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.
Central African youth leaders and youth support groups rally in support of their forests, biodiversity and climate
Summary: Following the workshop on the prospects for implementing CEFDHAC reform, which took place in Douala from 21 to 22 May 2008 and following the Kigali CEFDHAC meeting, it became clear that there was a need to organize general assemblies for the youth, women, parliamentarians and indigenous peoples’ networks, that would establish legally recognized structures and appoint their legal representatives. Learn more...
Is the Congo Basin’s future in jeopardy?
CBFP partners are urged to place the youth at the heart of interventions in the Congo Basin, thereby helping to guarantee sustainable investments and contribute towards the sustainable development of the countries concerned. It is a call for the active and direct involvement of youth leaders and youth support organizations in the Partners’ projects and programmes. Central Africa’s future hangs in the balance, with the sub-region on the one hand and the entire planet’s future on the other hand, in light of ecosystem services provided by the world’s second lung as the Congo Basin is also known.
Youth leaders and youth support organizations in Central Africa have come together under the Network of Youth Leaders’ Network for sustainable management of forest and humid ecosystems of Central Africa (REJEFAC) and are actively campaigning for their forests, biodiversity and climate in each of the ten countries, at the level of primary and secondary schools, universities, in professional circles, villages and communities, decentralized local communities, cities through a host of projects, programs and efforts conducted at the local, national, regional and international levels.
In this article, we will review:
- The core tenets of the creation of REJEFAC;
- Solemn commitment...to the slogan “With or without pay, I pledge my allegiance to my community”;
- REJEFAC - Regional mobilization in close ranks;
- The pressing need for fund-raising;
- Structuring challenges at the local, national and regional levels.
(1) Core tenets of the creation of REJEFAC;
The saying goes “youth is the country’s future”, “youth today is the future of tomorrow”. Central African youth leaders and youth support organization are rising up today, not tomorrow, to support their forests, biodiversity and climate. They are already involved and are campaigning in each of the ten Central African countries to avoid a poisoned legacy. They are well aware that the hopes and future of Central Africa and its forest ecosystems rest squarely on young people’s shoulders in spite of major changes taking place in our world today.
In this regard, the youth in our Congo Basin countries have in recent years been pushing for a basic right, the right to have a viable and habitable Planet tomorrow. The threats are sobering and serious: disruption of livelihood support systems like forest ecosystems, climate and biodiversity, a rekindling of the arms race, rising inequality, the deterioration of public health, Covid-19 and certain States headed in the wrong direction… In the face of these huge threats, denial, tuning out and ignorance are no longer options. For a growing number of youths, the scales are falling, blithe consumerism is no longer acceptable, anxiety is becoming palpable, school curricula are being reassessed for relevance, and mobilization has become the only logical course of action.
A movement was born in the 2008s, the Central African Forest Youth Network- long may it prosper! While the “adult world” affirmed long ago in the Rights of Future Generations, according to the famous quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we lend it to our children”, foreshadowing the idea of sustainability, it’s up to the youth to claim these rights as the elementary and biological evidence and basis for all other rights (and duties!). For any social movement to shape events in a lasting manner, it must have 1) a structure and spokespersons and 2) the ability to formulate specific demands.
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2) Solemn commitment...to the slogan” With or without pay, I pledge my allegiance to my community”;
A- Youth serving as volunteers at CBFP Meetings of Parties and Conferences since June 2015.
Volunteer participation in the Meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) has now become customary practice. Young volunteers made their first test participation in the 15th edition of the CBFP at the Yaoundé Conference Centre in Cameroon. The test proved to be a huge success. This first successful participation encouraged the European Union to continue soliciting the services of young volunteers. Hence in 2015, young volunteers from Rwanda were invited to take part in the 16th edition that took place in the country. In response to the high quality of the services provided by these youths, the European Union CBFP Facilitation once more called on the young volunteers to serve at the 17th edition which took place from 13 to 27 October 2017 at the Sawa Hotel in Douala in Cameroon. This third participation was different from the previous two in that the volunteers were directly involved in the organization and conduct of the proceedings. Three days prior to the Meeting, they gathered and immediately began logistic preparations.
