A new research programme in Gabon is identifying the ‘isotopic fingerprint’ of the world’s most-trafficked mammal in the fight to beat smugglers. After a two-week chase through Lopé-Okanda national park, a mosaic of rainforest and savannah in central Gabon, David Lehmann and his Wildlife Capture Unit were celebrating – they had caught a giant pangolin nicknamed Ghost, the biggest on record.
Remaining ocean champions, not victims -IUCN
Cousin Island Special Reserve was the island famously bought for conservation by BirdLife International in 1968, and it is now managed by Nature Seychelles. I visited the island at the beginning of the year to inspect catastrophic coastal erosion that had occurred, and it was the first time I had seen anything like it since we took over management.
Everything was affected. Dozens of hawksbill turtle nests had been washed away, exposed or saturated with water during the nesting season. Infrastructure was also affected: from our photovoltaic array that powers the island, to wardens' houses, the visitor shelter, field station and the helipad. At that time, it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage our ecotourism program due to persistent bad weather. This affects revenue that not only runs the island, but is pumped back into conservation. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing a collapse in tourism and conservation efforts at Nature Seychelles. We have to act fast to adapt to these changes.
As an island nation, our livelihoods are intricately tied to the ocean. Two of our most important economic pillars - tourism and fisheries - depend on the ocean. Seychelles is famous for its environmental protection. The country recently committed 30% of its waters to marine protection way ahead of global targets. However, we are faced with enormous ocean-related challenges exacerbated by the financial ripple effects of COVID-19. Our Small Island State is bearing the brunt of climate change and all around Seychelles the impacts are being felt in all kinds of ways.
In the last 20 years, Nature Seychelles has risen to the task to adapt to the inevitability of changing times with innovative and norm-breaking projects. Our Reef Rescuers project moved a never-ending discussion as well as a long-running research agenda on coral bleaching into real action. This project in the marine protected area of Cousin Island began in 2010 with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and later the Global Environment Facility through the Government of Seychelles and UNDP, after corals in Seychelles suffered massive die-off from the devastating 1998 El Niño event in the Indian Ocean. This resulted in an average loss of 90% live coral cover in 1998 and a further 50% loss in 2016. Our project was a game changer for Seychelles and coastal communities in the region because it provided an opportunity to prove that we can innovate and adapt to climate change.
We have cultivated almost 50,000 coral fragments in underwater nurseries and transplanted 24,431 on about 5,500m2 of degraded reefs. This was the first ever large-scale coral reef restoration project using the coral gardening method in the world. There was no blueprint – we adopted techniques used in experimental settings but also pioneered many things in the field. The project acted as an active and dynamic underwater laboratory where research questions on coral reproduction and growth, animal behaviour and reef resilience could be addressed. We trained over 50 scientists and volunteer scientific divers from around the world who are now carrying out their own restoration projects in their countries. A toolkit has been published and widely shared to cascade the methodologies used and experiences collected around the world. It has been well received by coral restoration practitioners. We launched our Centre for Ocean Restoration Awareness and Learning (CORAL) to serve as a national and regional hub for knowledge-sharing on coral reef conservation and restoration, and to attract cutting-edge scientists to carry out further research on corals.
We also broke ground on a new project that will allow, for the very first time in Seychelles, local people to become stewards of coastal and marine areas to benefit the environment and secure their livelihoods. Through funding received from the German International Climate Initiative (IKI), and in partnership with IUCN, Nature Seychelles seeks to set up the first Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) in Seychelles. Although present elsewhere in the region, including in Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania, and globally in larger countries such as Australia, the LMMA model is new to Seychelles. This four-year project will invest in policy-related activities as well as infrastructure, conservation and restoration actions, training and equipment, public awareness programs, and introduction of sustainable funding mechanisms. The LMMA in Seychelles is currently ongoing but delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19. This is a time in our history when it is even more important to focus on local livelihoods and ecosystem services.
Dr. Honoré TABUNA: ECCAS Commissioner in Charge of the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development Department!
