COMIFAC, ECCAS and its partners gathered within the CBFP hereby launch a call for proposals to host side events lasting no more than 90 minutes under the « COMIFAC-ECCAS Initiatives Pavilion », at the COP27 venue from 6 to 18 November 2022. The following guidelines are offered, however there is no set format for proposals. Applications should be submitted before 10 October 2022.
Summary report, 19–20 February 2022 – IISD
“We come with more than hope.” These sentiments were shared by Tova Lindqvist, Swedish Youth Council, as she applauded the power of youth during the opening session of the 2022 Youth Environment Assembly (YEA). She went on to assert that the input of young people is crucial to influence stronger policy actions and commitments, and urged participants to continue striving to make a difference and engage in the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA).
This passion underpinned much of the discussions over the course of two days, where participants gathered with enthusiasm, eager to prepare for the resumed session of the fifth UNEA (UNEA-5.2). Convened under the theme, “The Power in YOUth,” more than 150 youth from around the globe gathered online and in person for robust discussions.
Participants heard opening statements from dignitaries and discussed issues ranging from marine litter and plastic pollution to the proposed resolutions related to chemicals. They also engaged with with Member States on how best to increase meaningful participation, during UNEA-5.2 and beyond, to ensure their voices are heard. Several parallel working sessions also convened to coordinate the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) position ahead of UNEA-5.2.
YEA 2022 met from 19-20 February 2022, virtually and in person in Nairobi, Kenya. It was organized by the MGCY to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Over 400 youth-led or youth-serving organizations make up the UN MGCY, a dedicated space for children and youth in the UN to address issues ranging from the environment and human rights to peace and security. Those MGCY organizations that share a focus on the environment and sustainable development can receive UNEP accreditation and engage through the MGCY to UNEP.
UNEP began its work with young people in 1985, the International Year of Youth. However, it was not until 1992 and the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that engagement became more concrete. Agenda 21, which was adopted in Rio, identified nine sectors and rightsholder groups, including children and youth. The involvement of these nine constituencies would be facilitated in UN activities related to sustainable development. Accordingly, youth is a constituency in several treaty bodies and other organizations related to sustainable development.
Within UNEP, the Governing Council furthered its engagement with youth through a long-term strategy from 2003 to 2013. The programme was called “Tunza,” meaning “to treat with care or affection” in Kiswahili. It aimed to create a global movement for the involvement of children and youth in sustainable development. An annual Tunza International Children and Youth Conference, a Tunza Youth Advisory Council, a Tunza Junior Board, and a quarterly magazine advanced the programme’s objectives. During its ten years, the programme also organized the International Children and Youth Conference in Daejeon, Republic of Korea (2009), the International Children’s Conference just prior to the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan (2010), and the International Children and Youth Conference in Bandung, Indonesia (2011).
The Rio+20 Conference in 2012 led to the nine Major Groups becoming more formalized in their engagement with UNEP processes.
The UNEP MGCY was established in mid-2012 and currently has seven working groups, which focus on:
- chemicals and waste;
- ecosystem restoration;
- environmental law;
- human rights and environmental defenders;
- marine litter and microplastics;
- Stockholm+50 processes; and
- UNEA and the Committee of Permanent Representatives.
The first YEA took place virtually from 3-6 June 2020, with over 2,000 youth participants from more than 150 countries. The second YEA, which also convened virtually from 12-20 February 2021, provided an opportunity for youth to discuss and identify their broader priorities for environmental action, including on chemicals and waste, youth and faith-based engagement, and education and the environment.
On Saturday, Dalia Márquez, MGCY, opened YEA 2022, emphasizing the theme, “the power in YOUth.” She encouraged everyone to participate and work together to build capacity and forge partnerships to make the world a better place.
Moderator John Aggrey, MGCY, welcomed the speakers, noting youth want to be involved at all levels, from the drafting of concept notes to critical decision making for a sustainable future.
Raymond Ochieng, Secretary, Youth Affairs, Kenya, recognized YEA 2022 as a “convergence of changemakers,” embracing the strength of young people to shape the future by being part of the change and initiating actions. He affirmed the Kenyan government’s full support for all commitments that come out of YEA 2022.
Gunnar Andreas Holm, Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya, shared that collaborating with global youth constituencies for UNEA-5.2 has been both impressive and inspiring. He expressed hope for progress on a global legally-binding agreement on plastic pollution.