They were selected based on the CBFP website’s volunteer database. Gender equity was considered in the selection process which aimed to encourage young girls and give them an opportunity to express themselves. In the end, thirty-one youths were selected in all from the Adamawa, Centre and Littoral regions. The AJVC (the project proponent), the JVE, REJEFAC, CADDE and REFADD are some of the organizations to which these volunteers belong, with girls making up 60% overall. The youths were involved in several activities over the course of the meeting. In the logistics department, they were responsible for designing badges and putting kits together for the participants. In the meeting rooms, they were charged with the set up and smooth functioning of the sound system and small equipment needed by the participants during the conference.
The youths successfully ran the Meeting secretariat and did the printing, photocopying and archiving of documents, among other things. Their huge and active presence at the reception desk helped facilitate registration and guidance of participants. Since the volunteers were assigned tasks based on their profile, those who had a technical and scientific knowledge on the topics discussed were assigned either to the colleges, Streams or to certain public figures. Hence during Stream 1 on forest governance, Stream 2 on Biodiversity and Stream 3 on Climate Change, the “junior experts” in addition to taking care of the logistics, helped the rapporteurs with note taking and drafting of minutes. The young volunteers who were assigned to the Colleges demonstrated the same proactive spirit. Some of the EU Facilitation’s Experts and Officers were assisted by the volunteers who either served as translators, or helped them with note-taking or logistics.
The young volunteers from Cameroon seized the opportunity to strengthen their technical and logistic skills for organizing large events. They learned more about the main themes and projects relating to environmental protection and sustainable management of Congo Basin forests. Some of them established personal contact with a few public figures.
The CBFP also provided an opportunity for the shortlisted youth organizations to informally introduce themselves to the participants. As for REJEFAC, its presentation focused on introducing its new strategic framework. This presentation began at Radio Environnement. Later on, through B2B contacts and supporting documents, REJEFAC met with experts, public figures, donors, partners and many others. It presented its strategic framework which comprises four strategic axes (SA). SA 1 deals with peace and security issues surrounding protected areas and natural resource management and SA 2 is concerned with reforestation, forest conservation and restoring degraded soils. As for SA 3, it addresses issues relating to integrated water management while SA 4 tackles all cross-cutting issues such as capacity building, financial support and technology transfer.
It is also worth noting that REJEFAC took part in the CBFP meeting in Brussels (Belgium) in November 2018 and in December 2019 in Yaoundé (Cameroon).
B- Youths mobilized during celebrations of international days
It is important to note that REJEFAC member organizations and the Network’s Coordination office are regular fixtures at Climate Talks (COP CLIMATE) and at CDB-COP Biodiversity meetings as well. In order to prepare the youth for these international debates, REJEFAC’s technical secretariat has successively organized COP in my city (2015-2016); and COP CHEZ NOUS 2017, 2018, 2019 and in light of the COVID-19 situation, an online webinar will be held in October to prepare the youth for the two upcoming COPS and for WWF’s New Deal for Nature and POST 2020.
C- Involvement in Conferences of the Parties: How are the Congo Basin’s young men and women leaders able to work with meagre resources and how do they prepare for upcoming COP events?
The AJVC (www.ajvc.org) which runs the REJEFAC technical secretariat, organizes events in the area of energy (PODC), awareness campaigns and environmental education every year, and this year we decided to postpone the COP CHEZ NOUS 2020 simulation activity to early 2021 and organize a webinar in October 2020 on engaging youth leaders in biodiversity issues.
Through individual and collective efforts, the youth are doing their best to make a contribution. Youth-led civil society organizations and movements are actively working on all fronts. The youth are rallying inhabitants to better protect them and support monitoring efforts. The fight against climate change requires strong, global and ambitious action. It is crucial that the young generations be involved and COP 26 and COP 15 is determined to host the “The Youth Climate Conference” as well as the pre-COP and other sensitization efforts. Rescheduling the COPs will allow the efforts at local and regional level to focus entirely on the issues to be discussed at these international meetings and buy more time for the needed preparations. We will continue working through our public awareness raising and advocacy efforts to engage with all stakeholders to step up our climate ambitions, strengthen resilience and curb emissions.
