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.
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 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.
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.
While 2019 saw a general rise in all types of financial assets, 2020 turned out to be a tumultuous year. The coronavirus pandemic triggered sharp falls in February- March, followed by a sharp rebound from the end of March to the end of August, thanks to unprecedented monetary and fiscal support from the world’s major central banks and governments. The second wave of Covid-19 permitted further corrections in September and October, before a year-end upturn linked to excellent news on the vaccine front.
We hereby invite you to join the ceremony online. Due to the current German restrictions related to Covid-19, participation is made possible virtually. Please use the following link to follow the ceremony online on September 7th, at 10:00 a.m. CEST....
World Conservation Congress, Marseille, France: Congo Basin mobilizes around its Stand - Congo Basin initiatives
Let's commit together to "save the world's last lung and net positive tropical carbon balance" ... Download your invitation...
Mobilization of the media to cover the participation of the Congo Basin in the World Conservation Congress
High-Level Event on International Engagement for the Protection of the Congo Basin Ecosystems and their vicinity. Theme: · Biodiversity and climate finance for the Congo basin rainforest and their vicinity, as a cost-effective nature-based solution. Date: September 05, 2021. September 5, 2021... Please download the press invitations...
To read: 'My hope is to see international action match the critical need'; Take part in the IUCN World Conservation Congress; GEF publishes data on IATI platform in transparency push; Integrated programming in the Global Environment Facility
Third Wildlife Forum to explore best ways to support the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework implementation – registrations open. -Traffic
The Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW) is hosting its Third Wildlife Forum with the aim of exploring how to support the implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework ahead of the Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in Kunming, China.
Written by a group of experts specializing in conservation in Central Africa, with the financial support of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OEACP) and the European Union (EU), through the BIOPAMA and RIOFAC projects, as well as GIZ, “Protected Areas of Central Africa: Status 2020” follows a first edition published in 2015, which has now become the flagship publication on protected areas in the region.
French Pavilion - "Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests ": Invitation to a high-level event on 8 September 2021 - IUCN World Congress
The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs is pleased to invite you, in person or virtually, to the event organized on Wednesday 8 September at 6.30 p.m. at the French Pavilion on the occasion of the IUCN World Congress in Marseille: "Alliance for the conservation of rainforests".
Invitation - Creation of a Business Forum for Sustainable Value Chains in Africa at the IUCN World Congress
The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, The Gabonese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The National Group for Rainforests, the French Advisers for Foreign Trade and Africa Business Forum, Institut Choiseul, all supporting the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests, request the pleasure of your participation, during the IUCN World Congress in Marseille, to the event they jointly organize on Monday, September 6 at 5pm on the French pavilion, in person and virtually : "Creation of a Business Forum for implementation of sustainable value chains in Africa".
The Tropical Forest Symposium is therefore aimed at policy makers (in Germany and abroad), the German and international (expert) public as well as at tropical forest countries and donor nations. Please find the invitation to the Tropical Forest Symposium, which you can follow online on September 8th, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m CEST.
Indigenous territories in the Bolivian, Brazilian and Colombian Amazon avoid between 42.8 million and 59.7 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. To commemorate the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, David Kaimowitz explains why it’s time to join forces with indigenous peoples for the good of the planet.
On 17 February this year, Aruká Juma, the last elder of the Juma people in Brazil’s Amazonian rainforest, died of COVID-19. According to NGO Instituto Socioambiental, he is one of more than a thousand indigenous people to have died from the virus in Brazil, where COVID-19 has affected more than 150 native groups.
Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns has been one of the greatest global challenges over the past fifty years. With the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production,” and rising interest in the circular economy model, there is an opportunity to set systems-wide goals for all societies, recognizing that key drivers and solutions lie in our economic, financial and governance decision-making.
Ninth Meeting of the CBFP Governing Council in Douala: major strides in the implementation of the CBFP and partners' roadmap and new challenges ahead
The 9th Meeting of the CBFP Governing Council was held on Friday 16 July 2021 in Douala Cameroon by video conference at the Hotel La Falaise. This meeting was part of the CBFP's cooperation framework, which provides for the CBFP Council to meet twice a year, and followed Experts Meeting to follow up on the N'Djamena Conference on the development of country investment plans focusing on zoonoses, transhumance, the fight against cross-border poaching, security and sustainable development between the Sahel and the Congo Basin, which was held from 12 to 15 July 2021 at the same venue.
