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.
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 Africa currently has more than 200 protected areas covering a total of 800 000 km², or twice the size of Cameroon. Across the 10 countries of the region, the number and size of protected areas have doubled in the last 20 years.
The Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck, Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitator gives a new impetus to the implementation of the N'Djaména Declaration - 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 Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitation and 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...
On 19 July 2021, during its 44th session, the World Heritage Committee decided to remove Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger due to improvements in its state of conservation.
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.
The weather in DS continues to be strange this year. In principle we should be going through a short dry period within the rainy season at the moment, for the rains to restart in August but the reality is that the rainy season has not yet started. There is so much uncertainty on what will happen now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
UN Climate Change News, 29 June 2021 - The UN Climate Change online portal to register Parties, admitted observers and media representatives to attend the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 (31 October – 12 November 2021) in Glasgow is open for participants.
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.
Rwanda, the first African country to submit an updated 2020 NDC, is displacing GHG emissions from fossil fuel power generation and expanding energy access to areas not served by the national grid. Rwanda intends to add more than 150 MW of hydro capacity to the grid and install 68 MWp of solar mini-grids in rural areas by 2030.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The meeting held on Monday 3rd May 2021 at the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife of Cameroon. The Facilitator thanked the Ministry for the positive response it had given to the Declaration of the ECCAS/COMIFAC countries for the forests of the Congo Basin and its periphery.
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...
During his mission to Gabon from 09 to 14 May 2021, the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, had a working session with Gabonese civil society accompanied by the German Ambassador to Gabon.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Representatives of 184 countries have approved a new work program for the Least Developed Countries Fund, which together with the Special Climate Change Fund has provided more than $2 billion to date for the urgent climate resilience needs of small and vulnerable economies.
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 Forest Scientific and Technical Council (CST Forêt) of AFD has a new website that presents its activities and provides users with numerous resources and news. Created in 2019 by AFD and led by GRET, the CST aims to enhance French and Francophone expertise in the forestry sector in order to inform policymakers.
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).
The month of May has already ended and the rainy season has not yet started. Although it has rained some days, it is just a few days compared to a normal year and the level of the Sangha River remains relatively low...
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...
The Central African Forests Observatory (OFAC) presents an updated assessment of the state of protected areas in the ten member countries of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC). Join us on 29 June 2021, 11:00 AM dans Bruxelles for the launch of this publication. Interpretation English-French will be available.