We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 is open. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors are able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment. To register as Exhibitor at the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), please fill out this form online before May 30, 2022.
Planet Earth is not a delicately balanced benign Being, but forests and trees can help – FORESTS NEWS.
During the recent Global Forest Summit, I was asked whether humans were responsible for the various crises we are facing: biodiversity loss; climate change; growing inequalities; unsustainable value chains and food systems.
I was also asked to share my views on the depth of these issues and whether we can change many of the fundamental ways we behave quickly enough to avoid the collapse of civilization as we know it.
This got me thinking and I decided to jot down some thoughts and elaborate on the answers I provided during the discussion.
We humans tend to believe we are special – something also argued in many of our main religions or constitutions. In a sense we are. Humans are the unique super-predator of our world. There is no one species we cannot kill, and while we are a mere fraction of a percent of the living biomass, we have altered and overused our world so much that we have also created a special geological age: “the Anthropocene.”
In our modern, technology-driven era, we believe nature is something tamed that we can manage through the powers of technology. Planes take off and land in all but the most intense storms. Dams hold back powerful rivers, control the flow of water and provide irrigation. Megacities emerge where there was once only desert or dense forest.
Overall, we see Earth as a benign being, quiescent, harmonious, and providing for us. This is a very dangerous mistake built on nothing more than right timing and the vicissitudes of planetary evolution.
Yet, Earth is a wrathful Titan absorbing the equivalent of a billion atomic bombs’ worth of solar energy every day. This activity feeds powerful energy cascades in coupled systems of jet streams, turbulent rivers of air and water, planetary-sized oceanic currents, global photosynthesis. All these titanic systems and the related fluxes of energy appear stable, but this is a wrong impression – they are highly dynamic and very often hover at the edge of a tipping off point.
Tipping points are rapid, brutal changes in Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) triggered by slow variables. They have been mostly local in recent (200-years) history. Classic examples are when rivers or lakes experience eutrophication. When tipping points are crossed, an SES flips into another stable but different state and it becomes almost impossible or exceedingly expensive and difficult to reverse the process. This is eventually manageable locally.
Unfortunately, in the Anthropocene, which — despite being the subject of some debate — replaces the Holocene epoch, our influence on planetary systems has become global for the first time in human history. These activities over the past 100 years have led to several planetary-wide processes that appear close to reaching their tipping points.
For forests, the increasing aridity of the Amazon and its transformation into savanna is one of these planetary tipping points.
Alas, this is not the only one of these global environmental processes that are on the verge of “tipping” and folding into another stable state. Where we might be in more trouble than we think – if possible — is through the recent recognition that these planetary tipping points are not independent of each other as illustrated in Figure 1.
Facing these titanic forces, humans do not matter – we just do not factor. Fossil records tell us 99 percent of the species that existed since life appeared are extinct. The Earth does not need us. We might not survive the sixth mass extinction we are triggering, but life will survive, and the Earth will be there till the sun swallows it when our star finally explodes.
If we want to beat the odds and last a bit more than the average civilization (about 300 years – we are almost there) or species (1 million years — Homo sapiens has existed for 0.75 million years), we need to seriously take matters into our own hands.
Our ancestors did not know about the impending disasters; they lived in local — yet powerful – civilizations. “Natural” selection was more a response to the need for rapid, instantaneous action geared to imminent threat (for example, a jaguar jumping). There was little they could have done even if they knew great danger loomed. We know and we have known for decades; we are the first globalized civilization and for us slow changes in the background are proving to be the most lethal threats. Society has demonstrated the capacity to mobilize, make sacrifices and changes to outdo a rival or to defeat an enemy at the gates.
Fixing one issue will not work if we do not fix the others. Because we are not yet sure of the cascading nature or not of these potential tipping points, it is also difficult to do some triage. Where to start? What to prioritize? Where to let go?
Can we do something about it, and if yes, what can we do?
