Tackling Corruption in a Time of Crisis – Traffic

The pandemic has tragically claimed millions of lives and placed countries in complete economic and social lockdown, with the threat of a global recession looming. But the pandemic is not just an immediate human health crisis; it also poses a long-term socio-economic ramifications for people who depend on natural resources such as timber, fisheries and wildlife.

Socio-economic impacts threaten healthcare, food supply and livelihoods and also pose increased risks of corruption. To ‘build back better’ from the pandemic, we need anti-corruption measures to be built into COVID recovery strategies.

 

As governments, business leaders, policy makers, anti-corruption experts, civil society and academics meet this week for the virtual 2021 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum, governments must ensure the recovery strategies they develop will mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic to prevent corruption in the natural resource sector. The Forum takes place from 23rd – 25th March 2021 and aims to explore the new integrity risks, challenges and opportunities that have arisen in the COVID-19 context.

 

High hopes are pinned on innovative solutions that will build a more resilient and more ethical future.

Our research has found corruption is prevalent in the natural resource management sector. Corruption can be systemic in countries where illegal harvest is common. Serious allegations of bribery and fraud occur at all levels of governance; from issuance of harvest permits, to officials checking trucks at checkpoints, to government ministers with authority over all stages of the production and transport of wildlife products.

Particular risks surround the permits and licenses often required for harvesting, breeding, processing, verifying health and trading wildlife - including timber and fish.

From intentionally declaring false information on permits and the unofficial payment for permits, through to the use of counterfeit permits and the use of stolen permits, abuse of documentation, including Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits and certificates, is a global issue that can happen anywhere in the trade chain.

Processes like these are vulnerable to corruption unless measures are taken to increase transparency in who access rights are allocated to, and how the permits and licence systems operate. Although some examples of document abuse seem relatively small-scale, others indicate the involvement of organised criminal networks with global reach.

 

Corruption isn’t only found in the harvest and trade of charismatic high-profile species such as rhinos, elephants and rosewood. Various forms of corruption are reported in wild plant supply chains, including bribery, collusion, nepotism, and favouritism. Thousands of consumer products contain ingredients from wild-harvested plants, with trade tripling in the last decade. This is being driven by expanding natural ingredients markets, including demand for alternative treatments for COVID-19. Supply chains can be long and complex, and consumers and manufacturers may not even be aware that a product contains wild ingredients, or where the plants originated.

 

This increasing trade will place more pressure on populations of wild-collected plants, so it is all the more necessary that factors like corruption, which could lead to unsustainable levels of trade that endangers species and livelihoods of rural communities who harvest the plants, are understood and mitigated.

 

But how can we address such corruption in wildlife supply chains? As a starter, governments, authorities, companies, communities and others with a stake in managing resources can focus on improving their governance of wildlife, enhancing the implementation of traceability approaches and adopting voluntary certification standards."

 

Corrupt influences in permits and certificates systems damage efforts to protect endangered plants and animals, but corruption can be greatly reduced by replacing paper documents with secure e-permits and improving the regulation of processes, including for trade in CITES-listed species.

 

Innovative technologies offer some hope. In the timber trade, wood forensics scientists are developing wood identification technologies that have the potential to bring unprecedented transparency and accountability to the international trade in forest products.

 

Find out more...

 

Go back

Partners News

Countries and sub-regional institutions concerned with N’Djamena Declaration jump start its implementation in Douala, Cameroon - Towards continuous collaboration between the Sahel and the Congo Basin

Douala (Cameroon) - 12 to 15 July 2002, an Expert follow-up meeting to the N’Djamena Conference was held to develop country investment plans geared towards transboundary transhumance, zoonoses, the fight against transboundary poaching, security and sustainable development between the Sahel and the Congo Basin. The Country Expert Meeting was held with the financial support of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the technical support of the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ), GIZ BSB Yamoussa Project. The Press Release, the proposed political / institutional support, the roadmap for country investment plans and N’Djamena 2 and the task force specifications are available for download on the CBFP website...

 

New release: WWF Human Wildlife Conflict Report

The human-wildlife conflict report: “A future for all: the need for human-wildlife coexistence” was published on July 8, detailing the complex nature of human-wildlife conflict, its impacts and how to address them so that people and animals can coexist peacefully. This pack raises awareness of the report, its significance and encourages people to raise greater awareness on the issue.

Green Climate Fund Board approves USD 500 million for new climate action, strengthens its Results Management Framework

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board at its twenty-ninth meeting, has allocated USD 500 million in GCF resources for new climate projects, and taken significant steps to strengthen results management for its growing portfolio. During the meeting, four (04) new climate projects were approved and will mobilise a total sum of USD 2,949 million for climate action in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with three of the four new projects targeting support to the most vulnerable countries including Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, and African states.

NATO Adopts Climate Change Actions for 2030 - SDG.IISD

The Heads of State and Government of the 30 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have adopted NATO 2030, “a transatlantic agenda for the future,” as well as a Climate Change and Security Action Plan. The Action Plan provides a framework to deliver on the Climate Change and Security Agenda endorsed by NATO Foreign Ministers on 23-24 March 2021. The NATO Deputy Secretary-General said the decisions make the fight against climate change an important task for NATO for the first time.

Progress Reported in Transparency Talks Ahead of COP 26 – SDG.IISD

The UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) met online for three weeks in June 2021. The two subsidiary bodies held plenaries as well as mandated and Presidency-led events. Delegates also convened informal consultations on a range of issues in the lead up to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 26), which is scheduled to take place in November 2021.

Political Leadership Is Needed for Success at COP26 – Ovais Sarmad – UNFCCC

UN Climate Change News, 25 June 2021 –  The progress made at the May-June UN Climate Change Conference leaves the international community “well positioned to achieve success” at the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November, according to UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary, Ovais Sarmad.