Caroline Vicini, Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, said “your (young people’s) voices are influential, make them heard when and where decisions are made.” She looked forward to Stockholm+50 as an important time to further the transformation to sustainable societies, encouraging young people to continue to bring ideas and solutions.
Alphonce Muia, youth representative, Kenya, applauded the participation of so many young people as a testament to their capacity to realize the aspirations of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference), encouraging all to “dream big” and demand change that will build a better future.
Tova Lindqvist, Swedish Youth Council, applauded the power in youth. She underscored that the input of young people is crucial to influence stronger policy actions and commitments, saying that “we come with more than hope.”
Alexander Juras, Chief, Civil Society Unit, UNEP, welcomed the audience on behalf of Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, and reiterated that UNEP fully supports the active participation and engagement of youth in environmental fora. He underscored the crucial role of youth as future voters and as consumers to influence decision makers and business leaders.
Ingrid Rostad, Co-Chair, Major Groups Facilitating Committee (MGFC), remarked that youth are usually the group best prepared and most dedicated and, therefore, an important MGFC constituent. She encouraged youth to continue thinking outside the box and challenging the establishment to change policies.
Moses Mwenda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya, highlighted that youth are important agents of change and underscored that youth engagement in policymaking and implementation is crucial. He encouraged youth to take an active role in environmental conservation and governance.
Ahmed Ouda, Stockholm+50 Youth Task Force, Palestine, said youth must demand from world leaders a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed youth should not be excluded from any UN or international process as youth are a source of power for any nation.
Pamela Gitobu, Bamboo Association of Kenya, emphasized the potential of bamboo to replace plastics and make a significant positive change in everyday life. She encouraged youth to champion lifestyle changes.
Philip Osano, Africa Centre Director, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), highlighted research projects underway involving youth, noting that the science report for Stockholm+50 that SEI is co-leading includes a youth science report as a key component.
Wanjira Mathai, World Resources Institute, underscored that Africa is a youthful society that needs capacity and tools to make progress going forward. She urged reviewing youth engagement with UNEP over the last 50 years to consider how to evolve over the next 50 years. She called for the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among others, be youth’s guiding light.
Delegates then heard interventions from youth participants from around the world. Key issues highlighted included: the importance of partnerships to encourage sustainable mindsets; collaborating with other youth present at YEA 2022, including on waste management; the role of technology; and partnerships for conservation, particularly at the grassroots level.
UNEA-5.2, UNEP@50, and Stockholm+50: What Is at Stake?
On Saturday, Ulf Björnholm, Acting Director, Governance Affairs Office, UNEP, engaged with young people on the topic of the “triple helix,” a concept that represents the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR), UNEA-5.2, and the Stockholm+50 meeting. He described the upcoming OECPR’s aim “to clear the field for adoption” by pre-negotiating the 17 proposed resolutions for consideration at UNEA-5.2. He outlined the range of topics addressed by these proposals, including, inter alia: a legally-binding instrument on plastic pollution; resolutions on sustainable lake management; nature-based solutions (NbS), including a proposed definition; animal welfare and the nexus with sustainable development; sustainable nitrogen management; green recovery; sound management of chemicals and waste; circular economy; and the future of the Global Biodiversity Outlook report.
Considering the focus for Stockholm+50 on strengthening existing decisions and resolutions through accelerated implementation, Björnholm foresaw UNEA-5.2 outcomes as valuable inputs to move towards a larger impact in favor of the global environment.
In the ensuing discussion, youth participants raised issues related to, inter alia: opportunities for youth participation, mobilization, and action during UNEA-5.2; the need for tools to measure global and local impact; and the availability of mechanisms to influence the negotiations. Delegates discussed potential pathways for youth to raise awareness and encourage action to reduce climate change.
In response, Björnholm discussed ways in which youth can have an impact during UNEA-5.2 and play an active role, emphasizing the imperative for youth groups to be organized and have clear goals. He highlighted the importance of using the SDG indicators as tools to measure global and local impact. Recognizing the role of youth activism, he stated that any idea for youth action, including demonstrations, requires prior approval. He said UNEP’s Civil Society Unit was available to answer further questions in this regard.
In closing, Björnholm recognized the disparity between the opportunities for youth activism in the Global North versus the Global South. As such, he highlighted the need to adapt to the local political context and advocate for democratic and inclusive societies to promote durable environmental and climate action.
