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...
Statement on the situation of wildlife in the Congo Basin (and in Cameroon in particular) - Resolving Conservation Conflicts in West/Central African Protected Areas
This is a summary of the discussions held during the 2019 October workshop, “Resolving Conservation Conflicts in West/Central African Protected Areas” in Yaoundé, Cameroon
Wildlife populations are collapsing inside and outside protected areas throughout Western Equatorial Africa. In Cameroon, there has been a significant decline in large mammal populations in savannah and forest habitats. Top predators are disappearing even from national parks, which are supposed to receive the highest levels of protection. Some years ago, Cameroon lost its last cheetahs and likely its last African wild dogs.
The future of other large carnivores is hanging in the balance, and Cameroon could soon see the lion go extinct, a symbol of strength and power, and the symbol of sports teams in Cameroon, including the national soccer team. Forest primates, our closest relatives in the animal world, also face a looming risk, with over 50% of primate species threatened with extinction. Populations of Cross River gorillas, drills and Preuss’s red colobus monkeys, some of Africa’s most endangered primate species that are found primarily in Cameroon, have declined significantly over the last decade. African forest elephants have undergone dramatic declines of up to 90%, and some populations are locally extinct. These declines are not limited to large mammals but have also been reported for several bird species.
We are a group of scientists, including faculty members from respected universities in Cameroon and abroad, representatives of protected areas management units, law enforcement organisations, and international organisations. In October 2019, we met in Yaoundé to assess the current status of conservation in the country and discuss innovative, sustainable, and community-based ways forward to solve what we consider to be a conservation crisis. Based on our combined experience, which encompasses both the social and the ecological sciences, and the data presented at this workshop and in the literature, it is clear that, in many ways, conservation in Cameroon is failing. But many opportunities exist for a more positive future.
Some of the threats to nature and wildlife in Cameroon include poaching of protected species and unsustainable hunting, illegal wildlife trade, and the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of habitat. Increased bushmeat hunting to meet rampant demands of a growing urban population has become unsustainable and is currently a major force driving the decline of a large number of species, most notably arboreal primates and duiker antelopes. The illegal trade of wildlife as pets or for body parts (including ivory and pangolin scales) also directly threaten populations. Mining, dam construction, unsustainable logging, and the expansion of large-scale agriculture such as oil palm plantations are reducing the extent of wildlife habitat, converting them into isolated fragments. All these different threats act synergistically, aggravating wildlife population declines and disrupting the free ecological services that these natural areas provide to millions of people.
These threats are affecting the local people as well as all the areas where we work in Cameroon. From our research, experience, and observations, it is difficult to believe that there is currently even a single area of forest, including protected areas, that is untouched by poaching with cable snares or guns, or other forms of habitat degradation. This does not only imperil ecological integrity but is also a threat to the wellbeing of Cameroonians through the disruption and loss of environmental services. Conservation is not a luxury. Wildlife and nature play an essential role in the livelihoods, cultures, and religions of the Cameroonian people living in rural areas. The current conservation crisis could lead to a food security crisis among vulnerable communities, including indigenous people. Local cultures and religions have formed complex relations with nature and wildlife. Thus, the loss of the Cameroonian natural heritage would in turn severely affect its rich cultural heritage. The country is also losing an important potential source of foreign income through ecotourism.
We conclude that the current crisis will not be solved unless there is political will and investment at multiple levels: legal, financial, educational, and social. We call for an increased commitment to developing a national legal framework based on scientific evidence, revising outdated laws, and speeding up legal processes for reviewing laws and legal procedures for conservation, and to change the current paradigm of conservation as a whole. For example, protected species catalogues must be updated to be in line with current scientific evidence. Science must also inform the design of conservation projects, decisions, and actions. We propose that the social, economic, and ecological outputs and impacts of conservation initiatives must be rigorously monitored and evaluated by an external body, and standardised monitoring and evaluation protocols must be developed and implemented within an adaptive management cycle. Such monitoring and scientific evidence could help using the limited resources available for conservation more wisely, but we also need strong prioritisation of the available resources to prevent critically endangered species from extinction.
Equally important will be to professionalise, diversify, and support protected area management. Protected areas are one of the cornerstones for conservation but currently suffer from inadequate infrastructure and equipment, unmotivated personnel and poor management, as well as a general lack of support from surrounding human populations who have been previously excluded from conservation processes. For this, all protected areas must have ratified management plans that are achievable. Local communities must be consulted and involved not only in developing such plans but also in their implementation. Currently, most managers find themselves trying to solve problems at the programmatic level, rather than focusing on small level changes suggested by local community members and supported by interested organisations. Management plans can be developed considering the site-specific characteristics rather than trying to follow globally implemented models. Consequently, novel methods and approaches to management must be explored and tested out. Management can become adaptive by including regular and independent monitoring to inform and adjust management actions.
