Senior UN economists warned on Wednesday that intersecting crises are likely to add further damage to the global economy, with growth set to slow from three per cent in 2022 to 1.9 per cent this year. This will be one of the lowest growth rates in recent decades, apart from during the 2007-8 financial crisis and the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minutes of the 8th meeting of the CBFP Governing Council are available for download!
Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) - 11 December 2020 – the CBFP Council held its eighth meeting. The gathering was chaired by the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret Ndongo, Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Acting Chairman of COMIFAC and hosted by: His Excellency Barrister Claude NYAMUGABO BAZIBUHE, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Please download here below the minutes of the 8th meeting of the CBFP Governing Council
The meeting was graced by the presence of politicians, Forestry/Environment Ministers from the Central African countries and the High Representatives of ECCAS, COMIFAC, OCFSA and GVTC.
Close to 150 delegates also participated, representing the seven colleges that make up the CBFP with about fifty participants joining online, namely:
- CBFP Regional College: ECCAS, COMIFAC and Ministers accompanied by the National COMIFAC Coordinators of the COMIFAC member countries;
- CBFP Civil Society College: CEFDHAC-CPR and ROSCEVAC accompanied by representatives of REJEFAC, REFADD, REPALEAC, REPAR networks, representatives of RECEIAC and local CSOs;
- CBFP International NGO College: AWF, WCS accompanied by WWF, WRI, FERN, TI
- CBFP Private Sector College: ATIBT and Earthworm Foundations represented by the DRC’s Timber Industry Federation;
- CBFP Donor College: Norway accompanied by Germany, Belgium and France;
- CBFP Scientific and Academic College: CIFOR;
- CBFP Multilateral College: UNESCO and GVTC represented by ICCN.
The Eighth CBFP Council Meeting was structured around a first segment which was devoted to the opening ceremony. During the opening session of the 8th CBFP Council meeting, the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, provided a brief overview of the objectives and activities conducted by the German Facilitation for close to a year, underscoring the need to quickly develop a common position for Central Africa on Climate and Biodiversity issues, in order to strengthen the sub-region’s voice at international negotiations coming up in 2021.
Coming after the Mayor of Kinshasa, the Ministers of Forestry of the Congo (Acting President of OCFSA), and of Cameroon (Acting President of COMIFAC), the ECCAS Commissioner for Forests and the DRC Minister of Forestry took turns making statements. They all thanked the German Facilitation for all its efforts and especially for holding the meeting in Kinshasa amidst the turmoil of the COVID crisis. Furthermore, they were unanimous in acknowledging the need to quickly reach a common position for Central Africa through a Declaration that could be put forward at international Climate and Biodiversity negotiations. They pledged to work actively to help finalize the text speedily, noting that there was significant room to increase the funding granted to date for forest and biodiversity preservation in the Congo Basin, to compensate the countries for the efforts they are making both individually and collectively.
The Commissioner representing ECCAS, while recalling that the ongoing reform of the sub-regional organization envisages the centralization of various existing institutions, reiterated his wish that the Declaration on the common position would be taken to the international scene by the President of ECCAS, thereby expanding the political reach of the commitment made by COMIFAC, the specialized sub-regional institution dedicated to forests.
The moderator of the thematic workshop that gathered all the 7 CBFP colleges that had worked on the draft Joint Declaration of the Central African States, presented a summary of the text submitted for review to the Ministers of Forestry and the partners. He underscored the need to hammer out a “deal” outlining payments for ecosystem services of global importance. Such a deal would entail a commitment of the States to do more to preserve the Congo Basin forests and their biodiversity, on the one hand, and a commitment of funding partners to increase their contributions to match the magnitude of challenges facing the climate, biodiversity and forests in the Central Africa sub-region, on the other hand. The German Facilitation will continue to assist the States in finalizing the Declaration, by collecting inputs from the States and funding partners, in order to come up with a document that reflects both the common position of the States and the consensus among the partners.
The presentation of the transhumance workshop report stressed the importance of this issue for the countries concerned across the Sudano-Sahelian fringe and the increasing pressure from livestock movements in transit areas and the northern edge of the Congo Basin forests. The experts recommend awareness raising at the highest level in the States, to ensure better institutional integration, greater cooperation between countries, especially in cross-border areas, including on issues of security, taxation and related levies, which will require bilateral agreements that clarify the laws applicable to transhumants and communication actions on the rules established.