(3) REJEFAC - Regional mobilization in close ranks: COMIFAC and its GIZ-POST 2020 support programme
Equip the youth with core skills to enable them to transition into a society that lives in harmony with nature:
The modest setting of the Cercle ELAEIS Circle of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo served as the venue, from 11 to 14 March 2020, for the sub-regional finalization workshop on the REJEFAC strategy and operational plan, organized with the technical and financial support of COMIFAC and its GIZ support project. Fortunately, our Youth Leaders’ Network for the Sustainable Management of Central African forest ecosystems met a few weeks before the global COVID outbreak and the onset of confinement. About thirty young leaders from 10 Central African countries took part in a REJEFAC sub-regional workshop held in Kinshasa, capital of the DRC. The workshop’s overall objective was to prepare the REJEFAC youths to draft the Post-2020 Biodiversity Strategic Framework and raise their awareness of biodiversity conservation as part of celebrations marking the World Wildlife Day. The Kinshasa REJEFAC Forum provided an opportunity for the youth leaders to engage actively alongside Member States in discussions around the role that young people, men and women, can play in building sustainable and resilient rural and urban communities that contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The meeting helped to:
- Enlighten the REJEFAC members on how to develop the post-2020 strategic framework for biodiversity;
- Collect and document comments from the REJEFAC youth to inform the development of the post-2020 strategic framework for biodiversity;
- Strengthen the capacities of the Central African youth for wildlife and wild habitat conservation;
- Develop a long-term follow-up framework to get REJEFAC youths involved in wildlife conservation efforts and CITES decision-making processes;
- Craft a consensus-based approach to revamping REJEFAC whose strategy will take into account emerging themes such as Reducing risks and natural disasters, smart agriculture and waste management;
- Validate REJEFAC’s Annual Work Plan 2020 based on the Operationalization Framework for its Regional Strategy and break it down into activities and/or into efforts at the regional and national levels.
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(4) How, where and with whom can funds be raised: A tall order for youth leaders and youth support organizations!
The Green Climate Fund has already disbursed 3 billion Euro in aid for developing countries. How can the youth access these resources? Donor investments tend to sideline youth leaders’ initiatives and projects, making them unsustainable....
Intergenerational injustice must not only address the future, but also the past and present. How can we work together to protect the global climate when some youths, babies and their parents are drowning in the abyss of the Mediterranean, while others stage protests in Brussels, Paris and Quebec alongside their parents and teachers? The climate movement will merely sound hollow in countries that lack essential and pre-materialist goods, given that rallying for such a cause appears to be a concern for those who live in luxury-filled and post-materialist society, not because it lacks validity, but because the human spirit can only awaken to the urgency of climate issues when it is freed from the burden of daily deprivations : a hungry belly has no climate! Poor people and lands as well as their populations and descendants are doomed to bear twice the brunt.
What do the African “township and shantytown generations” have in common with the European “climate generation” aside from the fact that they live on the same Earth whose climate is spinning out of control? Will these impoverished youth in Latin America and developing countries have to foot the bill for the out of control climate, while Europe’s “climate generation” is spared? Our aim is to make sustainable and balanced management of Central Africa’s forest ecosystems attractive to the youth. Can the Congolese children who are sometimes are buried alive in the artisanal mines that feed Western multinational corporations, afford the privilege of being “climate conscious” when they have to scrape by on pennies? Land-grabbing issues? How and who finances the innovative projects of youth leaders and civil society actors in the sub-region?
(5) The stakes
An urgent appeal to the CBFP partners and States and governments: We need you!!! Time is short for the Congo Basin’s youth but there is a long road ahead.
REJEFAC has sent a call to CBFP partners and respective governments and States urging them to place the youth at the heart of interventions in the Congo Basin, as a way of guaranteeing the sustainability of investments. It is a call for the active and direct involvement of youth leaders and youth support groups in the Partners’ projects and programmes. Central Africa’s future hangs in the balance, with the sub-region on the one hand and the entire planet’s future on the other hand, in light of ecosystem services provided by the world’s second lung as the Congo Basin is also known. Central African youth have come together under the Network of Central African Forest Youth for sustainable management of forest and humid ecosystems of Central Africa (REJEFAC) and are actively campaigning for their forests, biodiversity and climate in each of the ten countries, at the level of primary and secondary schools, universities, in professional circles, villages and communities, decentralized local communities, cities through a host of projects, programs and efforts conducted at the local, national, regional and international levels.
The Conference of Parties is the governing body of the Convention of Biodiversity on Climate Change. The United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP-26 which was slated to hold in Glasgow in November was postponed because of COVID-19. The COP 15 conference which was supposed to take place in Kunming, China from 15 to 28 October was also postponed to a later date. In order to be useful, the new framework adopted at the COP 15 must offer added value to curb these pressures. Patricia Espinosa, the United Nations Executive Secretariat on Climate Change said: “COVID-19 is the most urgent threat facing humanity today but we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.” “Economies will soon restart and the countries will have a chance to recover, and include the most vulnerable in their plans and shape the economy of the 21st century in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient.
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For more information, please contact REJEFAC’s regional coordination office:
Ms. Tamoifo Nkom Marie
AJVC President - REJEFAC| DAF PODC
Head office: Immeuble Anta Pressing - Oyomabang.
Tel: Mobile: 00237 699846113 / 675384335 |
Email: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
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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:
Results of the work of the geographical block CENTER. Please download the Document here below:
The weather in DS continues to be strange this year. In principle we should be going through a short dry period within the rainy season at the moment, for the rains to restart in August but the reality is that the rainy season has not yet started. There is so much uncertainty on what will happen now.
Green Climate Fund Board approves USD 500 million for new climate action, strengthens its Results Management Framework
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board at its twenty-ninth meeting, has allocated USD 500 million in GCF resources for new climate projects, and taken significant steps to strengthen results management for its growing portfolio. During the meeting, four (04) new climate projects were approved and will mobilise a total sum of USD 2,949 million for climate action in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with three of the four new projects targeting support to the most vulnerable countries including Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, and African states.
The Heads of State and Government of the 30 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have adopted NATO 2030, “a transatlantic agenda for the future,” as well as a Climate Change and Security Action Plan. The Action Plan provides a framework to deliver on the Climate Change and Security Agenda endorsed by NATO Foreign Ministers on 23-24 March 2021. The NATO Deputy Secretary-General said the decisions make the fight against climate change an important task for NATO for the first time.
The UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) met online for three weeks in June 2021. The two subsidiary bodies held plenaries as well as mandated and Presidency-led events. Delegates also convened informal consultations on a range of issues in the lead up to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 26), which is scheduled to take place in November 2021.
UN Climate Change News, 25 June 2021 – The progress made at the May-June UN Climate Change Conference leaves the international community “well positioned to achieve success” at the crucial UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November, according to UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary, Ovais Sarmad.
UN Climate Change News, 29 June 2021 - The UN Climate Change online portal to register Parties, admitted observers and media representatives to attend the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 (31 October – 12 November 2021) in Glasgow is open for participants.
This is the subject of a new book published by the Faculty of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech of the University of Liege, Nature+ and their collaborators. This book focuses on the species of dense rainforests, capitalizing on the results of past or recent trials in six African countries, and mobilizing the skills and knowledge of thirteen specialists.
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).
Rwanda, the first African country to submit an updated 2020 NDC, is displacing GHG emissions from fossil fuel power generation and expanding energy access to areas not served by the national grid. Rwanda intends to add more than 150 MW of hydro capacity to the grid and install 68 MWp of solar mini-grids in rural areas by 2030.
The Least Developed Countries Fund, the only dedicated source of climate adaptation support for the world’s smallest and most vulnerable economies, will provide more than $60 million to address urgent needs in Bhutan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Kiribati, Lesotho, Somalia, and Timor-Leste under its latest work program.
Tax and non-tax incentives for sustainable forest management: An opportunity for the Congo Basin countries
The report on Tax and non-tax incentives for sustainable forest management presents an analytical overview of potential incentives for sustainable management of tropical forests as well as possible deterrents. The aim is to help ITTO producer member countries develop incentives that are equally effective and fruitful in promoting the sustainable development of their forests.