This will not only help improve the success of protected area management and resource management but will also ensure its accountability and transparency. It is important to add that protected area management must be led by people with the required technical proficiency paired with government staff. This should also include innovative approaches to protected area management including delegated management models under public-private partnerships. There is already good in-country expertise that can be used. However, we believe that training in conservation science must continue being supported and improved. We call for curricula development of conservation science at the local academic institutions, with the inclusion of field courses and fostering interdisciplinary training for diverse students. Finally, we recommend the establishment of a Wildlife Research Institute to support this and all the above-proposed measures to improve conservation in Cameroon. Such an institution could become a hub of research, education, management and policy-development for conservation and be the seat of an independent body in charge of monitoring conservation initiatives in the country.
We urge the government and other relevant stakeholders to draw attention to this crisis and encourage them to jointly develop and commit to practical solutions that can help the nature and the people of Cameroon.
For more Information, please, download the Document here below:
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
Biodiversity is under immense threat. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 1 million species of plants and animals are facing extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to tackle the drivers of biodiversity loss (IPBES 2019). Moreover, without such action, the rate of species extinction will accelerate.
New Report Shows How Fiscal Reforms Can Positively Influence Forest Conservation and Ecosystem Health - CIF
Fiscal policies with the right incentives can be a powerful tool to help governments reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promote the sustainability of forests, according to a new report from the CIF Forest Investment Program (FIP) and the World Bank, commissioned by the CIF Evaluation and Learning (E&L) Initiative.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has launched a new report on how global finance can be aligned with sustainable development in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and deliver a COVID-19 economic recovery.
Press release: Joint statement on principles for collaboration under the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue -UK
Following the first ministerial meeting of the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue, 24 countries have endorsed a statement committing to working together to protect the world’s precious forests while also promoting sustainable trade.
April was a busy month for the park, with new radio systems installed for security and ranger operations across our field posts, with ongoing checks during the month of May. This new system will permit permanent, voice contact with all our key sites, and even ranger teams in the field!
This year's Carbon Pricing Leadership Report comes as much of the world continues to grapple with the global COVID-19 crisis that has ravaged communities , overwhelmed health care systems, closed borders, and brought economies to a near halt over the past year. As future generations look back at this time, they will see this pandemic as one of humanity's greatest tragedies, but they will also see our resilience.
Leaders from the UN, the private sector, national and local governments, youth and other organizations have called for countries, businesses, cities, and civil society groups to put forward “Energy Compacts” to show how they will contribute to achieving the goal of clean, affordable energy for all by 2030 (SDG 7) and net-zero emissions by 2050.
GEF pledges 2 million USD to support UNCCD Parties reporting on land degradation and desertification – UNCCD
The UNCCD Secretariat and Global Mechanism provide technical advice and capacity building support in this process through a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded and UNEP (UN Environment) implemented Global Support Programme (GSP). GEF has recently approved two million USD funding to help the countries complete the next reporting cycle in 2021-2022. A new reporting platform planned for the project would ensure that a higher level of accurate assessment and analysis of land degradation trends at national and regional levels is achieved and that policy makers can make informed land management decisions.
...but trade, environmental protection and social justice don’t have to be mutually exclusive, says Chiara Vitali. The doubts about the climate crisis that Boris Johnson used to express in his newspaper columns are a thing of the past.
Report of the last CBFP Scientific College Meeting: The Partnership´s scientific community gathers around the German Facilitator Christian Ruck
The virtual meeting of the CBFP Scientific College was held online on June 26, 2021 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. After the Co-Leader Richary Atyi welcomed all participants and introduced them to the agenda of the meeting, the floor was given to CBFP Facilitator Dr. Christian Ruck representing the German Facilitation to the partnership. The Facilitator gave a short overview of the activities the Facilitation has pursued since the last virtual meeting of the College. Please download the minutes of the meeting.
invitation to a UNDP online event on “ How to advance the climate agenda in fragile contexts ? Answers from the Central African region”
The event will put a spotlight on how to promote the climate and environment agendas in West and Central Africa region, home to the second largest tropical rainforest in the world, but facing major challenges such as poverty, inequality, food insecurity, weaknesses in governance, institutions and infrastructure.
ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: Long-term (1990–2019) monitoring of forest cover changes in the humid tropics
Our study suggests that reinforcing actions are needed to prevent the initial degradation that leads to forest clearance in 45% of the cases... This approach can be applied to future Landsat data (from 2020) automatically and is intended to be adapted to Sentinel-2 data (available since 2015) for TMF monitoring with higher temporal frequency and finer spatial resolution.
The African Development Bank and the Association of African Development Finance Institutions are hosting a virtual workshop titled “Mainstreaming Climate Finance Actions in National Development Finance Institutions.”
US, Germany, UK target Africa for increased trade at African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association conference - AFDB
Investor and trade interest in Africa remains strong despite challenges around Covid-19, senior officials from the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom said at the recently concluded annual conference of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
Thank you for your interest in our webinar series, “Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change: Reconciling the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Recordings of both webinars are now available...
