CBFP Facilitation at Work: The Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitation Roadmap is available….
The Facilitation´s overarching objective for 2020 and 2021 is to contribute to the preservation and sustainable use of Central Africa´s incredibly rich forest landscapes. Safeguarding their threatened integrity is crucial for the sustainable development of states and populations in the Basin as well as for the fight against global challenges like a declining biodiversity or a changing climate. In doing so, the Facilitation aims to add value to and build on the important work of the Partnership´s members and preceding Facilitations.
By means of an official ceremony in Douala in December 2019, the Facilitation of Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) was handed over from the Kingdom of Belgium, represented by Minister of State François–Xavier De Donnea, to the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the new CBFP Facilitator Dr. Christian Ruck. Marked by a launch in Berlin on 14 February 2020 under the auspices of Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in the presence of various representatives from COMIFAC member countries, the work of German Facilitation has undoubtedly begun.
The Road Map at hand indicates several key topics which the German Facilitation intends to emphasize together with the whole Partnership. An overall objective of the Facilitation effort in 2020 and 2021 will be to promote and strengthen intensive cooperation for transparent as well as concerted multi-stakeholder leadership. Addressing the ever more pressing threats for Central Africa´s forest ecosystems, their biodiversity, and their populations will require a strong and equal Partnership as well as consistency with the work of preceding Facilitations. Hence, the Facilitation intends to bring together CBFP partners in the Congo Basin and beyond. It proposes to the Partnership to put particular focus on a number of governance subjects and wants to trigger broad discussions on different thematic matters. These key subjects are closely aligned with the strategic areas of the COMIFAC Convergence Plan, the medium-term priorities of the CBFP, the Rio Conventions, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
I. Consolidation of achievements to date: To begin with, the Partnership should stay committed to consolidating its achievements under the preceding Belgian Facilitation on cross-border anti-poaching efforts, security concerns and management of transhumance issues in the region. The Facilitation encourages the Partnership to follow up on the commitments laid out in the N´Djamena declaration and to encourage practical measures on the ground.
II. Governance within the partnership: We remain convinced that the Partnership is of decisive importance for safeguarding the Central African forests, the various ecosystem services they provide and the rich possibilities they harbor for sustainable development within the region. Thus, the Facilitation aims to strengthen CBFP´s governance, broaden its membership network and bolster interactions and cooperation within the Partnership in order to safeguard its relevance and increase its impact. Besides the regular holding of meetings of and between the Colleges, meetings of the Governing Council and as well as the organization of the annual Meeting of Parties of the CBFP, a key objective will be to make greater use of the vast expertise assembled in the Colleges and to proactively tap into this knowledge resource by assigning the Colleges a stronger role in the Partnership´s thematic work.
III. Biodiversity, wildlife & protected area management: Furthermore, the incoming Facilitation urges the Partnership to underline the Congo Basin forests´ relevance in global efforts to conserve biodiversity and will work to identify possibilities for long-term financing of conservation efforts. It intends to promote increased coordination and synergies between policies and various existing conservation instruments. It aims to move CBFP members to seek a way forward for managing transboundary protected areas and to reduce gaps in the conservation – development – security nexus. A prioritized aim is to facilitate a common perspective from the Congo Basin to be brought to the table at this year´s landmark CBD Conference of Parties in Kunming. In order to protect the forests´ rich biodiversity, the Facilitation also wants to accentuate the need for an improved management of protected areas along guiding principles for human rights and participation of local and indigenous groups. Conservation of vulnerable landscapes and wildlife can only succeed if resident populations are participating substantively in management approaches like parks or nature reserves. Resident communities should receive the tangible benefits – economic and beyond – protected areas can provide for them if they are to support conservation efforts.
IV. Forests and climate: Calling attention to the Congo Basin forests´ outstanding role as stock for carbon sequestration in global efforts to curb climate change, the Partnership should stay committed to raising the profile of the region in current and upcoming international climate negotiations which are at a decisive state for future environmental politics. The Facilitation intends to act as neutral intermediary within the Partnership and to work towards a shared position of Congo Basin countries at UNFCCC COPs 26 and 27. It also aims to activate the Partnership´s network in order to identify ways for enabling REDD+ in Central Africa, to discuss additional mechanisms for valuing the forests´ vital ecosystem services and to appropriately consider Central African forests and the ecosystem services they provide in finance flows of international climate politics. A further ambition will be to encourage restoration of degraded landscapes as well as conserving peatlands within the Congo Basin. By revitalizing degraded landscapes, pressure on vulnerable virgin forests might be decreased.