This is where we need to introduce another concept: social tipping points. Social tipping points are a concept that emerged rather recently (Gladwell 2000). They are based on the same concept of rapid or brutal change that is triggered by an evolution of a set of slow variables acting in the background. “The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
In the climate agenda, social tipping points are subdomains of the planetary socioeconomic system where the required disruptive change may take place and lead to a sufficiently fast reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
Although the current picture is bleak (and see the recent U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change report on the Nationally Determined Contributions delivery by parties to the Paris Agreement) and our collective efforts seem to go in the wrong direction: more greenhouse gases, more diversity loss, etc. we cannot afford to go along with the pessimist views, cover ourselves in ashes and be the prophets of doom! We have a moral obligation to remain optimistic and not resign to fate and Judgement Day.
Scientists should develop better ways of evaluating and regulating the use of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals. We must continually call attention to the need to improve the human epidemiological environment (think COVID-19?). We must expand our efforts in understanding how cooperation evolves because avoiding collapse will require unusual levels of it at all possible levels.
At the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) we intend to continue advocating for more research and promoting the role of forests and trees in mitigating or adapting to the crises we are facing.
Why forests and trees? Healthy forests, agroforests, and trees on farms:
- Maintain biodiversity attributes necessary to the provision of many ecosystem services, from carbon storage to pollination or soil fertility.
- Slow climate change and increase resilience by sequestering carbon, replacing GHG intensive materials (cement, steel…) by wood-based equivalents, through forest landscape restoration.
- Create jobs and wealth through various tree-based related value-chains producing wood, cocoa, coffee, rubber, fruits to name a few.
- Sustain agriculture through pollination, pest control, micro-climate buffering and water regulation.
- Contribute to the four dimensions of food security: availability, access, use and stability over time.
- Are an integral part of any One Health approach by sustaining diet diversity, controlling emerging diseases, offering beauty and well-being.
Of course, we are not immune to the external disaster (e.g., the next asteroid or mega-volcano eruption) and there is not much we can do about it. However, we can and must do something about the Anthropocene and shift it from its characterization as the geological epoch where we changed our behavior, transformed the planet and shifted the curve.
This metamorphosis will require more than whatever the science community can do on its own tinkering around the edges.
To quote Ehrlich & Ehrlich (2013): “All nations need to stop waiting for others to act and be willing to do everything they can to mitigate emissions and hasten the energy transition, regardless of what others are doing.”
But we need strong “pressure” applied to do so and we must have our priorities right. As long as we are able to spend annually $1.7 trillion annually in military equipment but unable to secure $100 billion to address the climate crisis, we won’t make it.
19th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration is open until May 20, 2022!
If you wish to attend the 19th MoP of the CBFP and related events, please register before 20th May 2022 by completing the form below and clicking on the button “register”. It will not be possible to attend the meeting without a properly completed registration procedure.
19th Meeting of the Parties, July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration is closing on May 20, 2022!
This is a reminder that registrations for the 19th Meeting of Parties (MoP) of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership in Libreville, Gabon, from 5 to 8 July 2022 are CLOSING IN 2 DAYS. Please note, that you can only attend with a completed registration. Please register here...
Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation. The project incorporates infrastructural upgrades with the formation of community action groups to improve the capital’s flood resilience . A project in Mongolia, which incorporates a wide range of initiatives and aims to build the resilience of high-risk communities, is directly confronting the burden of urban climate impacts.
Home to the only biosphere reserve of argan in the world, Morocco is facing a unique challenge. It must preserve its argan forests as a barrier to climate-induced desertification while helping the communities, that depend on these forests for a living, adapt and preserve their cultural heritage.
The 32nd meeting of the GCF Board is taking place in person in Antigua and Barbuda from May 16-19. The meeting, one of four scheduled this year, follows on the heels of the first Board meeting where USD 187.7 million was approved for new climate projects and major changes to GCF’s accreditation framework were approved. The changes aim to accelerate climate finance for developing countries and include strengthening the existing accreditation model and introducing the project-specific assessment approach (PSAA).
The proposed EU Regulation on deforestation-free products aims to ensure goods cannot be placed on the EU market if they have caused deforestation, forest degradation, or violated producer country laws. The Commission released a draft proposal of the Regulation on 17 November 2021, and now the European Parliament (EP) and the Council must agree on their positions. On 24 March 2022, the EP rapporteur Luxembourgish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Christophe Hansen of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), released his draft response.
