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.
HUGE LEAP IN FIGHT AGAINST IMPUNITY FOR CONSERVATION-RELATED ABUSES IN DRC AS PARK RANGERS ARE SENTENCED FOR RAPE AND TORTURE – Rainforest Foundation UK
On 28 December 2020, five park rangers accused of raping and torturing four women in DRC’s Salonga National Park were convicted by the Military Court in Mbandaka, following a long battle for justice supported by the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and its local partner Actions pour la Promotion et Protection des Peuples et Espèces Menacés (APEM).
Overturning a previous judgment riddled with irregularities and violations of due process, the Court sentenced five of the six accused park rangers, or ‘eco-guards’, to prison sentences spanning five to 20 years. The Court also ordered DRC’s conservation authority (ICCN, Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) to pay USD 100,000 in reparations to survivors.
While many questions remain as to whether, and how, this verdict will be implemented, it is a major victory for the four survivors and sends a powerful message in a country where human rights abuses and gender-based violence by anti-poaching forces are commonplace and impunity is rife.
“The decision is a huge relief for the four victims as well as all communities living around Salonga National Park. I saw the women shed tears of joy. The verdict sends a strong signal against the abuses and atrocities eco-guards routinely inflict on us’’, said the medical nurse who looked after one of the survivors after the assault and served as a witness in the trial.
The four women were tortured and at least one raped by a group of armed rangers  in February 2015 as they were carrying fish near a river inside Salonga National Park, a UNESCO-listed protected area co-managed by ICCN and leading conservation charity WWF. Two of them were pregnant at the time of the assault and one had a miscarriage immediately after. Complaints were filed with ICCN and local authorities at the time but no action was taken. The incident was also reportedly brought to the attention of WWF officials back in 2016 but the organisation refused to act for fear of undermining its relationship with ICCN .
It is only after RFUK and APEM exposed this and many other human rights abuses by Salonga’s eco-guards, causing public outcry and a wave of probes by international donors, that WWF and ICCN investigated the case and referred it to judicial authorities.
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.
Results of the work of the geographical block WEST. Please download the Document here below:
Results of the work of the geographical block WEST. Please download the Document here below:
Results of the work of the geographical block CENTER. Please download the Document here below:
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.
Green Climate Fund Board approves USD 500 million for new climate action, strengthens its Results Management Framework
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.
Germany - COMIFAC Cooperation: German Ambassador to Congo, alongside parliamentarians, women and youth, for a sustainable management of Central African forest ecosystems
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).
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.
Tax and non-tax incentives for sustainable forest management: An opportunity for the Congo Basin countries
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.
Cameroon - Decision: Prime Minister repeals decree expropriating 66,340 hectares of forest in the Ntem Valley (South Region) - Cameroon-info
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.
Gabon - CBFP - The Prime Minister of Gabon receives in audience the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck : The Sustainable Management of Congo Basin Forest Ecosystems in the Spotlight
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...
CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck meets Gabonese civil society
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.
Second mission of the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck to Cameroon: Strengthening cooperation Building cooperation
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.
Special meeting of CBFP private sector college with CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honourable Dr Christian Ruck
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.
The swearing-in ceremony of COMIFAC’s statutory staff took place on Friday, 4 June 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the Hilton hotel in Yaoundé.
CBFP Facilitation Mandate of the Federal Republic of German extended till end of 2022 and Facilitator meets with private sector in Libreville
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.
CBFP Facilitator from the Federal Republic of Germany, Honourable Dr Christian Ruck in talks with REPAR parliamentarians
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.
Making Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) work for forests, people and the climate: Civil society recommendations on the future of VPAs
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.
4 June 2021, Nairobi/Rome - Leaders in global politics, science, communities, religion and culture joined hands today to officially kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration - a rallying call for the protection and revival of millions of hectares of ecosystems all around the world for the benefit of people and nature.
Today's World Environment Day sees the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2021 to 2030. It follows the UN Decade on Biodiversity which came to an end in 2020. The goal in the coming decade is to halt the ongoing degradation of ecosystems and begin their restoration. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze will give a video message at a high-level virtual event organised by Pakistan, host of this year's World Environment Day, to mark the launch of the new UN Decade