V. Sustainable land use: Being aware of the relevance of the Congo Basin forests and their resources for local livelihoods and regional economies, the Facilitation aims to stimulate a debate on ways to utilize forests, natural resources and lands in Central Africa in a sustainable way. Inducing discussions on how to move towards an integrated land use planning within the region and developing ideas on how to strengthen approaches such as – amongst others – certification, ecotourism, adding value to forest-related products or deforestation-free supply chains are key aspirations for the next two years. The long-term objective is to move towards regulative harmonization and minimum standards within the region for the sustainable optimization of all resource and land use in order to support conservation, biodiversity and sustainable management and – above all – the economic development of the populations of Central Africa.
VI. Dialogue with China: Again with reference to the preceding achievements, the Facilitation aims to deepen the dialogue of the CBFP and its members with partners from China. A focus will be to link actors from the private sector with the political level in order to render cooperation and investment beneficial and sustainable in the long term.
The Facilitation wants to affirm that the upcoming two years 2020 – 2021 represent a crucial window of opportunity for protecting the rainforests in the Congo Basin and for enabling them to continue providing ecosystem services which are vital on local, regional and global levels. With a CBD COP 15 as a milestone biodiversity conference, UNFCCC COPs 26 and 27 as turning points for global climate politics and the EU - China Summit as a key moment in taking stock of China´s growing engagement in the Congo Basin, it is essential for the Partnership to speak with a common voice. The Facilitation firmly believes that a coordinated and harmonized stance will benefit the Partnership as well as the Congo Basin and its forests in impinging on these crucial negotiations. To this end, it aims to make use of the moment in creating synergies with Germany´s current simultaneous presidency of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI).
In close alignment with the Convergence Plan of the COMIFAC, the German Facilitation proposes the Road Map outlined above to its partners from Central Africa and beyond. It invites the members of the Partnership to come together and to move forward in the protection and sustainable management of the rainforests of the Congo Basin as well as the sustainable development of its Population. It stays open for suggestions and ideas from its partners and welcomes new initiatives and ideas from all sides.
Wednesday, January 24, 2024. Geneva. The Franco-Gabonese Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) organised a side event on cross-border transhumance at the14th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). At the era of climate change, access to water, agriculture, the fight against desertification, biodiversity, forest preservation and cross-border migration, transhumance is the cross-sectoral prime theme. This explains the central theme of the event: “Meeting Between the Sahel and northern equatorial Africa - The challenges of the nexus: cross-border transhumance, survival of protected areas, natural resources, and human lives, development, security and peace.”
Kinshasa, DRC, 13 February 2024: The Congo Basin Science Initiative has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Basin Science Initiative is now one of 127 member countries and organizations working together in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership to promote sustainable resource management, combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
The strategic meeting between the Minister of Forest Economy, Rosalie MATONDO and Deliotte consultancy cabinet made way to research collaboration possibilities and share prospects on reforms needed to make forestry attractive.
From 22 to 24 January 2024, a sub-regional workshop was held in Douala, Republic of Cameroon, to analyse the results of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Her Excellency Dr Aurelie Flore Koumba Pambo, the Gabonese Co-Facilitator of the CBFP, participated in the workshop. Download the final communiqué of the meeting..
Ministers and representatives from governments, international organisations, and civil society will explore how multi-sector collaboration in the fight against nature crime can inform wider efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis during an official side event at the upcoming UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi.
Financial crime analysts, industry experts and law enforcement officers from across Southern Africa assembled in Cape Town last week for the first in a new series of regional meetings aimed at tackling illicit financial flows associated with nature crime.
This article by Paul Scholte and Matthew Luizza in Conservation News looks at the progress and prospects for work on transhumance in Central Africa since the second international conference of ministers on transboundary transhumance of July 2023 in Yaoundé.
Gervais MBATA, the new Minister of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing hosted at his Cabinet this February 7, the United States’ ambassador to Central Africa, Mrs Patricia MAHONEY. During this fruitful meeting between government members and American diplomats, several topics were discussed about cooperation reinforcement, the USA’s multiform support and especially the implementation of projects on the protection of CAR wildlife areas.
