The European Commission has adopted the new EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and an associated Action Plan (annex) - a comprehensive, ambitious, long-term plan for protecting nature and reversing the degradation of ecosystems.
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.
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EU plan to tackle biodiversity loss in Africa not good news for people or nature, Ngos say – rainforestfoundationuk
The Rainforest Foundation UK, Minority Rights Group International and Forest Peoples Programme have today written to the European Commission expressing concerns over its plans for a new flagship biodiversity programme in Africa. The NGOs warn it could entrench an outmoded and unsustainable conservation model that has led to serious human rights abuses and dispossession of some of the world’s most vulnerable people while doing little for continent’s ecosystems.
On 24th September, 2020, Biodiversity Beyond 2020: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth Ministerial Roundtable was co-hosted virtually in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
Driven by a genuine desire for change, he piloted an initiative to support the empowerment of Batwa communities who live near the Bururi Forest Reserve. For this determinant action he has just won the National Geographic / Buffett Award 2018 "Leadership for the protection of the environment".
This brief aims to unpack these issues and highlights how the external dimension of the Farm to Fork Strategy could be expanded to drive an effective and a much-needed global just transition towards inclusive and sustainable agri-food systems. We call on the EU to strengthen its approach towards global issues as the Strategy is discussed and approved by the European Parliament and the Council, as well as in the subsequent implementation of the Strategy.
You can hear the bai before you arrive: an orchestra of low rumbles and trumpets reverberating through the dense trees. The clearing, known as Dzanga Bai, is crowded. Forest elephants, smaller in stature than their cousins roaming Africa’s savannas, wander in and out.
In the age of COVID-19, there are many new routines for all of us. Quarantines and social distancing do not come naturally to most human beings, nor do they always look the same across the various cities, communities, or countries in which we live. Thousands of miles away in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Indigenous Ba’Aka tribe of Dzanga-Sangha is taking social distancing to the next level.
On Wednesday 23 September 2020, Norway's Ministry of Climate and Environment entered into a contract worth up to NOK 400 million (approx. USD 43) with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) and its partners Airbus and Planet, to provide universal access to high-resolution satellite monitoring of the tropics in order to support efforts to stop the destruction of the world’s rainforests.
Read : Speech by the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck at the opening of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of COMIFAC; Cameroon cancels logging plan that threatened rare apes – reuters
Bonn, 21 September 2020 – The number of commitments to reach net zero emissions from local governments and businesses has roughly doubled in less than a year, as many prioritize climate action in their recovery from Covid-19
Decree No. 84/2020 of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea dated on the 15th of september indicates that "operators in the timber sector have continued to systematically cut prohibited species and to export logs" despite Decree 7/2017 which regulated the logging of certain species.
As a reminder, the EUTR states the need to obtain information concerning “the description, including the trade name and the type of products as well as the common name of the forest tree species and where appropriate, its full scientific name…”However, what do the names mean: commercial, common or even scientific? What do these regulations mean by "where applicable"?
Read: EMAC is moving towards an export ban on logs; Equatorial Guinea issues a presidential decree banning logging; ATIBT participated in ACSFI - FAO meeting; EUTR requirement: ATIBT recalls and explains the importance of timber names and their meanings…
Over the last fifty years, the sharp increase in world trade and consumption, as well as the strong growth of the human population and a gigantic urbanization movement have metamorphosed our world. These developments have led to unprecedented degradation of nature and overexploitation of natural resources. A handful of countries are home to the last remaining wilderness areas. Natural areas are being transformed faster than ever before.
Read: BIOPAMA signs a financing contract with the Observatory in West Africa; World Natural Heritage Report in Africa. The new IUCN report "World Natural Heritage in Africa - Progress and Prospects" is available in English and french...
Speech by the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck at the opening of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of COMIFAC
August 20, 2020 - At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife of Cameroon, current President of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, on behalf of all CBFP member partners, delivered a speech during the protocol segment of the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers in charge of Forests and/or Environment of the COMIFAC member countries.
Final Communiqué of the Meeting of Sectoral Ministers of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa: End of export of timber in the form of logs as of January 1, 2022
18 September 2020 - By Videoconference - The CEMAC meeting of Ministers in charge of Forestry, Industry and Environment of Central Africa adopts several decisions with a major impact on the development of the forestry and timber sector in Central Africa.