Demystifying Chemicals and Waste at UNEA-5.2
On Saturday, Shannon Lisa, youth representative, US, presented three globally significant case studies from the US, Ghana, and India, that illustrate both the human and environmental costs related to adverse chemicals and waste processes. She highlighted the need to address “legacy pollution,” which she defined as inadequate monitoring and remediation of chemical and waste pollution released in the past. She remarked that the effects of legacy pollution continue to harm human health, hinder dignified livelihoods, and threaten ecosystem balance across the globe.
In the ensuing discussion, participants raised issues related to, inter alia, incentives for youth advocacy in the chemicals and waste management sectors, and opportunities to engage in international fora. Participants discussed how waste-related issues impact their own communities and lives, and the need to identify additional platforms for youth to help solve the problem.
In response, Lisa drew attention to the existing disparities in regulations between the Global North and Global South. She emphasized the need to engage with local and national governments to promote enforcement of existing legislation and encourage new legislation. She acknowledged chemicals and waste management is an issue of global magnitude, and, as such, global youth should play a leading role in tackling this issue.
Leselle Vincent, youth representative, Trinidad and Tobago, framed UNEP’s action on chemicals and waste by providing an overview of existing chemicals and waste-related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs)—the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, as well as the Minamata Convention. She also discussed the role of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), noting that while it is not an MEA, it is an overarching framework to address specific environmental issues on chemicals management. On youth engagement with the four MEAs and SAICM, she said youth can play a role by supporting public consultation efforts by national and regional offices, and support awareness-raising activities promoted by the MEA Secretariats.
Lovish Raheja, youth representative, India, focused on the chemicals and waste-related resolutions for UNEA-5.2. On the draft resolution on sustainable nitrogen management, he said the MGCY is calling for: recognition of and collaboration with all stakeholders, including youth, for the sustainable management of nitrogen; adoption of a ground-level approach for better citizen involvement; and an emphasis on nitrogen-neutrality.
Regarding the draft resolution on the sound management of chemicals and waste, Raheja said the MGCY is calling for, among others: a human-rights based perspective; and development of a special scientific task force to comprehensively list hazardous substances, which would work continuously to identify and characterize these substances and publish results to bring uniformity to chemicals management.
With respect to a draft resolution on a science-policy panel on chemicals, waste, and pollution, Raheja said the MGCY is advocating for: the use of intergenerational perspectives; a focus on behavioral and habitual aspects; and improvement in the exchange of technical resources among governments to achieve optimum solutions.
Discussion on these resolutions included which policies are most effective for nitrogen management and a call to value the contribution of Indigenous knowledge.
MoP19-CBFP-UK: His Excellency Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park's speech at CBFP MOP 19 in Libreville
…As we give the COP26 pledge a permanent home at the CBFP... And having committed to investing nearly a third of UK International Climate Finance – which we recently doubled – into nature, at least half of that in forests...we’re forging ahead with the work that our £200m commitment to the Congo Basin pledge will support…through the brilliant Forests, Governance, Markets, and Climate Programme, our newly established transboundary Biodiverse Landscapes Fund, and a new bilateral programme that we’re designing ahead of COP27…alongside our £32m contribution to CAFI. We know CAFI needs to change – and we’re committed to that as well.... Find out more...
On 14 September 2022, the European Parliament voted on proposals to amend the EU‘s Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Changing problematic incentives for burning forest biomass was the most contentious issue in an otherwise fairly consensual file, as most MEPs agree that overall renewable energy ambitions should be considerably increased.
An area of Europe equivalent to one-fifth of Belgium has burned so far this year, the greatest surface at this point in the calendar year since records began in 2006. As this and the other realities of the climate crisis made their presence felt, Professor Sten B. Nilsson wrote an opinion piece for Euractiv outlining how to prevent Europe’s forest fires.
At the start of the new academic year, the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Bonn together with UNCCD, hosted a group of graduate students from Côte d’Ivoire, Germany and Kenya to discuss the Convention’s work on combating drought and desertification and the role of science in supporting good land stewardship. Two dozen students who visited UN Bonn are a part of the programme launched by the German Center for Development Research (ZEF) in 2021, together with the Universities of Cologne, Abidjan and Nairobi as part of the new DAAD Global Environment and Climate Center Initiative.
Droughtland campaign featured in the margins of the General Assembly discussions on new ways to promote SDGs - UNCCD
On the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the UNCCD took part in a high-level event at the opening night of Goals House held at the iconic Tavern on the Green in Central Park on 18 September 2022.