On 7 February 2024, Rosalie MATONDO, Minister for Forest Economy, welcomed Peter FEARNHEAD, Chief Executive Officer of the South African NGO African Parks Network (APN). The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the management and development of the Odzala-KMassif okoua Forest (MFOK), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The two parties also discussed the challenges of conserving protected areas.
This is the question posed by Development Advocates (GDA) in its new publication: Deforestation-free cocoa in Cameroon: questions, concerns and priorities from smallholder farmers. The document sets out the challenges Cameroon faces in doubling its domestic cocoa production, retaining access to its biggest market (the EU) and reducing the pressure on its forests. Please download the GDA publication...
Pollution is widespread – and often fatal.Dirty air alone is responsible for 6.7 million deaths globally every year, while conservative estimates suggest that in 2019, 5.5 million people died from heart disease linked to lead exposure. To stem the pollution crisis, countries agreed in 2022 to establish a new body that would provide policymakers with robust, independent information on chemicals, waste and pollution.
The Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit "Adaption to climate change, Nature-based Solutions and Resilience" was held at the Palais des Congrès in Liège on 8 and 9 February 2024. Over two days, the Summit brought together nearly 1,000 participants of more than 20 nationalities, from numerous European networks and organisations of non-state actors such as businesses, researchers, civil society and local governments.
As the world’s top decision-making body on the environment, UNEA-6 will bring together ministers, intergovernmental organizations, the broader UN system, civil society groups, the scientific community and private sector to shape global environmental policy. This year, we’re expecting more than 70 Ministers and 3,000 delegates to join us in Nairobi. We currently have 20 draft resolutions and two draft decisions submitted for countries to discuss. Ms. Ochalik will share more on this. I will talk about the wider context of UNEA-6, and what it means.
Look closely at this interactive map of the world and squiggly pink lines are visible in almost every major saltwater body, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay of Bengal. The lines represent the movement of boats captured via a network of satellites and ground monitoring stations.
Following a ministerial reshuffle yesterday, Wednesday 17 January 2024, the Ministry of Water and Forests, formerly responsible for the Environment, Climate and Human-Wildlife Conflict (CHF), has been split into two separate ministries: one responsible for the Environment, Climate and Human-Wildlife Conflict (CHF), managed by Arcadie Svetlana Minguengui Ndomba épse. Nzoma, and the other in charge of Water and Forests, which remains under its full management.
This second cohort of investments, named TerraFund for AFR100 Landscapes, is restoring land in three of the continent’s vital landscapes: the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Ghana Cocoa Belt; and the Greater Rift Valley of Kenya. These landscapes were chosen because they provide food and water for millions of people and protect crucial biodiversity; yet they are suffering from decades of degradation.
To bolster its work in the region, Tenure Facility has joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), a strategic alliance of countries and organisations dedicated to fostering sustainable practices, improving living conditions, and preserving the rich biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.Tenure Facility will bring its longstanding collaboration with several stakeholders – including Indigenous Peoples, local communities, organisations, and governments – to CBFP as it works toward finding inclusive and equitable solutions to forest-related challenges.
Douala, Cameroon, 22-24 January 2024 - The Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), with financial support from the German cooperation via the GIZ support project for COMIFAC and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), organised a sub-regional workshop to analyse the results of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).
When it comes to climate, we do have something new to build on. Yes, the Dubai Consensus that emerged from COP28 was not everything everyone had hoped for. But it did signal a global decision to move away from fossil fuels, which is critical, as we all know. And, of course, the Loss & Damage Fund was put into operation. This was an important show of solidarity with vulnerable nations, although there is a long way to go to capitalize the fund. The positives did not stop there. We saw new commitments on sustainable cooling and reducing methane emissions. A tripling of renewable energy targets. Nature breakthroughs. Crucially, there was agreement on the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
Cicin Juarsim, 52, smiled with joy when the land she has been cultivating officially became hers. “Now I am holding a private ownership certificate in my land. This is not only important for me. This land is important for my children,” said Cicin Juarsim who lives in Muktisari village, Ciamis District, in Indonesia’s western province of Java.
Under the aegis of the Co-Facilitator of France, Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) is taking part in the GFMD and is organising a side event on Wednesday 24 January 2024, from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm (virtual), on the theme: Meeting between the Sahel and northern equatorial Africa - The challenges of the nexus: cross-border transhumance, survival of protected areas, natural resources, and human lives, development, security and peace.
