Delegates gathered against an ominous backdrop of multiple crises: energy, cost of living, indebtedness, nature loss, and geopolitical tensions among major powers. But the need to act in the face of the climate crisis has never been clearer. Global average temperature rise is already 1.1°C. People around the world are experiencing the effects of climate change, from heatwaves and droughts to floods and superstorms. Only the wealthiest countries can (so far) cope. As Sherry Rehman, Minister of Climate Change, Pakistan, implored “Vulnerability shouldn’t be a death sentence.”
The XV World Forestry Congress was held in Seoul from May 2 to 6 – ATIBT
Convening under the theme “Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests,” the Fifteenth meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) sought to define the role of forests in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other major agreements, including the Global Forest Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. During the five-day meeting, participants addressed a wide variety of themes, including: the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration; Forests for a Healthy, Prosperous and Peaceful World; and Sustainable Pathways for Building a Green, Healthy, and Resilient Future.
Here is an overview of the highlights of this Congress for our sector.
We also relay the ministerial call on sustainable timber, downloadable here.
HE Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy, Republic of the Congo, said Congo Basin countries decided to stop exporting timber and to process it locally. In response to a question from the moderator on the embargo on tropical timber products at the 2024 Paris Olympics, she stressed that Congo Basin timber products originate from SFM and not illegal logging and expressed frustration at the lack of evidence behind such policies. She also highlighted reforestation efforts, expansion of conservation areas and legislative efforts to preserve forests. She noted the lack of funding for the Congo Basin area and called for a more targeted, tailored, transparent financial mechanism.
Sheam Satkuru, ITTO, said a lack of trust means that tropical timber producing countries have to jump through hoops to prove that international standards are being met. She noted the need for effective communication on compliance, as well as an effective governance system to change perceptions of tropical timber producing countries. Moreover, Robert Nasi, CIFOR, noted the need to invest more in forestry, saying the technological solutions exist.
Noting that Gabon is carbon positive, Lee White, Minister of Water, Forest, the Sea and Environment, Gabon, said REDD+ cannot generate enough jobs and that, given the enormous impact that deforestation of the Congo Basin would have worldwide and the livelihood needs of people in the region, the survival of forests there cannot be gambled on the voluntary contributions from developed countries. Lee White said the solution to Gabon’s oil dependency and young population lies in SFM and maximizing the value-added for timber products, highlighting the creation of jobs in peri-urban timber processing hubs. He underscored the need for certification of socially responsible, climate-neutral, and biodiversity-safe practices.
Gijs Breukink, World Wide Fund for Nature, described successes in restoring degraded forest in Brazil, improving logging practices in Gabon, and empowering local communities.
Summarizing the discussion, Robert Nasi, CIFOR, noted that while “bioeconomy” is not a new concept, its importance needs to be communicated outside of the forest sector. He noted that according to the IMF, fossil fuels are subsidized at a rate of a million dollars a minute, and that this needs to be redirected to climate-beneficial bioeconomy activities.
Thomas Hofer, FAO, highlighted the key findings from the upcoming FAO-CIFOR review on mainstreaming biodiversity in forestry. He noted SFM, managed for production and other benefits outside Protected Areas, has a critical role in biodiversity conservation. As forest resources continue to decline, effective interventions are needed to better mainstream biodiversity within the forest sector.
Finally, participants agreed that sustainable production mitigates climate change and offers solutions across value chains, and that scaling up bioeconomies by using sustainable wood could replace carbon-intensive sectors. Amongst other things, participants called for the inclusion of sustainable wood-based solutions in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2030.
The ATIBT had exchanges this week with the FAO team back from Seoul, in particular with Sven Walter, who is on the ATIBT Board, and Thais Linhares-Juvenal, who is in charge of the Sustainable Wood for a Sustainable World programme, SW4SW. Both expressed their wish that some of the statements made in Seoul would be taken up at the ATIBT Forum.
UN Climate Change News, 20 November 2022 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 closed today with a breakthrough agreement to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters.
Just published - More is not enough: Central Africa and the proposed 30% protected and conserved areas by 2030
Here we summarize the discussions regarding how Central African countries could achieve the 30 × 30 target by addressing the following four matters. (1) Several financing mechanisms centred on forest carbon sequestration have started. Yet despite awareness of the importance of biodiversity and the fight against climate change, funding remains cruelly short of the required 10-fold scaling up. (2) Public–private partnerships, in which governments delegate the management of protected areas to private partners, have shown increased management efficiency and financing. Please download the Document....