The CEFDHAC report summarized the actions conducted by the organization, particularly by civil society throughout the Congo Basin. The President underscored the need to prepare well for international meetings coming up in 2021 and reiterated the availability of CEFDHAC and civil society to contribute to the preparatory work.
Each CBFP college was given the floor to present the state of affairs within the College (news), and prospects or activities planned by the College. The focus was on the Regional College, with a special interest in news from the regional organizations (ECCAS; COMIFAC; OCFSA; the Congo Basin Climate Commission).
In their statements, the representatives of the respective CBFP colleges were unanimous in affirming the need to urgently come up with a common position for Central Africa at upcoming international meetings. They further insisted
- Regional college) on the need to settle COMIFAC’s arrears to allow the transition towards a new Executive Secretariat for the organization and the launch of the mid-term evaluation of the implementation of the Convergence Plan;
- -NGO College) on human rights compliance and the need to promote economic and social development in the periphery of protected areas;
- -Private Sector College) on the crucial need to help the private timber industry become truly lucrative again by improving logistical connections, reducing taxes and related charges, reimbursing VAT to exporters without delay, stepping up the fight against illegal logging, facilitating the mobilization of new investments in order to quickly ramp up local processing capacities in preparation for the ban on log exports coming into force on 1 January 2022, providing professional training in the timber processing trades, formalizing and legalizing domestic timber markets, in accordance with FLEGT commitments, and renewing land use plans for forest concessions as part of a secure long-term land zoning framework, taking into account emerging international issues ;
- -Research) on the development of a new issue of the State of the Forests report due in 2021 with contributions from over 150 researchers and the release of a new information platform on the Congo Basin forests on the OFAC website
- -Donors College) on the donors’ commitment to continue and especially increase their contribution to the financing of forest preservation in the context of climate change, and conservation of biodiversity in the second tropical green lung of the planet, and also renewing their commitment to support efforts to curb the negative impacts of transhumance, and support dialogue on a sustainable timber value chain, particularly dialogue with China
- - Multilateral College) on supporting protected area authorities, on the need to make more resources available for conservation and improve the livelihoods of communities; on the need to equip protected area authorities to manage man-wildlife conflicts, and help develop a “Zero poaching” strategy; on the need to improve governance in sharing benefits from natural resources; and combat climate change by better understanding the drivers of change and mitigation measures that need to be put in place. The Colleges’ statements are here attached.
The FONAREDD representative from the DRC shared her organization’s experience in REDD financing in the country, stressing the importance of strengthening cooperation between the respective financing tools to ensure greater consistency of actions taken, the need to focus on direct and indirect causes and to strengthen territorial governance for better territorial planning across all sub-sectors. She further underscored the need for a fund that would allow building on a foundation of trust where the responsibilities for implementation lie with the States and their implementing partners on the ground, hence reducing the scope of conditions and prerequisites.
During the closing session, the CBFP Facilitator recalled the calendar of major events coming up in 2021, including the Symposium on Tropical Forests in Berlin, the World Conservation Congress in Marseille, the World Forestry Congress in Seoul, the China-Africa Forum in Dakar, COP 15 on Biological Diversity in Kunming and COP 26 on Climate in Glasgow. With these in mind, and based on the report of the CBFP Regional College and the Ministers’ consultations, Honourable Dr Christian Ruck made it clear that the Joint Declaration of the Central Africa States needed to be finalized speedily in the COMIFAC countries (the ball is now in the Ministers' court), especially in view of the upcoming symposium in Berlin, and reiterated the availability of the German Facilitation to assist the States and their CBFP partners in this endeavour.
The Acting Chairman of COMIFAC renewed his commitment to ensuring that a common position is finalized as soon as possible so that the Joint Declaration can be taken to the top international bodies, particularly in climate and biodiversity negotiations.
Taking the floor on behalf of the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to close the proceedings, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development recalled that the DRC would be taking over the presidency of the African Union in the month of January 2021. He reiterated his country's commitment to the sub-regional process of concerted forest management, and announced his government's decision to host the 3rd Summit of COMIFAC Heads of State in Kinshasa in the first half of 2021.
For more Information, please check: HERE
Please download here below the minutes of the 8th meeting of the CBFP Governing Council:
Please download the CBFP Colleges' statements below:
- -Bailleurs_representant Collège des Bailleurs_11.12.2020.pdf (416.3 KiB)
- -Multi-lateral_COLLEGE 7_Statement.pdf (80.2 KiB)
- -Secteur_Prive_DiscoursCollègeSecteurPrivé_ATIBT_FIB.pdf (114.9 KiB)
- -Societe_Civile_communiqué final 2e Edition de la JS DU COLLEGE SC DU PFBC.pdf (327.4 KiB)
- -Statement_Scientific_Academic.pdf (94.9 KiB)
- College_Regional_Signe_CR CEEAC COMIFAC DU PFBC.pdf (2.4 MiB)
- ONGi_Statement.pdf (104.0 KiB)
Please download below the speeches at the opening ceremony, the Report of the German Facilitation and the 2021 Program.
- EN_CBFP_Facilitator_Year1.pdf (127.9 KiB)
- FR_Rapport_Facilitateur_du_PFBC_Annee1.pdf (127.2 KiB)
- -Allocution_Facilitateur_8e_Conseil Directeur PFBC_Allocution_ouverture.pdf (205.1 KiB)
- -Facilitateur_PFBC_Programme activité 2021.pdf (100.2 KiB)
- France_One Planet Summit pour la biodiversité du 11 janvier 2021 (note de prése....pdf (582.1 KiB)
Please have a look at some pictures of the 8th CBFP Governing Council
African Development Bank Group team meet Swiss envoys from West Africa to discuss Africa’s development agenda
Swiss ambassadors meeting in the Ivorian commercial capital Abidjan invited a senior management team from the African Development Bank Group to exchange views on development and cooperation.The envoys held a working luncheon, hosted by the Swiss assistant state secretary for Sub-Saharan Africa, Siri Walt, on Friday 20 January. Ambassador Walt is the head of the Africa Division at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.
The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank Group have a concluded a technical session on how to conduct an upcoming joint study on driving development in Africa. The goal of the study, titled Key Actions to Drive Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa, is to identify key actions that will allow Africa to rise and remain at a growth level of 7% GDP.
2022 AEC: Accessing clean, affordable energy in Africa is key as the world moves towards energy transition: panelists - AFDB
As the world moves toward energy transition, it is important that Africa’s ongoing challenges with access to clean, affordable and inclusive energy be addressed for the continent to achieve a fair and just energy transition, panelists said during the 2022 African Economic Conference (AEC).
Abu Dhabi, 16 January 2023 – As the Earth warms at a dangerous pace, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-led Cool Coalition, with the United Arab Emirates’ incoming presidency of COP28, announced the development of a Global Cooling Pledge and a “Cool COP Menu of Actions” that will feature prominently at COP28. The Menu will be defined over the coming months in close collaboration with partners including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
A new law will ensure that a set of key goods placed on the EU market, such as cattle, beef or soya, will no longer contribute to deforestation and forest degradation in the EU and elsewhere in the world. Since the EU is a major economy and consumer of these commodities, this step will help stop a significant share of global deforestation and forest degradation, in turn reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and biodiversity loss, according to the commission. This major agreement comes just before the start of the Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) which is set to define protection goals for nature for decades to come.
Forest Trends was founded with the mission of putting an economic engine behind nature conservation – the idea being that our economy, our society, and our wellbeing all depend in very real and material ways on healthy natural ecosystems. That idea’s time has come. The world is looking to “nature-based solutions” to combat climate change, mitigate water risks, prevent pandemics, protect biodiversity, support food insecurity, and so on. Forest Trends is fielding many new opportunities at a totally different scale than in the past, and at a much more systemic level.
Fern - New report outlining options for partnerships to accompany the new EU regulation on deforestation-free products
23 January 2023, Fern is launching a report which outlines options for partnerships to accompany the new EU Regulation on deforestation-free products. Partnerships will be an essential part of maximising the Regulation’s impact in decreasing deforestation on the ground. They will also help mitigate risks linked to the Regulation: that it would cause “leakage” of unsustainable production to other consumer markets, or that smallholders would bear the cost of implementation.
Call for inputs for the global Stocktake in 2023 In the run-up to the conclusion of the first global stocktake in COP 28, submissions on views on the approach to the consideration of the outputs component of the first global Stocktake are open until 15 February 2023. Also, submissions for the third technical dialogue, scheduled to be held during the June SB session, are open until 6 March.
At COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, President Emmanuel Macron and President Ali Bongo announced that a One Forest Summit would be held in Libreville, Gabon, on 1st and 2nd of March, 2023. Tropical forests provide an invaluable service both to local populations and to humanity by offering many resources but also by sequestering carbon and hosting biodiversity hotspots.
