Kinshasa, DRC, 13 February 2024: The Congo Basin Science Initiative has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Basin Science Initiative is now one of 127 member countries and organizations working together in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership to promote sustainable resource management, combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
DRC’s Salonga National Park removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger – WWF
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.
Image: Magazine de l'Afrique
The decision follows a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission which took place from 23 January to 4 February 2020 in and around Salonga National Park (SNP). The information gathered by this mission showed that the state of conservation of SNP had significantly improved since the last monitoring mission in 2012.
SNP is the largest protected area of dense rainforest on the African continent. Very isolated and only accessible by water, the vast Park (33 500 sq.km) plays a fundamental role in climate regulation and carbon sequestration. It is home to numerous Indigenous peoples and local communities and numerous threatened species such as the bonobo, the Congo peacock, the forest elephant and the slender snouted crocodile.
The SNP was inscribed to the list of Natural World Heritage Sites in 1984 based on two criteria:
- it represents one of the very rare existing biotopes absolutely intact in central Africa. It comprises vast marshland areas and practically inaccessible gallery forests, which have never been explored and may still be considered as practically virgin.
- The plant and animal life in SNP constitute an example of biological evolution and the adaptation of life forms in a complex equatorial rainforest environment. The large size of the Park ensures the continued possibility for evolution of both species and biotic communities within the relatively undisturbed forest.
In 1999 however, the Park was inscribed on the list of World Heritage sites in danger. At the time it was noted that SNP was reeling under anthropogenic pressures such as poaching and slash and burn agriculture paired with armed conflict and an instable political context. In recent years, planned oil drilling concessions further threatened the Park’s integrity.
Against this background, the DRC government, communities and partners have been working hard to address the threats faced by the Park and its removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The UNESCO mission in early 2020 recognized that the management of the Park had improved, since the previous mission in 2012, notably with regard to the strengthening of anti-poaching measures allowing for a stable bonobo and forest elephant population. According to latest biomonitoring estimates, Salonga is presently home to more than 15,000 Bonobos (approx. 50% of the global population) and 1,600 forest elephants.
In June 2021, the Congolese authorities provided clarification that the oil concessions overlapping with SNP are null and void. This latest demonstration of DRC’s commitment to Salonga further contributed to Monday’s decision by the World Heritage Committee.
“We congratulate the people and the government of the DRC for the UNESCO Committee’s decision to remove Salonga from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
This decision is a recognition of the enormous amount of work done by the DRC and all the Park's partners over many years. Through collaboration often under difficult conditions, and a shared vision, those involved have been able to achieve this important result for the preservation of this exceptional ecosystem – of national and global significance.
We also take this opportunity to thank all our partners for their support: first and foremost l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and the local communities we work with, UNESCO for the continuous monitoring and its final decision, our implementing partners and our donors, the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and USAID without whose contributions this conservation success – and win for the people and communities of Salonga and the DRC - would not have been possible” said Marco Lambertini, WWF Director General.
Since 2015, WWF has been working with ICCN to improve the Park’s management in accordance with international standards, with one objective being to remove the SNP from the list of World Heritage sites in danger. Key efforts include implementing regular ecological monitoring of characteristic species, supporting ICCN in operationalizing the government’s anti-poaching strategy and strengthening the collaboration between all actors involved in the management and conservation of SNP, ranging from scientists to local communities.
UNEA6 side event – Joint Action Against Nature Crime: A Pathway to Achieving Biodiversity, Climate and Sustainable Development Goals
Ministers and representatives from governments, international organisations, and civil society will explore how multi-sector collaboration in the fight against nature crime can inform wider efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis during an official side event at the upcoming UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi.
Southern Africa Dialogue aims to improve detection and disruption of financial flows linked to nature crime – Nature Crime Alliance
Financial crime analysts, industry experts and law enforcement officers from across Southern Africa assembled in Cape Town last week for the first in a new series of regional meetings aimed at tackling illicit financial flows associated with nature crime.
Second ministerial conference on ‘Transhumance-Protected Areas-Security’ in Central Africa: progress and perspectives
This article by Paul Scholte and Matthew Luizza in Conservation News looks at the progress and prospects for work on transhumance in Central Africa since the second international conference of ministers on transboundary transhumance of July 2023 in Yaoundé.
This is the question posed by Development Advocates (GDA) in its new publication: Deforestation-free cocoa in Cameroon: questions, concerns and priorities from smallholder farmers. The document sets out the challenges Cameroon faces in doubling its domestic cocoa production, retaining access to its biggest market (the EU) and reducing the pressure on its forests. Please download the GDA publication...
Pollution is widespread – and often fatal.Dirty air alone is responsible for 6.7 million deaths globally every year, while conservative estimates suggest that in 2019, 5.5 million people died from heart disease linked to lead exposure. To stem the pollution crisis, countries agreed in 2022 to establish a new body that would provide policymakers with robust, independent information on chemicals, waste and pollution.
Press release - Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia summit adaptation to climate change, nature-based solutions and resilience
The Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit "Adaption to climate change, Nature-based Solutions and Resilience" was held at the Palais des Congrès in Liège on 8 and 9 February 2024. Over two days, the Summit brought together nearly 1,000 participants of more than 20 nationalities, from numerous European networks and organisations of non-state actors such as businesses, researchers, civil society and local governments.
Towards UNEA-6: Multilateral solutions to triple planetary crisis - UNEP Speech delivered by Inger Andersen
As the world’s top decision-making body on the environment, UNEA-6 will bring together ministers, intergovernmental organizations, the broader UN system, civil society groups, the scientific community and private sector to shape global environmental policy. This year, we’re expecting more than 70 Ministers and 3,000 delegates to join us in Nairobi. We currently have 20 draft resolutions and two draft decisions submitted for countries to discuss. Ms. Ochalik will share more on this. I will talk about the wider context of UNEA-6, and what it means.
Look closely at this interactive map of the world and squiggly pink lines are visible in almost every major saltwater body, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay of Bengal. The lines represent the movement of boats captured via a network of satellites and ground monitoring stations.
RELEASE: Landscape Restoration Champions Across Africa Receive USD 17.8 Million in Financing from TerraFund for AFR100 - WRI
This second cohort of investments, named TerraFund for AFR100 Landscapes, is restoring land in three of the continent’s vital landscapes: the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Ghana Cocoa Belt; and the Greater Rift Valley of Kenya. These landscapes were chosen because they provide food and water for millions of people and protect crucial biodiversity; yet they are suffering from decades of degradation.
To bolster its work in the region, Tenure Facility has joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), a strategic alliance of countries and organisations dedicated to fostering sustainable practices, improving living conditions, and preserving the rich biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.Tenure Facility will bring its longstanding collaboration with several stakeholders – including Indigenous Peoples, local communities, organisations, and governments – to CBFP as it works toward finding inclusive and equitable solutions to forest-related challenges.
When it comes to climate, we do have something new to build on. Yes, the Dubai Consensus that emerged from COP28 was not everything everyone had hoped for. But it did signal a global decision to move away from fossil fuels, which is critical, as we all know. And, of course, the Loss & Damage Fund was put into operation. This was an important show of solidarity with vulnerable nations, although there is a long way to go to capitalize the fund. The positives did not stop there. We saw new commitments on sustainable cooling and reducing methane emissions. A tripling of renewable energy targets. Nature breakthroughs. Crucially, there was agreement on the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
Strengthening land rights for women and young people supports fair conflict resolution -Tenure Facility
Cicin Juarsim, 52, smiled with joy when the land she has been cultivating officially became hers. “Now I am holding a private ownership certificate in my land. This is not only important for me. This land is important for my children,” said Cicin Juarsim who lives in Muktisari village, Ciamis District, in Indonesia’s western province of Java.
PRESS RELEASE: CBFP Side Event at the 14th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday 24 January 2024, 17:00 - 18:30, Virtual.
Under the aegis of the Co-Facilitator of France, Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) is taking part in the GFMD and is organising a side event on Wednesday 24 January 2024, from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm (virtual), on the theme: Meeting between the Sahel and northern equatorial Africa - The challenges of the nexus: cross-border transhumance, survival of protected areas, natural resources, and human lives, development, security and peace.
For months last year, Florida’s beachgoers were plagued by rotting tangles of decaying seaweed that had washed ashore. Known technically as sargassum, the thick clumps were part of a record-setting 8,000-kilometre-long seaweed belt in the Atlantic Ocean. Sargassum blooms cause a range of environmental problems, including coastal “dead zones” bereft of aquatic life. Past sargassum outbreaks have been linked to the excessive release of phosphorus and other chemical substances known as nutrients.
SAVE THE DATE - GEF Technical BBL Series: Taking the lessons from Integrated Approach Pilots to the GEF8 Amazon, Congo, and Critical Forest Biome Integrated Program. Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 12:30 - 14:00 pm EST (hybrid event, in English)
Location: Gustavo Fonseca Meeting room (N 8 – 180) and virtually on Zoom. 3. Speakers: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez. CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; Ana Maria Gonzalez Velosa, Senior Environmental Specialist, Coordinator of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program, World Bank Group, Latin America Region; Jean-Marc Sinnassamy, Senior Environmental Specialist, Lead of the CFB IP, GEF Secretariat; Charity Nalyanya, Director, Project Management and Technical Oversight, Conservation International (CI); George Akwah Neba, Team Leader of UNEP’s Congo Basin Team; Yawo Jonky Tenou...
Seated by a crackling fire burning during an inky night, community elder Cosmas Murunga shares some advice to his audience of young listeners. “As you grow up, women might get married outside of the community. But they shouldn’t forget where they came from,” he says. “And you young men, as you grow, know that you will inherit the ways of your fathers, grandfathers and those of your ancestors.”
Second International Conference of Ministers on Cross-Border Transhumance - Compendium of Country Investment Plans
In the case of Cameroon, the government established an inter sectoral committee chaired by the prime minister office to facilitate development of the country’s PIP. The methodology adopted for writing of this document, followed a participatory approach. After validation of the draft logical framework by the Expert Committee in Douala, the national Steering Committee which brings together various sectoral ministries met in May 2023 to work on priority sectoral activities of the seven strategic axes of the logical framework. A consultant was hired to technically assist the national steering committee in development process of the PIP. The main tasks of the consultant included further consultation of sectoral ministries to discuss priorities, consultation of strategic partners, desktop review of technical reports and other related documents on transhumance, budgeting and development of 5years investment plan.
Paris, 10 January 2024: The Tenure Facility has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Tenure Facility is now one of 126 member countries and organizations who work together to promote sustainable resource management, to combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
The report, prepared by a consortium led by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and supported by Agence Française de Développement and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to provide professionals and policymakers working at the intersections of water, the environment, health, energy, agriculture, spatial planning, and land use with a global cooperative and cross-sectoral reference on the current situation and developments in sanitation and wastewater and fecal sludge management in cities and human settlements.
The 2023 edition of the Population Reference Bureau’s (PRB) World Population Data Sheet explores the role of population data in helping countries prepare for and adapt to climate change. It finds that “[b]y examining the association between population vulnerability and risk of exposure to climate shocks, decisionmakers can allocate resources to areas of greatest need and prepare essential systems to respond effectively to climate change.”
In recent years, climate crises such as floods, wildfires, drought, and extreme heat have disrupted ecosystems and negatively impacted human health. The Global South is often the hardest hit by climate change. Amid these crises, digital health emerges as a beacon of hope given its ability to provide accessible, cost-effective, and resilient healthcare services, which are increasingly necessary in the face of the growing challenges posed by climate change, particularly in hard-to-reach regions.
The Nigeria Ministry for Agriculture and Food Security is set to collaborate with IITA to scale technologies as part of measures to implement the government’s 8-point agenda. During a recent visit to the office of the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Abubakar Kyari, in Abuja, IITA Director General and Regional Director for CGIAR in Africa, Dr Simeon Ehui, said the Institute values the strong support of the Nigerian government and would like to align with the national programs.
Last September, 193 UN Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a shared roadmap, as well as to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. At the same time, countries gathered at the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) SDG Summit acknowledged that achieving the Global Goals on time is “in peril” due to major setbacks related to multiple global crises.
The 2023 Dubai Climate Change Conference began on a high note. During the opening plenary, parties adopted a decision operationalizing the new loss and damage fund that was established the previous year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and a number of parties announced pledges for its initial capitalization. This success was made possible by an agreement reached in the Transitional Committee that was tasked and met throughout 2023 to make a recommendation on the institutional arrangements for the fund.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched an online platform gathering existing knowledge and resources on biodiversity in agriculture to improve countries’ knowledge and capacity to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), deliver on the SDGs, and achieve food security for all.
Ambassador Dr. Aurélie Flore Koumba Pambo and Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, Co-Facilitators of the CBFP, wish you the very best for 2024!
Having just completed the 12th meeting of the Governing Council of the CBFP, we would like to thank you once again for the warm reception you gave the Franco-Gabonese Co-Facilitation, which was set up in July 2023. Six months after the start of our Co-Facilitation, we have spoken out on behalf of the Congo Basin at international meetings including...
At the outset of 2023, the voluntary carbon trade seemed poised to expand its reach, boosting the amount of carbon it sought to offset along with the trade’s value. Figures from 2022 suggested the market’s value had reached $2 billion, and current projections suggest it could grow to $10 billion or even $100 billion by 2030 — and into the trillions by 2050.
IQUITOS, Peru — On the Peruvian side of the Yavarí River, overlooking the lush Brazilian shore, a weary Matsés man deletes the latest anonymous threat he received on his cellphone. He thought he and his people had seen it all: invasive logging and oil giants; the marauding cowboys of the first carbon credit rush; the quiet encroachment of illegal fishing and drug-trafficking rings into the Amazon. But then came a new disappointment.
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued the 2024 edition of its flagship World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, which projects global economic growth to further slow down from an estimated 2.7% in 2023 to 2.4% in 2024, continuing to trend below the pre-pandemic growth rate of 3%. The report calls for stronger international cooperation to stimulate growth and promote green transition.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting notes that “air, water, and soil pollution are responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths and cost the world trillions of dollars every year.” While “[t]his is about three times the death burden from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis combined,” “chemicals and waste issues receive less policy and public attention than disease, climate change or biodiversity loss,” it notes.
Research shows positive changes for women and men, increased household income. Ensuring women have fair and equal access to land and resource benefits through Gender Transformative Approaches (GTAs) can yield real benefits such as greater income that impacts the entire family, according to new findings by Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry Centre (CIFOR-ICRAF) scientists.
Bonn/Dubai, 9 December 2023 – Germany will host the next Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June 2024, which will also mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), one of the three Rio Conventions alongside climate and biodiversity.
Although knowledge gaps concerning integrated landscape approaches (ILA) are closing, there are still as many questions as there are possible solutions around the popular concept, say researchers investigating ILAs.Diverse landscapes across Ghana, Zambia, and Indonesia, where ILAs are being researched, trigger many of the same questions about the impacts on human and environmental well-being, COLANDS team members said during the Forests & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) Network conference in October 2023.
Call for contributions Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit - Share your climate initiatives and innovations in the EU!
European actors committed to adapting to climate change in the European Union, submit your project and contribute to the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit on 8-9 February in Liège! For the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit on 8 and 9 February 2024 in Liège, Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit has launching a call for contributions in the European Union! The climate actions selected will be presented by their promoters at the Pitch Corner, a space at the heart of the event. They will also be published on the Cartography for Action, which lists best practices and innovative climate initiatives that can be replicated on a larger scale.