New York, September 19, 2022 – The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD in partnership with Afreximbank, co-launched the AUDA-NEPAD Energize Africa initiative on the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Energize Africa initiative recognises that Africa’s youth and women – making up more than half of the continent’s populations - must be at the core of Africa’s economic growth and inclusive development strategies.
Press Release: Climate Finance to Address Global Challenges on Climate Change, Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss - NEPAD
New York, September 20, 2022 – Climate financing will play an important role in unlocking Africa’s potential to combat climate change. It is estimated that Africa requires about 2.5 trillion dollars of climate finance between 2020 and 2030 averaging about 250 billion dollars each year. However, the total annual climate finance flows in Africa for 2020 were only 30 billion dollars, which is just about 12 percent of the amount needed.
Global Leadership Council unveiled to scale up clean, reliable energy and stop global warming - AFDB
22-Sep-2022 - The battle to stop global warming from rising above the catastrophic 1.5 degree Celsius received a boost on Wednesday as the newly launched Global Leadership Council got down to business during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
As the world faces multiple crises dominated by new conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, economic shocks, and growing inequalities, development has been halted or even reversed across several domains, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).
The African Union (AU) Youth for Peace Africa Programme, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) have launched a serious game known as “Mission55 Conflict in Anaka”, to commemorate the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) 2022. The game, which the AU and GIZ developed, aims to raise awareness, educate and inform the public, particularly youth, on the mandate of the AU to promote good governance, peace and security in Africa.
African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in eastern and southern Africa have been prompted to support and promote the implementation of the African Union’s Free Movement Protocol (FMP) and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA). The call to action to CSOs was made during the opening of the second Regional CSO Sensitization Forum on the Continental Free Movement Protocol organized by the AU Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
September 15, 2022 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today launched the IGAD Regional Trade Policy 2022-2026 in Nairobi. Representatives of IGAD Member States from Ministry of Trade and Heads of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representatives of partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) attended the one-day event.
New biodiversity commitments announced as world leaders declare nature summit COP15 a priority - GEF
New commitments aimed at catalyzing biodiversity finance and conservation were unveiled today at a high-level event convened on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to showcase action and support for a nature-positive world. New initiatives announced include €0.87 billion of new funding from the German government; a 10 point plan for financing biodiversity, endorsed by 16 initial countries; and the next phase of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC for Nature and People 2.0)...
Nancy Karigithu is Kenya’s Ambassador and Special Envoy for Shipping and the Blue Economy. In an interview, she explained how the maritime sector can reduce pollution, rein in carbon emissions, and combat wildlife trafficking on a global scale.
Patricia Zurita is CEO of BirdLife International, a leading conservation organization that works with 115 national partner organizations and 13 million members to protect birds and their habitats worldwide. In an interview marking BirdLife’s 100th anniversary, she shared her vision for how the world can create a healthy environment for healthy societies in the coming century.
Media Release: Governments Meet on Science and Evidence to Address Global Biodiversity Crisis - ipbes
Bonn, Germany – Representatives of almost 140 Governments will begin a week-long meeting on Sunday in Bonn, Germany to advance the science and evidence necessary to address the global biodiversity crisis. The ninth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (#IPBES9) will be the first in-person meeting, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, of the global body tasked with presenting decision-makers with the best-available science and expertise, to inform policy and action on nature.
Hindou, a Mbororo Indigenous pastoralist woman, is the founder of the Association of Indigenous Peul Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), a community-based organization focused on promoting the rights of girls and women in the Mbororo community and inspiring leadership and advocacy in environmental protection. She is an influential climate leader in Africa, advocating for the importance of traditional knowledge for building resilience of Indigenous and forest communities to cope with the climate crisis.
Enforcement officers new to the fight against wildlife crime have put a suite of TRAFFIC resources and newly developed materials to the test in a series of trainings in Southeast Asia. The face-to-face trainings with newly designed materials have been critical in bringing up-to-date information and tools to frontliners in some of the region’s major wildlife trade hotspots. However, staff turnover, regulatory changes, and evolving trends in wildlife crime mean there is a constant need for training.” Renee Yee, TRAFFIC’s Training and Capacity Building Officer in Southeast Asia
UN Women and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued a report, which presents evidence on gender equality across all 17 SDGs. Emphasizing the pivotal role of gender equality in driving progress on the entire 2030 Agenda, the report warns that global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, violent conflict, and climate change have exacerbated gender disparities.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional offices for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published the results of a regional assessment of progress towards SDG 4 (quality education). The report highlights the urgent need for more investment and social participation to enable a systemic transformation of education.