For months last year, Florida’s beachgoers were plagued by rotting tangles of decaying seaweed that had washed ashore. Known technically as sargassum, the thick clumps were part of a record-setting 8,000-kilometre-long seaweed belt in the Atlantic Ocean. Sargassum blooms cause a range of environmental problems, including coastal “dead zones” bereft of aquatic life. Past sargassum outbreaks have been linked to the excessive release of phosphorus and other chemical substances known as nutrients.
Location: Gustavo Fonseca Meeting room (N 8 – 180) and virtually on Zoom. 3. Speakers: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez. CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; Ana Maria Gonzalez Velosa, Senior Environmental Specialist, Coordinator of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program, World Bank Group, Latin America Region; Jean-Marc Sinnassamy, Senior Environmental Specialist, Lead of the CFB IP, GEF Secretariat; Charity Nalyanya, Director, Project Management and Technical Oversight, Conservation International (CI); George Akwah Neba, Team Leader of UNEP’s Congo Basin Team; Yawo Jonky Tenou...
Seated by a crackling fire burning during an inky night, community elder Cosmas Murunga shares some advice to his audience of young listeners. “As you grow up, women might get married outside of the community. But they shouldn’t forget where they came from,” he says. “And you young men, as you grow, know that you will inherit the ways of your fathers, grandfathers and those of your ancestors.”
In the case of Cameroon, the government established an inter sectoral committee chaired by the prime minister office to facilitate development of the country’s PIP. The methodology adopted for writing of this document, followed a participatory approach. After validation of the draft logical framework by the Expert Committee in Douala, the national Steering Committee which brings together various sectoral ministries met in May 2023 to work on priority sectoral activities of the seven strategic axes of the logical framework. A consultant was hired to technically assist the national steering committee in development process of the PIP. The main tasks of the consultant included further consultation of sectoral ministries to discuss priorities, consultation of strategic partners, desktop review of technical reports and other related documents on transhumance, budgeting and development of 5years investment plan.
Paris, 10 January 2024: The Tenure Facility has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Tenure Facility is now one of 126 member countries and organizations who work together to promote sustainable resource management, to combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
The report, prepared by a consortium led by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and supported by Agence Française de Développement and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to provide professionals and policymakers working at the intersections of water, the environment, health, energy, agriculture, spatial planning, and land use with a global cooperative and cross-sectoral reference on the current situation and developments in sanitation and wastewater and fecal sludge management in cities and human settlements.
The 2023 edition of the Population Reference Bureau’s (PRB) World Population Data Sheet explores the role of population data in helping countries prepare for and adapt to climate change. It finds that “[b]y examining the association between population vulnerability and risk of exposure to climate shocks, decisionmakers can allocate resources to areas of greatest need and prepare essential systems to respond effectively to climate change.”
In recent years, climate crises such as floods, wildfires, drought, and extreme heat have disrupted ecosystems and negatively impacted human health. The Global South is often the hardest hit by climate change. Amid these crises, digital health emerges as a beacon of hope given its ability to provide accessible, cost-effective, and resilient healthcare services, which are increasingly necessary in the face of the growing challenges posed by climate change, particularly in hard-to-reach regions.
The Nigeria Ministry for Agriculture and Food Security is set to collaborate with IITA to scale technologies as part of measures to implement the government’s 8-point agenda. During a recent visit to the office of the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Abubakar Kyari, in Abuja, IITA Director General and Regional Director for CGIAR in Africa, Dr Simeon Ehui, said the Institute values the strong support of the Nigerian government and would like to align with the national programs.
Last September, 193 UN Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a shared roadmap, as well as to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. At the same time, countries gathered at the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) SDG Summit acknowledged that achieving the Global Goals on time is “in peril” due to major setbacks related to multiple global crises.
The 2023 Dubai Climate Change Conference began on a high note. During the opening plenary, parties adopted a decision operationalizing the new loss and damage fund that was established the previous year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and a number of parties announced pledges for its initial capitalization. This success was made possible by an agreement reached in the Transitional Committee that was tasked and met throughout 2023 to make a recommendation on the institutional arrangements for the fund.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched an online platform gathering existing knowledge and resources on biodiversity in agriculture to improve countries’ knowledge and capacity to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), deliver on the SDGs, and achieve food security for all.
Having just completed the 12th meeting of the Governing Council of the CBFP, we would like to thank you once again for the warm reception you gave the Franco-Gabonese Co-Facilitation, which was set up in July 2023. Six months after the start of our Co-Facilitation, we have spoken out on behalf of the Congo Basin at international meetings including...