The matter of the Democratic Republic of the Congo taking over the rotating chairmanship of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in 2022 was discussed by President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo and Mr. Gilberto Da Piedade Verrissimo, Chairman of the sub-regional economic organization’s commission on Monday, 2 August 2021 at the City of the African Union.
Videoconference, 30 July 2021 – Convened by His Excellency Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, President of the Republic of the Congo, Head of State, Current Chair of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the XIXth Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECCAS took place.
We are pleased to inform you that INTERHOLCO's headquarters are moving to a new office in Baar. Effective Monday, 23 August 2021, our new business address will be as follows: Neuhofstrasse 25, 6340 Baar, Switzerland. Business hours and telephone numbers will stay the same. Please update your contact book.
State of Central Africa's Protected Areas 2020: A New report a new report proposes avenues to improve their effectiveness – OFAC
Central Africa currently has more than 200 protected areas covering a total of 800 000 km², or twice the size of Cameroon. Across the 10 countries of the region, the number and size of protected areas have doubled in the last 20 years.
Congo Basin Forest Partnership looks to help the Congo and Congo Basin Climate Commission prepare for COP 26 in Glasgow
The Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development and the Congo Basin Arlette SOUDAN-NONAULT, granted an audience to Dr Christian RUCK, Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report is the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science, and combining multiple lines of evidence from paleoclimate, observations, process understanding, and global and regional climate simulations.
Please download the July newsletter of the Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas. This month, some good news. On the one hand, no cases of COVID 19 have been detected in the region and the possibility of reopening the Park to tourism is being considered.
Slated to hold from 3 to 5 August 2021 in Brazzaville (Congo), the workshop will gather agriculture and forestry experts from the 11 ECCAS member countries, representatives of the African Union, COMIFAC, NEPAD, civil society organizations, and development partners (UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, BDEAC, CIFOR), among others.
Berlin, August 05, 2021, Sweden has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). In this connection, Sweden believes its activities in Africa fall in line with the principles outlined in the cooperation framework of CBFP members and COMIFAC’s convergence plan with which it has familiarised itself, aimed at promoting sustainable management of ecosystems and conservation of biodiversity in Central Africa.
Germany - COMIFAC Cooperation: German Ambassador to Congo, alongside parliamentarians, women and youth, for a sustainable management of Central African forest ecosystems
Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, hosted a series of three workshops from 14 to 25 June 2021 at the Hotel PEFACO Maya Maya. The first workshop focused on the planning and consultation of the Network of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (REJEFAC), the second on the Network of Parliamentarians for the Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (REPAR) and the third on the African Women's Network for Sustainable Development (REFADD).
Countries and sub-regional institutions concerned with N’Djamena Declaration jump start its implementation in Douala, Cameroon - Towards continuous collaboration between the Sahel and the Congo Basin
The Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck, Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitator gives a new impetus to the implementation of the N'Djaména Declaration - Douala (Cameroon) - 12 to 15 July 2002, an Expert follow-up meeting to the N’Djamena Conference was held to develop country investment plans geared towards transboundary transhumance, zoonoses, the fight against transboundary poaching, security and sustainable development between the Sahel and the Congo Basin. The Country Expert Meeting was held with the financial support of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the technical support of the Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitation and the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ), GIZ BSB Yamoussa Project. The Press Release, the proposed political / institutional support, the roadmap for country investment plans and N’Djamena 2 and the task force specifications are available for download on the CBFP website...
On 19 July 2021, during its 44th session, the World Heritage Committee decided to remove Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger due to improvements in its state of conservation.
The human-wildlife conflict report: “A future for all: the need for human-wildlife coexistence” was published on July 8, detailing the complex nature of human-wildlife conflict, its impacts and how to address them so that people and animals can coexist peacefully. This pack raises awareness of the report, its significance and encourages people to raise greater awareness on the issue.
Results of the work of the geographical block WEST. Please download the Document here below:
Results of the work of the geographical block WEST. Please download the Document here below: