On Wednesday, March 8, at 3:00 p.m. (Yaoundé time) on MS Team, in anticipation of the end of the German CBFP Facilitation scheduled for July 2023, and with a view to preparing the handover from the German Facilitation to the France-Gabon Co-Facilitation, the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, held a meeting with the members of the Intergovernmental College and Multilateral Institutions of the CBFP.
Dr. Ruck wanted to present the results of the activities of the German CBFP Facilitation and to open the floor for members of the College to make comments, criticisms and suggestions, not only on the work of the Facilitation but also on the functioning of the CBFP in general.
The meeting was moderated by Dr. Hans Thulstrup of UNESCO and started with a round of introduction of the twenty participants, before the floor was given to the CBFP Facilitator for a brief on his roadmap and feedback on the 2022 meetings including MoP19, Cop27, CoP15, etc.
In his intervention, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck extended his greetings and thanks to the participants for all their support during his mandate as CBFP Facilitator, before presenting the progress of the implementation of the three main axes of the roadmap of the facilitation. Thus, regarding :
1- Improving the Congo Basin's close participation in international events, particularly in climate negotiations: great strides have been made. A participatory process resulted in the adoption of a common position of the COMIFAC countries in the form of a Declaration (from Kinshasa to Berlin and Douala). This Declaration served as the basis for the negotiations in Glasgow. The participation of the COMIFAC countries in Glasgow was a success: about 60 side events were organized in the COMIFAC pavilion (CAFI, CBFP, and GIZ COMIFAC), as well as high-level dialogues with different donors. Connectivity between tropical forest countries was strengthened, but more importantly, a commitment of at least $1.5 billion in funding between 2021 and 2025 for the Congo Basin was taken.
Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck said that the Fair Deal which is the heart of the Declaration must embody a balance between good governance, sustainable development in the Congo Basin and in return the Congo Basin countries would receive an adequate, fair percentage of climate and global biodiversity funding commensurate with its conservation efforts.
To this end, a task force made up of CBFP members and centers of excellence has been set up to work on improving the modalities for mobilizing international climate and biodiversity financing for the Congo Basin in particular and Central Africa in general.
2- Dialogue with China: a large triangular project (Germany-China-Central Africa) is initiated around the international market of tropical wood to fight against illegal exploitation.
3 - The follow-up of the N'Djamena Declaration with the issues of transhumance and the organization in July of a large conference on transhumance. In this regard, the CBFP Facilitator reviewed the genesis of the N'Djamena Declaration.
In short, after the success of N'Djamena 1 organized by the Belgian CBFP Facilitation and which culminated in the N'Djamena Declaration, it was a matter of moving from the document to concerted action. One of the most significant actions was the creation of three geographical blocks (Central, Western, and Eastern) for the follow-up and implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration. Political actions are underway for the organization of the second conference on cross-border transhumance in Cameroon. The Facilitator has held several meetings in this regard with the high authorities of Cameroon. He noted the support and the great involvement of the State of Cameroon in the process. The conference will be held from July 10 to 12, 2023 in Cameroon. The exact location is still under discussion with the Cameroonian authorities. The Conference will serve as a framework to present to the leaders of the countries concerned by transhumance, the actions and solutions for the implementation of the Ndjamena Declaration. This conference will be preceded by the meeting of the three geographical blocks of the CBFP.
Important work of coordination of donors (EU, USA, Germany, etc.) is being done to achieve it. The support of all Partners is requested for the success of the conference.
The Facilitator announced that on the sidelines of the transhumance conference, the Facilitation will handed over from Germany to the duo France & Gabon.
Beyond the points discussed, Dr. Ruck's intervention gave rise to questions and discussions on the Task Force, the One Forest Summit in Libreville, how to set up a payment mechanism for environmental services? How to better manage the forests of the basin and quantify carbon? How to link the preservation of forests to the culture of the populations given the importance of culture in the region? How to follow up on the resolutions of the many meetings on climate, forests and biodiversity?
All these discussions gave rise to possible solutions which, as the CBFP Facilitator pointed out, could serve as a framework for reflection for all the colleges and inspire the CBFP Facilitation France Gabon.
At the end of the discussions, the members of the CBFP Multilateral College expressed their satisfaction with the results of the German Facilitation. They congratulated Honorable Dr. Ruck for the immense work done during the last three years and expressed their willingness to work with the future France-Gabon facilitation.
In his closing remarks, the CBFP Facilitator thanked the CBFP Multilateral College for their unfailing support since the beginning of his mandate. He recalled the need to conclude the Facilitation on major financial commitments for the Congo Basin. To this end, just after the finalization of the action plans and country investment plans, the CBFP Facilitator will undertake an advocacy mission in the coming months with the CBFP's donors and financial partners.