On the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2022, we reflect on the important role of indigenous women in the preservation and the transmission of traditional knowledge.
COP 15 PRESIDENCY: latest news from Huang Runqiu, President of the COP 15 and Minister of Ecology and Environment of China – CBD
On September 12, Huang Runqiu, President of the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) and Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, had a video meeting with Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. The two sides had in-depth exchanges on the second part of COP 15 and key issues related to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) .
From 19 September to 20 November 2022, learn to develop a step-by-step ecosystem restoration plan and apply effective restoration solutions in your national and sub-national context. Now is the time to restore our damaged ecosystems. Join a FREE MOOC on Ecosystem Restoration on the Learning for Nature platform.
We, the representatives of Central African civil society who participated in-person and virtually in the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), which was organized by the Federal Republic of Germany and took place from 5 to 8 July, 2022, in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, came together on 6 July 2022, as part of a strategic workshop of civil society organizations working to ensure effective management of natural resources in Congo Basin countries…
Berlin, 12th September 2022, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), has officially joined the 124 members of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). INBAR has submitted its application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework to promote sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
CBFP RDP 19: Main conclusions of Streams of the 19th Meeting of the Parties of the CBFP: Strong messages and recommendations...
Please download the recommendations, conclusions, messages coming out of the deliberations of Streams 1a, 1b, 2 and 3, Technical Segment of the MOP 19 of the CBFP of Libreville towards sustainable development for Central Africa’s countries, people, forests and biodiversity...These conclusions also serve as a roadmap for the partners to implement the "Declaration of commitment of COMIFAC Member States to the forests of Central Africa and call for equitable financing" and the “Joint Declaration of the Congo Basin donors of COP26”…
MoP 19 - CIFOR - USFS: Peatlands, mangroves, and other wetlands: climate responses in the Congo Basin
Please kindly consult the main conclusions of the two side events organised by CIFOR and USFS in the margins of CBFP MOP 19 on: Slot 1: Current scientific activities on peatlands (and other wetlands) in the Congo Basin and Slot 2: Early responses to protect and manage peatlands in the Congo Basin.
A new member of the great CBFP family: Welcome to the Republic of Korea (ROK) represented by the Korean Forest Service (KFS)!
Berlin, 12th August 2022, the Republic of Korea (ROK), represented by the Korea Forest Service (KFS), has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). ROK has submitted their application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework in promoting sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
The UN Global Compact published its China strategy seeking “to unlock the potential of business and other stakeholders to maximize their impact on the SDGs and contribute to sustainable development in China and the rest of the world.” The document recognizes China’s local priorities while striving to align itself with the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and global ambition.
Participants at the 2022 World Water Week, which convened against the backdrop of the flooding in Pakistan, the food crisis in Africa, and the drying rivers of Europe, highlighted the need for investments and political will to implement available water solutions.
The latest Human Development Report, published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), warns that due to the impacts of the multiple crises, mounting layers of uncertainty, and increasing polarization, human development has dropped to its 2016 levels, “reversing much of the progress” towards the SDGs. Yet, it argues, there is “promise and opportunity in uncertainty” to “reimagine our futures, to renew and adapt our institutions and to craft new stories about who we are and what we value.”
Berlin September 7, 2022. Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany travelled to Brussels to co-host together with the Member of the European Parliament from the Group of the European People's Party (EPP) Dr. Angelika Niebler, a casual round table on the importance of the EU’s support in achieving better protection of the Congo Basin Forests, including through a “Fair Deal” mechanism for long-term financing of the region by means of payments for ecosystem services approach.
Delegates to the fourth session of the Intersessional Process for Considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 (IP4) advanced their work on the outline for a future global policy framework to promote chemical safety.
A strong majority of Europeans think businesses are failing in their responsibility to protect the world’s forests and therefore support a new law to ban products that destroy them. On Amazon Rainforest Day, a new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Europeans (82%) believe businesses should not sell products that destroy the world’s forests and think (78%) that the government needs to ban products that drive deforestation. When informed that the European Parliament has proposed such a law, support rises to 81 per cent.