To read: Carlos Manuel Rodriguez takes over as head of the GEF; ICCF briefing on deforestation, wildlife, and pandemic risks; Mapping nature for a global biodiversity framework; World Water Week at Home…
Forest article-Contribution of Non-Timber Forest Product Valorisation to the Livelihood Assets of Local People in the Northern Periphery of the Dja Faunal Reserve, East Cameroon
This study therefore evaluated the contribution of NTFP valorisation to the livelihood assets of local people around the northern periphery of the Dja Faunal Reserve (DFR), East Cameroon. To achieve this objective, data collected from 215 households in 32 villages were analyzed using factor analysis, Mann–Whitney U tests, and structural equation modelling.
(Business in Cameroon) - On September 4, 2020, the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo, signed two decrees temporarily suspending the operations of about twenty wood processing units in the Littoral region.
Legality in Europe and China: Last actions to the support of the application of the EUTR and the pursuit of the collaboration between ATIBT / GGSC / CTWPDA
Here are some key elements on the update of the EUTR (European Timber Regulation) through the action of the European Union and EU member States to ensure its proper application, as well as an overview of the new Chinese forest law.
In Interim UN75 Report, One Million Respondents Unified on Natural Environment, Diversity and Inequalities – IISD
The Office on the Commemoration of the UN’s 75th Anniversary issued an update on the results of a global consultation on people’s fears and hopes for the future, on which respondents are “remarkably unified” across the world. Since January 2020, over one million respondents have participated, covering all UN Member States and Observer States.
Cameroon withdraws the decree of 14 July 2020 "classifying a 68,385 hectare portion of forest as State property, constituted as a forest management unit called FMU 07 006, located in the Nkam and Sanaga Maritime Divisions, Littoral Region".
Germany wants to make the DRC the first country to supply hydrogen to the European Union (Minister of State Guillaume Manjolo) – Politico
Guillaume Manjolo recalled that Germany already supported the DRC in the years 1972 and 1982, in the construction of the Inga 1 site. Germany is coming back this time with an important dimension of strategy for the development of the energy sector in the DRC.
Marie Thérèse Chantal Mfoula is the new commissioner in charge of Spatial Planning and Infrastructure at the Economic Commission for Central African States!
At the invitation of His Excellency Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, President of the Gabonese Republic, current President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the XVllth Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government was held on 30 July, 2020 by videoconference
Final Communiqué of the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Forest Commission of 20 August 2020 by Videoconference.
At the invitation of Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, current President of the Council of Ministers in charge of Forestry and/or Environment of COMIFAC member countries was held on 20 August 2020 by videoconference.
To read: EU and UK launch consultations on policies to reduce deforestation in supply chains; A win for Ebo forest, an unsettling broader picture in Cameroon; Mercosur disarray exposes EU Trade policy weakness...
This week saw the launch of the 5th edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5), the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It is a periodic report that summarises the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant to the further implementation of the Convention.
To read: British actor Peter Egan became the first ambassador of the Limbe Wildlife Centre; MINFOF-ZSL-LWC joint operation to rescue 8 endangered African grey parrots in South; Mandrill: Opened access to the densely grassed strip left fallow...
The experience of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex with the use of the Integrated Management Effectiveness tool. An integrated vision of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex, consisting of the parks of Bouba Ndjidda, in Cameroon, and Sena Oura, in Chad, fol-lowed by a critical analysis of the state of the sites, allowed eﬃ nition of tai-lor-made interventions.
Following its Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests in 2019, the European Commission has finally opened a questionnaire-based consultation on policies needed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation associated with EU consumption of forest-risk commodities.
This online course organized by IFED in partnership with Queen's University of Canada will be delivered by high level lecturers. Professionals with positive experiences on REDD++ management and PES will also share their experiences you learners. Please also see hereafter the poster which summarizes the articulations of this training that scheduled from 05 to 09 October 2020.
Forests and Finance - The banks and investors exposed to deforestation risks in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and in Brazil.
Top 10 Lenders & Underwriters (2016-2020 April): See the 10 banks and investors with the highest financial exposure in loans and underwriting to forest-risk sector companies in Southeast Asia, Central and West Africa and Brazil. These findings are based on research carried out by forestsandfinance.org using this methodology to identify corporate loans, credit and underwriting facilities provided to the selected companies.
DAKAR (Reuters) - Cameroon has backtracked on a decision to allow industrial logging in one of the region’s least exploited rainforests, home to rare gorillas, tool-wielding chimpanzees and giant frogs.
I have been following with keen interest the ongoing debate on Ebo Forest. It represents the struggle of a country trying to balance developmental aspirations with ecological and cultural identity.