Working within the General Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) since 2009, Dr. Honoré TABUNA is from Congo Brazzaville. He holds a Doctoral Thesis in Botanical Economies from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and the Chair of Business Management from the National lnstitute of Agronomie Research in Montpellier...
To read: When communities and governments collaborate—latest edition of the Tropical Forest Update; Air your views on the future of forest education—participate in global survey; ITTO and Soka Gakkai to help empower women in Togo through forest restoration…
To read : Joint Communique by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Ecological transition, The Ministry of Economy and Finance ; Unlocking Sustainable Tropical Timber Market Growth Through Data…
Paris is Not Enough - Why The Paris Agreement Isn’t Driving More Climate Action... And How it Could - Sierra Club
This paper explores three ways that the international community can help create those incentives. First, the international community should prioritize helping countries to capture “socially beneficial” mitigation opportunities that are in their interest, even before climate impacts are considered.
With the COVID-19 crisis raging across the world, 2020 will be the first time in a quarter century that the world’s governments will not meet to coordinate climate action. The postponement of the annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is widely seen as a lost opportunity in the effort to advance the global response to the climate crisis.
To read: Members of the CBFP Scientific and Academic College mobilize around the German CBFP Facilitator Dr. Christian Ruck; EBO FOREST : Press briefing - Opening Statement by the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife; (German) Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), 2020-2021: First CBFP Donor College Meeting under German Facilitation…
The Prime Minister, Head of Government, by Decree N°2020/3216 of 14 July 2020, authorised the gazetting of a 68,385 hectare portion of the State's Private Estate as a Forest Management Unit known as FMU 07 006. This decision puts a final stop to the debate on this issue which has generated a vast misinformation campaign.
Libreville (Gabon), July 15, 2020 - Experts from member states of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are in virtual conclave since this morning to decide on the possibility of jumpstarting phase II of the Support PACEBCo from the ashes of PACEBco I.
ECOFAC Programme 6 Publication- Protected Areas in Central Africa: Outposts for monitoring zoonoses?
The COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful reminder of the inextricable link between humans, wildlife and the environment. Most epidemics of zoonoses have their origins in a breakdown in this relationship, resulting from unsustainable exploitation of nature (1).
The Framework Agreement signed Monday between these two partners has as main objective the sustainable management of the Congo Basin forest ecosystems.
Berlin, 14 July 2020. Africa Nature Investors Foundation (ANI) joined the membership of the Congo Basin Forests Partnership (CBFP). As part of the accession process, Africa Nature Investors Foundation (ANI) submitted the required documents...
(German) Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), 2020-2021: First CBFP Donor College Meeting under German Facilitation
On 04 June 2020, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) organized a first meeting of the CBFP Donor College. The meeting was held virtually.
Yaoundé, 23 July 2020 – Greenpeace Africa and local communities denounce a decision by the Government of Cameroon to open up 68,385 hectares of pristine rainforest to logging. The fate of a 65,007 ha zone of Ebo, also threatened with logging, remains unclear and must also be spared from chainsaws.
Community forestry can work, but plans in the Democratic Republic of Congo show what’s missing - CIFOR
In particular, most communities clear forests for agriculture and related subsistence activities – such as charcoal making and artisanal logging – to make a living. These are today among the top drivers of forest disturbance.
World's most comprehensive analysis of forest resources launched today in an innovative format – FAO
21 July 2020, Rome - FAO launched today the most comprehensive forestry assessment to date in an innovative and easy-to-use digital format. Available for public viewing, the Global Forest Resources Assessment report (FRA 2020) and its first-ever online interactive dissemination platform...
Compelling new evidence shows the EU’s entanglement with illegal deforestation for soy and cattle farming in Brazil –Fern
Since taking office in January 2019, President Jair Bolsonaro has waged a relentless campaign against Brazil’s environmental laws and the rights of its Indigenous Peoples.