Of previous editions, the Global Synthesis Report is composed of stand-alone analyses that can be read independently, for a more thematic or sectoral reading. Discover in the report: infographics on the evolution indicators of emissions and activities, the existing and emerging trends in the strategies of actors, signals of change in the various sectors, and case studies of exemplary initiatives.
Protect the Campo Ma’an national park and stop Cameroun Vert SARL (Camvert) from destroying Indigenious Bagyeli people’s and ancestral lands! More than 28 communities call the Campo Ma’an area home. Now, a palm oil company, Cameroun Vert SARL (Camvert), has started clear-cutting these ancestral lands about seven times the size of Dakar illegally.
In the aftermath of COP27, where global leaders have gathered for over two weeks in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, those of us who regularly engage directly with developing countries know that the path forward is clear. Developing countries are committed to climate-compatible development and ready to implement. However, driving climate action on the ground requires unprecedented finance.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced he will convene a Climate Ambition Summit in September 2023, to generate “new, tangible and credible climate action” to “accelerate action at the mid-way point” of the SDGs. Going forward, he said he will push for a Climate Solidarity Pact, for all big emitters to “make an extra effort” to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with the 1.5°C goal and provide support for those who need it.
The Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI), a capacity-building programme established by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2010, provides support, advice, and guidance to countries in their efforts to achieve global biodiversity targets in marine and coastal areas. The Initiative, the subject of an event held during the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15), achieves these aims through such activities as the SOI Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations and Regional Fishery Bodies and the SOI Training of Trainers programme.
The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) convened a three-day summit to take stock of the progress in implementing the Principles of Effective Development Co-operation since their endorsement in 2011, and to discuss the future of work. Stakeholders agreed to build on past commitments, achievements, and experiences and to address the “unfinished business of the aid effectiveness agenda.”
Seven safeguard principles for REDD+ were adopted at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Cancun in 2010. Two of these principles address participation and respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPs and LCs) directly. These principles are meant to be “interpreted” by REDD+ countries using their national legal frameworks, to decide, for example, who is recognized as an IP or LC, and what is meant by “respect” or their “participation”.
Indonesia’s forests are home to 10-15 percent of the world’s known plants, mammals, and birds, as well as vast carbon stocks. As such, any degradation or deforestation of these ecosystems will have important local, national, and international implications.
Partners call on CBD negotiations to commit to increasing agroecological food production practices. As environmental ministers at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (UNCBD COP15) negotiate an agreement to tackle catastrophic degradation of our planet, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) have announced a partnership to accelerate implementation of food-based actions that will help restore nature and limit climate change. The two organisations will partner on major initiatives that support farmers in utilizing the power of natural ecosystems to build healthy and productive food systems that provide enough healthy and nutritious food within planetary boundaries.
Aligning Chad’s Nationally Determined Contribution and National Action Plan to Advance Climate Action – NDCPARTNERSHIP
Chad is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change. Because its economy is based mainly on the primary sector, Chad’s reliance on natural resources makes it particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events. Take for example the case of Lake Chad, where the water volume has decreased by 90% since the 1960s due to climate change and over-exploitation. Chad’s vulnerability to climate change is further exacerbated by the country’s relatively low level of preparedness when it comes to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
In December 2022, the European Union (EU) finally agreed on the text of its long-awaited Regulation on deforestation-free products (EUDR). For the first time companies selling certain products on the EU market will be punished if they are found to have contributed towards deforestation. This was the final stage in a long and often tortuous journey, in which forests were thrust centre-stage of EU policymaking. 2023 will be another crucial year for the EU and forests, especially since it will be followed by the EU’s ‘cooling off’ period, when no new policies are initiated, in the run-up to the 2024 European elections.
New research by the University of East Anglia (UEA) highlights the risks of countries relying on nature-based solutions to achieve net zero. The article summarizes the findings of the study. For example, the study found that once the bulk of emissions have been reduced, countries plan to "cancel out" the leftover difficult-to-decarbonize emissions, such as those from agriculture, by using forests and soils to remove carbon from the atmosphere. However, this may prove risky because forests and soils are also threatened by a range of impacts, such as fire, disease, changes in farming practices, and deforestation.
Stop burning trees to make energy, say 650 scientists before Cop15 biodiversity summit - theguardian
More than 650 scientists are urging world leaders to stop burning trees to make energy because it destroys valuable habitats for wildlife. Bioenergy has “wrongly been deemed ‘carbon neutral’” and many countries are increasingly relying on forest biomass to meet net zero goals, according to the letter, addressed to world leaders including Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. “The best thing for the climate and biodiversity is to leave forests standing – and biomass energy does the opposite,” it says.
