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.
The GIZ Support Project to the BSB YAMOUSSA complex, in collaboration with the Lamidat of Rey Bouba, proposes to organize a sub-regional forum of direct local actors of transboundary transhumance and traditional stakeholders from the grassroots communities, with a view to exchanging, sharing experiences and reflecting on the construction of dialogue in favour of a peaceful transhumance.
In this letter to the Slovenian and French Presidencies of the EU, 42 civil society networks and organisations from countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America call on the European Union (EU) to strengthen support to the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation and its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), the EU’s key legal instruments to fight illegal logging, and the associated trade.
This is a second polite reminder to let you know we are conducting an anonymous evaluation funded by the World Resources Institute (WRI) of forest monitoring information and tools, and their usefulness, with a particular focus on Global Forest Watch (GFW), and stakeholder perspectives.
The German CBFP Facilitation has commissioned a package of 6 thematic studies on pertinent issues in Congo Basin forest politics (namely REDD+ in the Congo Basin, Land Use Planning, Transhumance, Ecotourism, Sustainable value chains, China´s role in Central African forestry) as well as an overarching synthesis study. Each study consists of a full study report as well as a short policy brief. Please download the CBFP Study Package…
...In addition to this effort at the global policy level, the facilitation commissioned six thematic studies related to specific opportunities and challenges for the forests of the Congo Basin and the people who depend directly on the products, biodiversity and ecosystem services the forests provide. The six studies and a policy brief for each study were prepared between December 2020 and August 2021. They focus on the following topics...
Over the last 10 to 15 years, China has increasingly taken note of the potential environmental and forest impacts of its overseas trade, investment and other economic activities. However, timber trade between China and Africa has so far not met the requirements of international legality and sustainability standards. Furthermore, China is highly involved in investment and construction of infrastructure projects that may have caused forest conversion due to a lack of comprehensive, effective management measures and a lack of environmental impact analyses.
This study was performed with the intent of understanding the challenges to developing eco-tourism in the Congo Basin, and of identifying actions and recommendations to overcome these challenges. A background study of the existing literature, research articles, reports and national strategies (where available) was performed to ascertain the political strategies and academic understanding of ecotourism in the region.
Conclusions and outlook: Adapted local LUP processes can serve as a foundation for securing tenure, reducing social conflicts between external and local actors, or even within forest adjacent communities meeting the SDGs, implementing REDD+ and operationalizing the many commitments to zero deforestation commodity production.
This study was carried out to shed light on issues related to this activity and provide basic knowledge of various aspects relating to livestock rearing, neo-pastoralism and unsustainable transhumance. The study area covers the Sudano-Sahelian region of Africa – specifically, the area stretching from the northern fringes of the Congo Basin (Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic) and the south-eastern part of the southern Lake Chad Basin, namely the Sudano-Guinean savanna mosaics. The methodology adopted was to collect data from various sources, including from key stake-holders and literature review.
The first case study is dedicated to the spectacular policy announcement by Gabon that it would make FSC timber certification mandatory from 2022 onwards for all concessionaires willing to keep operating in the country. Such certification is relatively advanced in Gabon and this unprecedented policy stands as an intriguing and promising example in the region. The second case study relates to a prominent approach that has emerged and grown over the last decade, namely corporate zero-deforestation commitments. This is complementary to the first case study as it refers to a process initiated by the private sector itself, and we apply it to the oil palm sector in Cameroon. For the third case study, we move to the importation side of things with the most advanced policy effort to take action in consuming countries, namely the French National Strategy against Imported Deforestation (SNDI).
The report draws on a thorough review of the available literature. It is complemented by 21 semi-structured anonymous interviews with key REDD+ experts. The authors conducted the interviews between November 2020 and February 2021. Interview partners include represent-atives of Congo Basin countries, donor states, academia, NGOs and independent technical experts. Instead of going to lengths in elucidating the entire range of options for reducing deforestation and forest degradation, the study report lists concrete courses of action which might be pursued in the future.
To read: Governments meet to consider ambitious GEF replenishment; GEF CEO statement for side event at UN General Assembly; GEF supports innovative Food Securities Fund; 'You cannot see forests in isolation'…
Africa's priorities within the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) were set out in July 2021 just after the Bonn Climate Conference (UNFCCC inter-sessional). These priorities are as follows...
UN Climate Change News, 17 September 2021 – UN Climate Change today published a synthesis of climate action plans as communicated in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The NDC Synthesis report indicates that while there is a clear trend that greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced over time, nations must urgently redouble their climate efforts if they are to prevent global temperature increases beyond the Paris Agreement’s goal of well below 2C – ideally 1.5C – by the end of the century.
UN Climate Change News, 30 September 2021 – Africa Climate Week 2021 wrapped up this week with Virtual Thematic Sessions helping to set the scene for more ambitious regional action to tackle climate change ahead of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November.
UN Climate Change News, 5 October 2021 – Faith leaders representing the world’s major religions yesterday joined scientists at the Vatican to call on the international community to raise their ambition and step up their climate action ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow. Almost 40 faith leaders signed a joint Appeal, which was presented by Pope Francis to COP26 President-Designate, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma, and the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Luigi Di Maio.
Dear Stakeholder. We are conducting an anonymous evaluation funded by the World Resources Institute (WRI) of forest monitoring information and tools, and their usefulness, with a particular focus on Global Forest Watch (GFW), and stakeholder perspectives.
Bonn, 28 September 2021 – The winners of prestigious 2021 Land for Life Award of the United Nations have been honored at an international forum for their innovation in land restoration and conservation methods that promote the well-being of communities and improve their relationship with nature.
Bonn, 29 September 2021 – Two new guidance documents have been released today: a revised and upgraded version of Good Practice Guidance for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 15.3.1 and new Good Practice Guidance for national reporting on UNCCD strategic objective 3.
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has published a report providing a global assessment of transboundary climate risks in agricultural commodity flows. Its authors explain that the material risk posed to food security, particularly in low-income, import-dependent countries, is such that adaptation to transboundary climate risk becomes a matter of public policy.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released its annual Goalkeepers Report, which tracks progress on 18 SDG indicators and reflects on trends influencing the Goals. In the introduction to the 2021 Goalkeepers report, titled ‘Innovation and Inequity,’ Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates write that the past year has shown that “progress is possible but not inevitable. The effort we put in matters a great deal.” The report aims to highlight learnings from the successes and failures of the pandemic so far.
A new study conducted by scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), and partner organizations shows that charcoal producers have little or no support to engage in the replanting of trees, which could lead to a lower rate of deforestation in the already tree-scarce areas where most charcoal is produced.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UN partners have published a compendium of 500 actions to reduce death and diseases driven by environmental risk factors. The publication states that almost 25% of deaths worldwide could be prevented by fully implementing these actions.
The vast forests of the world’s largest tropical island are populated by exotic birds of paradise, kingfishers, parrots, raptors and pigeons – these species representing just a handful of almost 750 that have so far been identified.
Governments, companies and other organizations offered more than 200 commitments at the world’s first food systems summit aimed at addressing unequal access to food in a more sustainable, healthier and equitable way.
The latest ‘Still Only One Earth’ policy brief from IISD looks back at when “the world was struck with fear” in 1985 after scientists discovered a massive hole in the ozone that forms a protective layer over the Earth. The brief reviews the steps taken to heal the ozone layer through two intergovernmental agreements – the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – and what else must be done. It also highlights lessons for addressing climate change.
Jointly organized by COMIFAC, CBFP, GIZ, CAFI and IUCN, as part of the Congo Basin Special Day at the World Conservation Congress, a high-level session on the Congo Basin, was held from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m on 05/09/2021., at the SPACE CENTER, Exhibition HALL 3.
In a world emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress successfully highlighted the dual existential crises the planet faces: climate change and biodiversity collapse.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) summit ended in Marseille on Friday, September 10, 7 days after its inauguration. A number of ATIBT members participated, sometimes with a stand. It was above all a return to direct meetings between many people who had only seen each other through screens for many months!
Dubai WoodShow has been the leading trade show for the wood and woodworking machinery sectors since 2005. The show has established its position in the Middle East region as the most dynamic platform for the wood and woodworking professionals.
Deforestation continues at a worrying pace worldwide, except in temperate and boreal countries. It is caused by the race for land, underpinned by population growth and rising global demand for “deforestation-prone” products. Moreover, with climate change, mega-fires are now posing unprecedented threats to forests.
The Marseille Manifesto aims to capture a limited number of key messages that are globally and currently relevant and which relate to the Congress proceedings, including any notable and important commitments and announcements that emerged from Congress events. The focus is on the post-Covid recovery, the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency.
Jointly organized by COMIFAC, the CBFP, GIZ, CAFI and the IUCN, as part of the Congo Basin Special Day at the World Conservation Congress, a second high-level session on the preservation of the Congo Basin’s ecosystems took place on 05/09/2021 at 6:00 p.m. local time at the PAVILLON NATURE BASE SOLUTION, Exhibition HALL 3.
Following four busy and inspirational days of work, the Forum concluded its deliberations. During another bustling day, participants attended thematic sessions and high-level dialogues during the morning. In the afternoon, seven thematic plenaries outlined the main take-home messages from the Forum’s discussions, followed by the official Forum closing plenary.