As world leaders, the private sector, and experts met for the final day of the 15th World Forestry Congress on Friday and the United Nations Forum on Forests begins today, fulfilling funding promises made during UNFCCC’s CoP26 to tackle the illegal timber trade and accelerating the implementation of sustainability strategies must be at the top of the agenda says TRAFFIC.
Global shipping to focus on bringing down the illegal networks exploiting maritime supply chains to traffic wildlife. On the 13 of May 2022, the 46th Meeting of the Facilitation Committee (FAL46) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted new ‘Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Wildlife on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic’.
Fifty years after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which put “health and sanitation” on the international agenda, ensuring water and sanitation for all “remains one of the world’s biggest challenges.” A ‘Still Only One Earth’ policy brief from IISD argues that for universal access to become a reality,
The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has issued the second edition of its flagship report titled, ‘Global Land Outlook: Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience’ (GLO2). The publication outlines various future land scenarios, and highlights the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and human health, among other SDGs.
Delegates at the 15th meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) called for immediate action to protect forests, forestry, and forest stakeholders as providers of nature-based solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, hunger, and poverty. They encouraged “actions for a green, healthy and resilient future with forests” as a contribution to the SDGs, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched its biennial flagship report on the state of the world’s forests (SOFO), which explores three intertwined forest pathways to achieve green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, among other “multidimensional planetary crises.”
A high-level panel marked Desertification and Drought Day 2020 with a discussion focused on the Day’s theme, ‘Food. Feed. Fibre,” and the question, “Is it time for a new social contract for nature?” Ministers and agency heads offered recommendations for addressing vulnerabilities for land management that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and options for building back better.
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.
At the end of the XV World Forestry Congress held in Seoul from May 2 to 6, 8 ministers signed a text calling for the production and consumption of sustainable wood. Sustainable production and consumption of wood promotes forest conservation, enhances the value of forests and mitigates climate change. Building and living with wood responds to an increased demand for renewable materials and provides impetus for green recovery.
The Forest Conservation Job Day took place online, on Friday May 6th 2022. This Forest Conservation Job day, which was in its first edition, was co-organised by ERAIFT and the association of its alumni gathered within the « Réseau Africain pour le Développement Durable et Intégré (RADDI) ». The Participants to this event were former ERAIFT students and students from the 3rd and 4th Master's classes actually in training.
The Board of Directors of the ATIBT validated the membership application of this trading and sawing Gilmour & Aitken Ltd are suppliers and stock holders of a comprehensive range of high quality sawn and engineered hardwood and softwood timber products. Established in 1852 and now in its 5th generation, the business prides itself on its product expertise, stock range and customer service.
To get back on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, a profound step up in political commitments and financing is needed, especially for climate action in developing countries being hit hard by the impacts of climate change.
GCF explores how to strengthen private sector finance at World Forestry Congress – GREEN CLIMATE FUND
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) will strive to narrow the forest finance gap by helping to strengthen public-private roots of climate cooperation during the World Forestry Congress which opens today in South Korea.
COP 15 : World leaders at the Abidjan summit on desertification unanimously agree time to safeguard the future of land is now – CAN
Heads of States and governments at the fifteenth session of the Conference of Parties(COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) have made a clarion call to the international community to take urgent measures to avert loss of live and source of livelihood threatening the world today as result of the devastating effects of desertification, land degradation and drought.
A consortium of investigative journalists in Liberia are shining a spotlight on the country’s forest sector – with some remarkable results. Starting at 4pm every Thursday, one of Liberia’s best-known radio stations, OK FM 99.5, broadcasts a live one-hour show that’s possibly the only one of its kind in the world.
In early April 2022, I had the chance to travel to Brazil to consult with Fern’s partners and attend the yearly Free Land Camp organised by Brazil’s Articulation of Indigenous Peoples (APIB) in Brasilia. This trip gave me a snapshot of where the people with whom we work stand in this crucial year for the country.
European biomass industry confirms it is burning large amounts of “low-quality stemwood” (tree trunks) – FERN
On 5 April, the Forest Defenders Alliance published an impactful visual investigation, revealing that “many wood-burning power plants and wood pellet manufacturing plants in the EU appear to be using trees logged directly from forests, despite claims to use sawdust and other mill waste for fuel and feedstock”. Surprisingly, industry confirmed the report’s findings, proving the importance of ensuring that the EU’s renewed Renewable Energy Directive (RED) takes a strong line on which types of material should, and should not be burnt.