Despite the environmental cost of using firewood and charcoal for meal preparation and to meet other energy needs, more than 60 percent of families in sub-Saharan Africa have no alternative to wood, making it a significant contributor to forest degradation throughout the region.
Economic Benefits of Protecting 30% of Planet’s Land and Ocean Outweigh the Costs at Least 5-to-1 - Campaignfornature
WASHINGTON, D.C. JULY 8, 2020: In the most comprehensive report to date on the economic implications of protecting nature, over 100 economists and scientists find that the global economy would benefit from the establishment of far more protected areas on land and at sea than exist today.
Demarcating 30 percent of the planet’s lands and oceans in protected areas by 2030 could be instrumental in tackling the biodiversity, climate and zoonotic crises, according to a new independent report – as well as supporting the global economy.
SUMMARY Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the national restrictions in place to protect health, significant progress has been made on many ongoing Park projects, including at the craft market, the restaurant at the base of the Park base, and on staff housing in Bomassa and Makao.
On 1 July, China’s newly amended forest law came into effect, marking the first revision of the law in over twenty years. The law comes with a number of significant improvements, aiming to better protect China’s forest resources, promote sustainable development and contribute to the national policy of...
Financial support available for producer organisations in Africa from the Belgian Trade for Development Centre – Fairwild
July 2020 - The Belgian Trade for Development Centre (TDC) has launched a call for proposals for African Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and producer organisations active in sustainable production and trade. Applications must be submitted by 10th September 2020.
IUCN and WCPA are organizing a four-part webinar series aims to strengthen and continue connections amongst protected area practitioners and those involved in the evaluation of management effectiveness for protected areas.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge to humankind, and is the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. To defeat COVID-19 through greater solidarity and cooperation, and to highlight an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future, we, Chinese and African leaders, convened an Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19 via video link on 17 June 2020.
In order to enhance the value of its resource, the Gabonese Republic has decided to classify wood processing according to three levels. It should be noted that the levels of wood processing are different from one country to another. The ATIBT association had opted for 3 level.
The Water Mobilisation Project to Enhance Food Security in Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder Regions (PMERSA-MTZ), implemented between 2011 and 2018 in Niger, has sustainably increased agricultural production and productivity and increased food security for nearly nine million residents of this Sahelian country, according to a report by the African Development Bank.
An African Development Bank project to enhance market infrastructure, value addition and rural finance (MIVARF) in Tanzania produced highly satisfactory results, according to a report released by the project team. The project, rolled out in the country between 2012 and 2017 increased the incomes of rural producers and traders threefold.
Madagascar: African Development Bank provides $2.13 million for farmers to cover drought-related economic losses -.AFDB
The African Risk Capacity Insurance Company presented a cheque for $2,126,803 to the Republic of Madagascar to cover anticipated livelihood losses for 600,000 vulnerable Malagasy people due to drought-related crop failures in the recent farming season.
The report shows that the burden of malnutrition in all its forms continues to be a challenge. There has been some progress for child stunting, low birthweight and exclusive breastfeeding, but at a pace that is still too slow. Childhood overweight is not improving and adult obesity is on the rise in all regions.
In Cuba, ecosystem-based adaptation is a cost-effective way to preserve and restore natural habitats and protect coastal communities. “We ourselves were destroying this world, but now we have a project of environmental education, we work with all the schools and are linked to the population.
The world’s tourism sector could lose at least $1.2 trillion, or 1.5% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), having been placed at a standstill for nearly four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, UNCTAD said in a report published on 1 July.
Biodiversity underpins 14 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, a recent study showed that only 20% of the countries analysed mention biodiversity as a national priority for sustainable development in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of their progress towards the SDGs.
EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat to boost rural, mountain, forest and island communities’ livelihoods – FAO
9 July 2020, Rome - EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, hosted by FAO, today joined forces to better the lives of people living in rural areas and fragile ecosystems, such as mountains, forests and islands, and develop more inclusive food and agriculture systems.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the globe, forests and forest communities are feeling the pressure. Forests are already a source of food, income, fuel and shelter for hundreds of millions of people around the world.