Practical guide to tree plantations in the dense humid forests of Africa

This is the subject of a new book published by the Faculty of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech of the University of Liege, Nature+ and their collaborators. This book focuses on the species of dense rainforests, capitalizing on the results of past or recent trials in six African countries, and mobilizing the skills and knowledge of thirteen specialists.

Germany - COMIFAC Cooperation: German Ambassador to Congo, alongside parliamentarians, women and youth, for a sustainable management of Central African forest ecosystems

Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, hosted a series of three workshops from 14 to 25 June 2021 at the Hotel PEFACO Maya Maya. The first workshop focused on the planning and consultation of the Network of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (REJEFAC), the second on the Network of Parliamentarians for the Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (REPAR) and the third on the African Women's Network for Sustainable Development (REFADD).

Central African Republic is now one of the seven countries to get more targeted support from LDCF

The Least Developed Countries Fund, the only dedicated source of climate adaptation support for the world’s smallest and most vulnerable economies, will provide more than $60 million to address urgent needs in Bhutan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Kiribati, Lesotho, Somalia, and Timor-Leste under its latest work program.

Tax and non-tax incentives for sustainable forest management: An opportunity for the Congo Basin countries

The report on Tax and non-tax incentives for sustainable forest management presents an analytical overview of potential incentives for sustainable management of tropical forests as well as possible deterrents. The aim is to help ITTO producer member countries develop incentives that are equally effective and fruitful in promoting the sustainable development of their forests.

Vallée du Ntem

Cameroon - Decision: Prime Minister repeals decree expropriating 66,340 hectares of forest in the Ntem Valley (South Region) - Cameroon-info

Joseph Dion Ngute's decision was signed on May 5, 2021. This is the culmination of a case that captivated the nation’s attention in August 2020. In a decree signed on May 5, 2021, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute repealed another decree, dating back from 2016, signed at the time by his predecessor, Philemon Yang, expropriating 66,340 hectares of land in the Ntem Valley, South Region.

ECOFAC6 Regional Programme conducts mid-term review to mark World Biodiversity Day

During the official opening of the ECOFAC6 Regional Programme’s Steering Committee, (organized in Douala, Cameroon from 4 to 6 May) EU Ambassador, Ms. Rosario Bento-Pais, recalled that the EU invests more than 80 million Euros in the ECOFAC6 Programme. The other 17 million are invested by the partners. Amounting to approximately 100 million Euros, the investment makes ECOFAC6 the largest European environmental programme in Central Africa and a one-of-the-kind initiative in the world.

Gabon - CBFP - The Prime Minister of Gabon receives in audience the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck : The Sustainable Management of Congo Basin Forest Ecosystems in the Spotlight

CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, undertook a mission in Gabon from the 9th to the 14th of May 2021. Dr Christian Ruck met in turn with: the Prime Minister; the Minister Delegate for Water, Forests, the Sea and the Environment; the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food; the Vice-President of the ECCAS Commission; the Commissioner for the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development; the National Climate Council...

Second mission of the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck to Cameroon: Strengthening cooperation Building cooperation

The dynamics of the CBFP in Cameroon, how to enhance the conservation and sustainable management of the forests of the Congo Basin while preserving their vital role for the regional and global climate were at the heart of the political (MINFOF, MINFI, MINEPAT, parliamentarians) and technical discussions.

Special meeting of CBFP private sector college with CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honourable Dr Christian Ruck

Video Conference - May 20, 2021. The CBFP private sector college held a special meeting. Moderated by the Co-Leader of the CBFP private sector college, Ms. Jacqueline Van de Pol (ATIBT), the meeting gathered close to twenty participants.

Dr. Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany

CBFP Facilitation Mandate of the Federal Republic of German extended till end of 2022 and Facilitator meets with private sector in Libreville

As the CBFP announced on its website, it will be managed until 2022 by the Facilitation team of the Federal Republic of Germany with Honourable Dr Christian Ruck serving as Facilitator, assisted by the Co-Facilitator, Minister Raymond Mbitikon of the Central African Republic. The Facilitation’s mandate was originally scheduled to end in 2021.

Repar family photo - PFBC

CBFP Facilitator from the Federal Republic of Germany, Honourable Dr Christian Ruck in talks with REPAR parliamentarians

Thursday, 06 May 2021: Starting from 11:45 am, a luncheon was held in the Safoutier Hall of the Hilton Hotel between the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Cameroonian Delegation of the Network of Parliamentarians for Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPAR-Cameroon).

Making Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) work for forests, people and the climate: Civil society recommendations on the future of VPAs

The briefing reflects on progress after a decade of implementation including looking at multi stakeholder participation, increased transparency and reduced illegal deforestation. It suggests concrete ways to address challenges and step up current efforts including increased enforcement of just laws, enhanced policy coherence, and inclusive decision making. If the proposed changes are taken on board, VPAs will continue to effectively contribute to governance improvements, forest protection and sustainable local livelihoods.

The ADEFAC activities will start in DRC! - ATIBT

The first training activity of the ADEFAC project will start in August in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last week, from Sunday 30 May until Friday 4 June, the main technical assistant, Jacqueline LARDIT, and the project manager, Elise MAZEYRAC, of the projet to Support the development of continuous education for the forest and wood sector in Central Africa (ADEFAC) were on mission in Kinshasa, where the were received by the Wood industrials federation (FIB).

Launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Central Africa commits to the restoration of...

Central African countries' commitments to landscape restoration have the potential to deliver about three times more the climate benefits of all GCF allocations to date… These Central African commitments represent 24% of global commitments and 28% of African countries' commitments under the Bonn challenges...