Despite the urgency of the climate crisis and the importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use and forestry, some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Member States and private actors continue to try to downgrade climate ambition. In upcoming votes about the proposed Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation, there are hopes that the European Parliament will set a more positive course.
State of the Forest 2021 Report presented in the COMIFAC Pavilion during the World Forestry Congress - A product of the German CBFP Facilitation
The "State of the Forests" report is a flagship product of the CBFP partners' efforts, especially of the EU, which is the main donor of OFAC. The production of this report remains a major challenge for each CBFP Facilitation. We are there!!! The State of the Forest 2021 (SOF 2021) report is the seventh in the series published since 2005. The previous report was released in 2015 at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris.
World Forestry Congress: “Scaling up forest landscape restoration in the central Africa” at COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiatives
Seoul (Republic of Korea) World Forest Congress, 5 Mai 2022 – at COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiatives, a special session was organized on “Accelerating and Scaling up forest landscape restoration under the Bonn Challenge and AFR100 in the central Africa”. The Session was moderated by the German CBFP Facilitation and had as panelists IUCN and the African Union (NEPAD/AFR100).
IUCN Africa Protected Area Congress at the heart of the COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiative at the 15th World Forestry Congress
Seoul (Republic of Korea) World Forest Congress, 5 Mai 2022 – IUCN Africa Protected Area Congress was presented by Mr. KARANGWA Charles Regional Head of Land Systems and Country Representative, IUCN Rwanda, in a special hybrid session in the COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion.
Welfare support for forest and farm producers has become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it wrecked economies and livelihoods across the globe. But the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) has stepped up to the plate. Over the course of 2021, more than 56,000 forest and farm producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America received food aid, hygiene products or government social protection schemes thanks to the work of FFF-supported forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs).
Women fish processors and sellers learn new techniques from their colleagues in order to make their jobs safer and their products more competitive 4 April, Abidjan/Dakar/Praia/Rome - The FAO Coastal Fisheries Initiative in West Africa (CFI-WA) has organized three exchange visits aimed at strengthening the role of women in fisheries value chains in Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, and Senegal.
Located in Zambia’s North-Western Province, the greater Kafue National Park and West Lunga ecosystem complex was once home to an abundance of ancient rosewood trees and a host of other endemic and endangered species. Now, aerial views reveal slabs of fallen trees peppering black holes in the green forest canopy. Fenced clearings open up to piles of orange rosewood, stacked high in the grounds of a sawmill
WFC - Side Event CBFP/CAFI: Saving our planet’s second-largest lung – How the Congo Basin contributes to protecting global climate and threatened biodiversity and how it should be supported
Join this discussion on Calls for a “Fair Deal” that addresses the protection, sustainable use, and good governance of the central African Forest ecosystems of the Congo basin by the riparian countries of COMIFAC in exchange for an adequate share of international climate and biodiversity funds. Wednesday 4th May 2022, SEOUL, 5:30 PM KST - 7:00 PM KST Where: Room. E5. Third floor.
We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 will be open soon. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors will be able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment.
Our investigation found that at the height of the clashes between fishers and pastoralists on 9 December, Shuwa Arab elders consulted each other and contacted Park guards by phone before deciding to enter the Park. The following day, Shuwa Arab men, women and children walked 20 km to the centre of the Park, continuing 2 days later to a nearby waterhole. There they were initially summoned by the Park warden to leave the Park but allowed to stay to recover from their journey. After 1 week, pastoralists continued through the inundated part of the Park to the north-east where they stayed until 20 January, when all but two of the 17 groups left the Park. The Park offered safety for the pastoralists, but the conditions were harsh for families and livestock, resulting in considerable loss of sheep and donkeys; three cattle were predated by lions.
The Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany is pleased to launch a call for proposals for side events during the 19th Meeting of Parties (MoP 19) in Libreville, Gabon, from 5-8 July 2022, tbc. There is no set format required, but guidelines are provided below. Submissions should be sent before. 20 May 2022, to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org