Ministers return to Egypt to lend their political weight to delegates wrestling with key issues. About 200 nations from around the globe continued to chase a deal at the Cop27 summit in Egypt that will help in the struggle to save the planet from climate change. But despite hurdles, small but significant signs surfaced that an agreement at the UN summit remained possible.
Exclusive: Funding from rich countries is critical issue at Cop27 and poll shows many think UK has duty to provide it. A significant majority of people in the UK think the country has a responsibility to pay for climate action in poorer and vulnerable countries, an opinion poll shows.
Negotiations moved slowly on several issues, particularly finance. For other issues, texts were forwarded to the COP Presidency or ministers for further consideration. Agreement on a decision on the Santiago Network was met with applause from negotiators. Talks on the Adaptation Fund Board also reached compromise.
While ministers gave high-level speeches that relayed their national priorities, negotiators worked to clear as much of the backlog of pending issues as possible. By the end of the day, numerous issues remained unresolved. Ministers will take up a shortlist of issues to bridge the remaining differences.
Australia told to end new fossil fuel subsidies if it wants Pacific support to host climate summit –THE GUARDIAN
Vanuatu’s climate change minister says Pacific support for Australian bid should be conditional. Australia must stop subsidising new fossil fuel developments if it is to win a key Pacific nation’s support for its plan to co-host a major UN climate summit in 2026.
Sharm El-Sheikh, 15 November 2022 – Senior officials from several governments, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched a new five-year work programme at COP27 today to promote climate technology solutions in developing countries.
Monday began with a recognition of the significant volume of work ahead. The Subsidiary Bodies forwarded a long list of issues to this second week of talks, adding to the slate of political-level discussions on key issues to be facilitated by ministers and the Presidency later in the week.
Al Gore and High-Level Speakers: Transparency and Accountability Underpin Effective Climate Action - unfccc
UN Climate Change News, 14 November 2022 – Two weeks of transparency events kicked off at COP27 in Egypt last week under the banner “Together4Transparency”. With discussions ranging from the need for reliable greenhouse gas emissions estimates accessible to all to the role that information plays in reducing risks and uncertainties in order to attract financial support for action, the series of events addresses the full range of actors and issues related to transparency.
UN Climate Change News, 14 November 2022 – Important progress on sustainable forest management and conservation has been made at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh with the launch of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), which aims to unite action by governments, businesses and community leaders.
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 11 November 2022 – At launch events held today at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, a major package of support of over USD $150 million for adaptation was launched. The package was announced at a special session on "Advancing Adaptation Action in Africa" co-hosted by H.E. Sameh Shoukry, COP27 President, and United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.
Adaptation and Agriculture Thematic Day at COP27 Focuses on How the World Will Feed 8 Billion – COP27
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 12 November 2022 – The Adaptation and Agriculture thematic day at COP27 focused on how the world will feed eight billion people. Throughout the day, a series of sessions and initiatives shed light on pathways forward on adaptation and climate resilient agriculture.
The first week of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference concluded with the closing plenaries of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). Substantive conclusions were adopted on a limited number of issues, mostly related to the consideration of reports by constituted bodies and to reporting. On many issues, only procedural conclusions were adopted which noted that further work is required to finalize the relevant decisions.
With the end of the first week of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference nearing, co-facilitators across many negotiation rooms reminded delegates of the need to conclude consideration of the items set to be forwarded to the closing plenaries of the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs), scheduled for the next day.
Funding urgently needed to cope with climate disasters – and to prevent distrust crashing UN negotiations. Money is likely to be a flashpoint at the UN Cop27 climate summit starting on Sunday in Egypt, where world leaders will attempt to tackle the climate crisis.
World Leaders Launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership to accelerate momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 - bringing the total funds committed to $24,5 bn November 7, 2022 at COP27 - 26 countries, including some Central African countries and the European Union – which together account for over 33% of the world’s forests and nearly 60% of the world’s GDP launch the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP).
Heads of State and Government and their entourages took over the conference venue on the second day of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference. With their presence, leaders aimed to signal sustained momentum on climate action. In parallel, intergovernmental negotiations got up to speed. Discussions on some agenda items, such as those related to cooperative approaches under the Paris Agreement (Article 6.2), drew such crowds that they surpassed room capacity. Please download the Document....