Still Only One Earth: Lessons from 50 years of UN sustainable development policy. Over-exploitation of natural resources harms the health of ecosystems and the wellbeing of people. In the face of environmental crises and growing inequality, we need to act, including developing extended producer responsibility and supply chain legislation, guaranteeing green public procurement, supporting technical innovation to enhance resource circularity, and adopting decision-making processes that include and respect women, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the Africa Union Commission and the African Tax Administration Forum will launch the 2021 Tax Transparency in Africa (TTIA) report on 26 May 2021 at 9:00 GMT.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spoken of the multiple disasters the world is currently facing, which have only been accentuated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Ensuring corporate accountability for environmental impacts in the upcoming EU directive on sustainable corporate governance. As the European Union develops its future sustainable corporate governance directive, a number of civil society organisations published a briefing that outlines why and how environmental protection must be integrated into companies’ due diligence requirements alongside respect for human rights.
The International Energy Agency's Net Zero Plan threatened by the 'false climate solution' of bioenergy, say scientists and NGOs – Fern
The International Energy Agency (IEA) today published a new energy scenario. It models for the first time how the world can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5ºC. A group of environmental and social NGOs campaigning to stop the EU burning forests for energy says this is a step forward; but they also criticise the IEA for relying heavily on bioenergy to meet climate goals and for failing to halt the use of land for energy production. Bioenergy is a false climate solution that adds emissions to the atmosphere, exacerbates biodiversity loss and negatively impacts food security.
Here, we report responses of structurally intact old-growth lowland tropical forests inventoried within the African Tropical Rainforest Observatory Network (AfriTRON). We use 100 long-term inventory plots from six countries each measured at least twice prior to and once following the 2015–2016 El Niño event.
The CEO of the Global Center for Adaptation (GCA) contends that “climate disasters have doubled” during the last 20 years, CNBC reported Wednesday. Patrick Verkooijen, who runs the GCA, which describes itself as a “solutions broker to accelerate, innovate and scale adaptation action for a climate-resilient world,” told CNBC the coronavirus pandemic had been a “wake-up call” for the world.
China’s tourism industry commits to strengthening its efforts in tackling wildlife trafficking - Traffic
China, 23rd April 2021: Global leaders from China’s tourism industry have pledged their commitment to tackling the illegal trade of wildlife by signing the Tourism Industry’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Convention created by the World Tourism Federation (WTA) and China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), at a dedicated event hosted by TRAFFIC’s China office.
Vietnamese consumers urged to lead an active lifestyle and only use proven medicines to curb demand for tiger products on Endangered Species’ Day
HANOI, 21 May 2021 – Today, TRAFFIC is urging consumers to adopt active lifestyles and only use proven medicines as alternatives to tiger bone glue, in a bid to reduce demand for tiger products in Vietnam.
Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) erupted on Saturday killing at least 22 people and sending thousands of others fleeing to neighboring Rwanda.
International Day for Biological Diversity... Message by UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw
The pandemic has reminded us how much we depend on each other. How much we depend on nature. How much our fate depends on our relationships with nature. How much we need a good political will, combined with collective action, and sustained investment. When these come together, we can make a difference.
There has been intense criticism of the European Union (EU) Renewable Energy Directive (RED) for leading to adverse impacts on forests in Europe and beyond. To tackle these concerns, the EU developed sustainability criteria that forest biomass must meet to be counted towards EU renewable energy targets (and therefore be eligible for subsidies).
Land is the foundation of our societies and is a cornerstone to global food security and environmental health, zero hunger, poverty eradication and affordable energy. It underpins the success of the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmen, and yet this finite resource is under existential threat. On 14 June event will be broadcast live on UN WebTV and streamed to UNCCD Facebook page 14.00-17.00 and 19.00-22:00 GMT.
This journey for ELYX, the UN’s Digital Ambassador, begins on World Bee Day, 20 May 2021, with more stops ahead – the International Biodiversity Day on 22 May and World Environment Day on 5 June, and finally a celebration of Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June
On 18 May 2021, the Wilson Center organized a discussion focused on the role of the Green Climate Fund in scaling up finance for climate action. Ambassador Mark Green, the President of the Wilson Center, opened the discussion with a call to action : “the climate crisis is already here, and so is our opportunity to respond. The world will face huge costs in adapting to climate change, up to $500 billion per year by 2050.” He then raised the biggest unanswered question in climate finance : why does adaptation currently attract only 20% of all climate finance?
Payments for Ecosystem Services: ATIBT publishes three opportunity studies of these services for forestry companies
The studies aim to assess the possibilities for remuneration of environmental and social services provided by certified sustainable forest management companies in the Congo Basin, according to the Vertdeep platform (© Venturexpert) based on the sale of positive impact certificates.