 32 villages were analyzed using factor analysis, Mann–Whitney U tests, and structural equation modelling.
(Business in Cameroon) - On September 4, 2020, the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo, signed two decrees temporarily suspending the operations of about twenty wood processing units in the Littoral region.
Legality in Europe and China: Last actions to the support of the application of the EUTR and the pursuit of the collaboration between ATIBT / GGSC / CTWPDA
Here are some key elements on the update of the EUTR (European Timber Regulation) through the action of the European Union and EU member States to ensure its proper application, as well as an overview of the new Chinese forest law.
In Interim UN75 Report, One Million Respondents Unified on Natural Environment, Diversity and Inequalities – IISD
The Office on the Commemoration of the UN’s 75th Anniversary issued an update on the results of a global consultation on people’s fears and hopes for the future, on which respondents are “remarkably unified” across the world. Since January 2020, over one million respondents have participated, covering all UN Member States and Observer States.
Cameroon withdraws the decree of 14 July 2020 "classifying a 68,385 hectare portion of forest as State property, constituted as a forest management unit called FMU 07 006, located in the Nkam and Sanaga Maritime Divisions, Littoral Region".
Germany wants to make the DRC the first country to supply hydrogen to the European Union (Minister of State Guillaume Manjolo) – Politico
Guillaume Manjolo recalled that Germany already supported the DRC in the years 1972 and 1982, in the construction of the Inga 1 site. Germany is coming back this time with an important dimension of strategy for the development of the energy sector in the DRC.
Marie Thérèse Chantal Mfoula is the new commissioner in charge of Spatial Planning and Infrastructure at the Economic Commission for Central African States!
At the invitation of His Excellency Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, President of the Gabonese Republic, current President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the XVllth Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government was held on 30 July, 2020 by videoconference
Final Communiqué of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Forest Commission of 20 August 2020 by Videoconference.
At the invitation of Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, current President of the Council of Ministers in charge of Forestry and/or Environment of COMIFAC member countries was held on 20 August 2020 by videoconference.
To read: EU and UK launch consultations on policies to reduce deforestation in supply chains; A win for Ebo forest, an unsettling broader picture in Cameroon; Mercosur disarray exposes EU Trade policy weakness...
This week saw the launch of the 5th edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5), the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It is a periodic report that summarises the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant to the further implementation of the Convention.
To read: British actor Peter Egan became the first ambassador of the Limbe Wildlife Centre; MINFOF-ZSL-LWC joint operation to rescue 8 endangered African grey parrots in South; Mandrill: Opened access to the densely grassed strip left fallow...
The experience of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex with the use of the Integrated Management Effectiveness tool. An integrated vision of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex, consisting of the parks of Bouba Ndjidda, in Cameroon, and Sena Oura, in Chad, fol-lowed by a critical analysis of the state of the sites, allowed eﬃ nition of tai-lor-made interventions.
Following its Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests in 2019, the European Commission has finally opened a questionnaire-based consultation on policies needed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation associated with EU consumption of forest-risk commodities.
This online course organized by IFED in partnership with Queen's University of Canada will be delivered by high level lecturers. Professionals with positive experiences on REDD++ management and PES will also share their experiences you learners. Please also see hereafter the poster which summarizes the articulations of this training that scheduled from 05 to 09 October 2020.
Forests and Finance - The banks and investors exposed to deforestation risks in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and in Brazil.
Top 10 Lenders & Underwriters (2016-2020 April): See the 10 banks and investors with the highest financial exposure in loans and underwriting to forest-risk sector companies in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and Brazil. These findings are based on research carried out by forestsandfinance.org using this methodology to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies.
DAKAR (Reuters) - Cameroon has backtracked on a decision to allow industrial logging in one of the region’s least exploited rainforests, home to rare gorillas, tool-wielding chimpanzees and giant frogs.
I have been following with keen interest the ongoing debate on Ebo Forest. It represents the struggle of a country trying to balance developmental aspirations with ecological and cultural identity.