COP27- Empowering a Climate-Resilient Africa for the 21st Century: Articulating vision and opportunity - IISD
At what is being referred to as the "African COP," political, industry, and civil society leaders voiced strong condemnations of shortcomings in adaptation financing for Africa. Against a backdrop of global economic slowdown and political instability, the African continent is making headway in designing initiatives to overcome the worst impact of climate change. Hosted by Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, and organized by the United Nations Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment (SPBF), this high-level event called for greater leadership and renewed international cooperation to support African-led adaptation efforts.
World Leaders Launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership to accelerate momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 -UK
Today at COP27 world leaders will launch the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the fight against climate change and as promised in the Glasgow Climate Pact.
At COP26 in Glasgow (2021) twelve donors committed to a collective Congo Basin pledge of at least US$1.5 billion of financing between 2021 and 2025. Over the course of 2021, the donors have collectively provided over $508 million towards the Congo Basin Pledge, with just under $311 million disbursed in the region so far. The report provides more detail on the collective spend, including case studies. Please download the 2021 report...
On the sidelines of this international climate governance conference, the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), gathering 11 member states1, is organizing today, November 7, 2022, at the DRC Pavilion (P80), from 12:30 pm the day of the ECCAS at COP 27, under the Leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), country presiding over this instrument of regional integration. Please download the press release of the day...
Two major events for the ATIBT sectors are taking place every day at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to declare open the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Friends, let me begin by thanking our friends here in Egypt for such a warm welcome.
We are five days from the start of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). As COP President, Egypt is proud to host more than 45,000 registered COP27 participants representing Parties, UN and regional organizations, businesses, the scientific community, indigenous and local communities and civil society to jointly enhance and accelerate the implementation of climate action and follow up on our collective commitments and pledges. We hope that the welcoming people and natural beauty of Sharm El Sheikh can provide some inspiration for us to take the very needed meaningful steps to fight for the people and planet and save lives and livelihoods.
Cairo, Egypt - November 2022 – COP27, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, hosted by Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh will see delegates from around the world participate in the annual climate change negotiations. With over 40,000 estimated attendees, the summit is expected to host one of the largest number of participants in the annual global climate conference, which is running from November 6 to 18 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Gabon has just been certified for carbon credit by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The government welcomes a step forward for the marketing of carbon credits in Gabon. On Friday 7 October 2022, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) published́ its report on the technical analysis of Gabon’s activities over the period 2010-2018 on reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, as well as conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+).
Experts agree there has been “some movement” but inclusivity, political goodwill and resources are still needed. When leaders from 141 countries signed the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use, a critical step had been made in recognizing forests as critical in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. However, what will it take to achieve these commitments? How have governments “walked the talk” so far and what support is needed to reach the six key efforts declared by the world leaders?
Previously unrecognized, the Congo Basin’s Cuvette Centrale is now seen as an important carbon sink and the world’s largest undisturbed tropical peatland. Safeguarding this newfound treasure means actors on both sides of the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo (RoC) will need to work together to anticipate threats and govern proactively.
Solving climate change without protecting forests and ending deforestation is an impossible task. The world forests provide important ecosystemic and livelihood services and are more than a store of carbon which needs protecting – they are also actively taking it up. By recent scientific estimates, forests absorb one-quarter of global fossil fuel emissions from the atmosphere every year.
Deadline Extension COP27: Call for proposals of side events for the “COMIFAC-ECCAS Initiatives Pavilion”
Following the request of several partners, we are pleased to inform you that the deadline for the submission of proposals for side events in the Pavilion has been extended to Monday 24 October at 12:00 GMT. This new deadline is compulsory.
A new step forward for certification in Gabon: the Société Équatoriale d'Exploitation Forestière (SEEF) is now OLB-EF certified - ATIBT
The ATIBT congratulates the Société Équatoriale d'Exploitation Forestière for obtaining its Origin and Legality of Timber (OLB) certificate issued in September by Bureau Veritas. After a long and rigorous process, the Société Équatoriale d'Exploitation Forestière (SEEF) has officially obtained its OLB-EF (Origin and Legality of Timber) certification. Issued on September 5, 2022 by Bureau Veritas Certification, this important distinction establishes SEEF as a Gabonese forestry company that guarantees the legality and geographical origin of the timber exploited.
Cairo, Egypt: 26 October 2022 – Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cisco today announced the company’s role as IT Services Provider of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27). Cisco, among others, will provide professional and technical services to design, implement and support the wireless network infrastructure at COP27 to enable highly secure connectivity for all attendees and the host nation.
The Fair&Precious marketing program is based on transversal commitments, supports that demonstrate the positive impact of certification, the involvement of beneficiaries, the development of partnerships with organizations from all horizons, but also regularly updated content.