This article is giving an introduction to the paper "Has global deforestation accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic?". Analysis of tree cover loss over time was used to determine whether deforestation observed in 2020 deviated from expected trajectories after the first COVID-19 cases were reported; both at the regional level for the Americas, Africa and Asia and at the country level for Brazil, Colombia, Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia.
A growing body of research shows that even forests located far away from urban centers provide tremendous benefits in regulating the global climate, water and biodiversity systems that are essential to people’s health and quality of life. New research led by WRI and Pilot Projects through the Cities4Forests initiative synthesizes the benefits that forests at three scales — inner, nearby and faraway — offer cities. The report provides the scientific imperative for city-led policies, incentives and investments that help conserve, restore and sustainably manage forests at each of these scales. The article outlines the many benefits across four categories that forests provide to cities from the report.
Nature is a vital resource, necessary for our health, livelihoods and well-being. It also accounts for $44 trillion of economic value generation. In addition, nature-based solutions can provide more than one third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to keep climate goals in reach. Nature tech will be vital in helping facilitate and accelerate these solutions, making them valuable tools in tackling climate change.
Controversy over the lifting of the moratorium in the DRC, when Bazaiba throws a spanner in the works
The statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Eve Bazaiba, at the press briefing on Monday 28 November, on the lifting of the moratorium has raised the roof. Like a shockwave, the affirmation of the lifting of the moratorium established by the DRC's sovereignty over its forests in 2002 has provoked strong reactions in public opinion.
SW4SW Dialogue - Timber Value Chains for Resilience and Carbon Neutrality, 1-2 December 2022 at NOUBOU International Hotel Douala, Cameroon
The SW4SW Dialogue - Timber Value Chains for Resilience and Carbon Neutrality seeks to identify effective approaches, concrete actions, and actors to be mobilised to make timber value chains, especially those focused on the domestic market, a lever for a forest sector with high environmental, economic and social added value.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) framework for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) refers to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). However, not all REDD+ countries have legal systems that build on UNDRIP and few, especially in Africa, have ratified other relevant agreements such as the International Labour Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.
Logging affects many of the world's tropical forests, and such forests are often considered degraded because they have lost vegetation structure, biomass and carbon stocks. But there has rarely been analysis of whether the ecological health and functionality of these ecosystems are similarly degraded. A new study by researchers at the University of Oxford, finds that logged rainforests are treasure-troves of healthy ecological function and should not be written off for oil palm plantations. This article gives some insights into the newly published paper.
Most global consumers have heard of palm oil – and if not, they’ve probably tasted it. The versatile commodity is used in almost half of the packaged products found in supermarkets, from chocolate to deodorant or lipstick, as well as for animal feed and biofuel.
DRC: march in support of the first maritime conference of the Economic Community of Central African States "COMAR I" - NEWS
Kinshasa is hosting from 28 November to 02 December 2022 the thematic workshops of the First Maritime Conference of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) under the theme: "Governance and Security of the ECCAS maritime space for the development of a sustainable Blue Economy in Central Africa". These meetings are organised under the high patronage of Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, President in Office of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
Evaluation of the Forest Declaration in the Congo Basin: Interview with Monique Catherine Bisseck Epse Yigbedek, Regional Coordinator of the African Women's Network for Sustainable Development (AWNED) – FORESTDECLARATION
The African Women's Network for Sustainable Development (AWNSSD) is a network of mainly women's non-governmental organisations working in the field of sustainable natural resource management. It is also involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of conservation and development projects in the Central African region.
On October 27, 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya and online, a team of researchers launched a new tool that outlines how an integrated landscape approach can be adapted for displacement or refugee settings. Called ‘Guidance for a Landscape Approach in Displacement Settings’ (GLADS), the tool is an EU-funded initiative led by the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) in partnership with stakeholders.
Best Wishes for 2023, By the Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany
Dear CBFP Partners, In the aftermath of the World Forestry Congress held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, the first African Protected Areas Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, the COP 27 Climate Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and the COP15 Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada, it is safe to say that Central Africa’s tropical forests were once again prominently featured in global negotiations and that the voice of the sub-region was heard loud and clear during plenary sessions, high-level meetings and side events. Please download the message of greetings from the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany the Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck...