INGO Monday, 23rd November 2020

The discussion focused on a proposed Declaration of the CBFP as a ‘type 2’ partnership,  which while is not in the position to impose decisions on states, does have an influence over discussions and negotiations at the international level which relate to the region – UNFCCC and CBD in particular. This Declaration is a bit different in part because the Partners have not been able to come together in person, as before, but is particularly important articulate the importance of the Congo Basin to the UNFCCC and CBD agendas. We would like to ensure that the countries of the Congo Basin and the CBFP come to the table with a unified voice and advocate for the people and environment of the congo basin.

21 College Members Participating: Charly Facheux, Andrea Athanas, Emmanuel Heuse, Emma Stokes, Jerome Laycock, Dany Pokem, Nkuintchua Teodyl, Andrew Fowler, Denis Mahonghol, Clotilde Ngomba, Claus Falkenberg, Peter Philippot, Joe Eisen, Constant Momballa Mbun, Charles Bracke, Bricette Nguemwo, Maxime Nzita, Marie-Ange Kalenga, Constant Moballa Mbun,

The discussion focused on a proposed Declaration of the CBFP as a ‘type 2’ partnership,  which while is not in the position to impose decisions on states, does have an influence over discussions and negotiations at the international level which relate to the region – UNFCCC and CBD in particular. This Declaration is a bit different in part because the Partners have not been able to come together in person, as before, but is particularly important articulate the importance of the Congo Basin to the UNFCCC and CBD agendas. We would like to ensure that the countries of the Congo Basin and the CBFP come to the table with a unified voice and advocate for the people and environment of the congo basin.

 

Based on the responses to the questionnaire distributed in June 2020 to the Colleges (annexed), the team has attempted to produce a synthesis with 3 components:

  • A description of the context and importance of the Congo Basin for climate change and biodiversity and the well-being of the communities living in the Basin.
  • The evidence of the challenges.
  • The way forward for the declaration...the approaches required from the international community to support the reversal of the situation.

The purpose of the synthesis is to ensure that the values of the Congo Basin are reflected in the discussions and decisions coming out of the series of meetings and agreements over the coming year. The members of the CBFP now have the opportunity to inform and influence the 21 points that are in the Declaration, and ensure that the points are equitably reflecting the different points of view in the various Colleges around the table in the Partnership.

 

College members are asked to reflect:

  • Are there aspects that are missing?
  • Are there aspects that need to be revised/amended?
  • Does the Declaration speak to the development and conservation priorities of the governments of the Congo Basin?

 

  • On the form of the draft declaration: on the French version, avoid words like Draft 0, Hotspot as there would be French language equivalents.
  • Have a good understanding of the issues to be addressed, identify the ways to address them on the political aspect; - This requires a commitment to the sustainable governance of resources, the promotion and implementation of essential tools such as land use planning, and the encouragement of a transformational economic model, given that the States have made commitments that are reflected in the percentage of PAs, which has changed significantly since 2002. Next, it is crucial to initiate transitional economy programmes; finally, for biodiversity, consider the territorial development dimension of the Congo Basin PAs outside the Ndjamena process.
  • The Declaration needs to address the key threats to biodiversity. Transhumance, as address in the N’Djamena declaration, are relevant to the areas bordering the Sahel. Governance and the green economy are essential for highlighting in the Declaration as essential for moving forward in a sustainable direction in the Basin. The Declaration should be inclusive of the actors around the table, not just the government’s perspective...that is the value of the Partnership and the Partnership’s voice, in particular the civil society organisations and indigenous peoples of the Congo Basin. There should be elements reflecting FLEGT and CAFFE as existing work programs of the CBFP. Rights and FPIC in particular should be addressed in the Declaration, particularly given the promotion of 30% of the land of the Congo Basin target...and the essential requirement of protecting rights in any future planning for protected areas. The community mapping shows that the entire Basin is under collective rights, but there is not mention of community rights or claims. Communities should be viewed and recognized as rights holders in the Basin.  Moving towards more inclusive models of biodiversity management with a strengthened reference on community forestry. It is clear from the document synthesising the parties' contributions that the involvement of CLPA, the lack of FPIC and the need to promote human rights-based approaches are absolutely central issues. But none of this is reflected in the draft declaration... No mention of 'human rights', almost nothing on land rights (except as an appendix in Article 10), and nothing on community forestry as a viable option for 'community' conservation.
  • A major reference is missing in the document, an important lever, CITES in relation to wildlife. Similarly, the China-Central Africa relationship (dialogue) is absent from the declaration when FOCAC is held in 2021, with major issues at stake in the Congo Basin.
  • Need to increase the role of CSOs, local governance in the declaration. A reflection should be carried out on the possibility of moving towards two documents: (1) a declaration carried by the countries, towards precise commitments. A real commitment that would serve as a relay at the political and international level and (2) a declaration by the actors (multi-actors).
  • On the Financing Mechanism for Change, an emphasis is given to traditional climate financing which cannot secure intact forests for which no market exists. There is a need to look at a financing mechanism specific to intact forests on the financing aspects in the declaration.
  • It is necessary to make reference to the content of the ECCAS treaty reform which has an emphasis on the need to create wealth, economic valorisation, direct benefits at the level of the Communities, at the level of GDP. It is necessary to talk about entering into play on the economic models on natural resources, governance, economic model on natural resources. This is the language that the States are in favour of.
  • It is necessary that a point be added in the declaration on the responsibilities or role of the actors in the implementation of the declaration. It is proposed that the college of international NGOs could be mentioned as having a monitoring role in the implementation of the declaration.

Logistical information on the meeting :

  • The ECCAS/COMIFAC countries will be represented in Kinshasa by a minister and three experts who will accompany the minister (according to the invitations sent). All ECCAS/COMIFAC countries have received the documents, the draft declaration as well as all the colleges.
  • The logistical information sheet will be communicated to the participants of the meetings in Kinshasa this week.
  • Information on the possibility of holding a Visio conference will also be available this week. Not all members will be able to participate. The Co-Leaders will receive more information on the Visio conference shortly to designate the representatives of their college if the number is above 4 already communicated to the Co-Leaders.
  • The programme for the week includes face-to-face participation from each college.

 

Methodological proposal and next steps

  • The minutes and proceedings of the meeting of the International NGO College will be distributed to all participants.
  • The comments of the College will be annotated in the draft statement. It will not be a question of working on a new draft of the Declaration, but the consultants will note the comments of each college in a transparent manner.
  • The deadline for colleges to provide comments is 1 December 2020. Any additional comments from the college should be sent to the co-leaders with a copy to the consultants before the deadline: Claus-Michael.Falkenberg@t-online.de, eheuse@gmail.com and dany.pokem@pfbc-cbfp.org.
  • The draft declaration and the comments of the college annotated to the declaration will be sent by the consultants before the workshop in Kinshasa on the draft declaration.
  • The co-leaders of the college of international NGOs will represent the college at the Kinshasa meetings.

 

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