Cameroon - Decision: Prime Minister repeals decree expropriating 66,340 hectares of forest in the Ntem Valley (South Region) - Cameroon-info
Joseph Dion Ngute's decision was signed on May 5, 2021. This is the culmination of a case that captivated the nation’s attention in August 2020. In a decree signed on May 5, 2021, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute repealed another decree, dating back from 2016, signed at the time by his predecessor, Philemon Yang, expropriating 66,340 hectares of land in the Ntem Valley, South Region.
During the official opening of the ECOFAC6 Regional Programme’s Steering Committee, (organized in Douala, Cameroon from 4 to 6 May) EU Ambassador, Ms. Rosario Bento-Pais, recalled that the EU invests more than 80 million Euros in the ECOFAC6 Programme. The other 17 million are invested by the partners. Amounting to approximately 100 million Euros, the investment makes ECOFAC6 the largest European environmental programme in Central Africa and a one-of-the-kind initiative in the world.
The meeting held on Monday 3rd May 2021 at the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife of Cameroon. The Facilitator thanked the Ministry for the positive response it had given to the Declaration of the ECCAS/COMIFAC countries for the forests of the Congo Basin and its periphery.
Gabon - CBFP - The Prime Minister of Gabon receives in audience the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck : The Sustainable Management of Congo Basin Forest Ecosystems in the Spotlight
CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, undertook a mission in Gabon from the 9th to the 14th of May 2021. Dr Christian Ruck met in turn with: the Prime Minister; the Minister Delegate for Water, Forests, the Sea and the Environment; the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food; the Vice-President of the ECCAS Commission; the Commissioner for the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development; the National Climate Council...
CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck meets Gabonese civil society
During his mission to Gabon from 09 to 14 May 2021, the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, had a working session with Gabonese civil society accompanied by the German Ambassador to Gabon.
Second mission of the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck to Cameroon: Strengthening cooperation Building cooperation
The dynamics of the CBFP in Cameroon, how to enhance the conservation and sustainable management of the forests of the Congo Basin while preserving their vital role for the regional and global climate were at the heart of the political (MINFOF, MINFI, MINEPAT, parliamentarians) and technical discussions.
Special meeting of CBFP private sector college with CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honourable Dr Christian Ruck
Video Conference - May 20, 2021. The CBFP private sector college held a special meeting. Moderated by the Co-Leader of the CBFP private sector college, Ms. Jacqueline Van de Pol (ATIBT), the meeting gathered close to twenty participants.
The swearing-in ceremony of COMIFAC’s statutory staff took place on Friday, 4 June 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the Hilton hotel in Yaoundé.
CBFP Facilitation Mandate of the Federal Republic of German extended till end of 2022 and Facilitator meets with private sector in Libreville
As the CBFP announced on its website, it will be managed until 2022 by the Facilitation team of the Federal Republic of Germany with Honourable Dr Christian Ruck serving as Facilitator, assisted by the Co-Facilitator, Minister Raymond Mbitikon of the Central African Republic. The Facilitation’s mandate was originally scheduled to end in 2021.
CBFP Facilitator from the Federal Republic of Germany, Honourable Dr Christian Ruck in talks with REPAR parliamentarians
Thursday, 06 May 2021: Starting from 11:45 am, a luncheon was held in the Safoutier Hall of the Hilton Hotel between the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Cameroonian Delegation of the Network of Parliamentarians for Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPAR-Cameroon).
Representatives of 184 countries have approved a new work program for the Least Developed Countries Fund, which together with the Special Climate Change Fund has provided more than $2 billion to date for the urgent climate resilience needs of small and vulnerable economies.
Making Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) work for forests, people and the climate: Civil society recommendations on the future of VPAs
The briefing reflects on progress after a decade of implementation including looking at multi stakeholder participation, increased transparency and reduced illegal deforestation. It suggests concrete ways to address challenges and step up current efforts including increased enforcement of just laws, enhanced policy coherence, and inclusive decision making. If the proposed changes are taken on board, VPAs will continue to effectively contribute to governance improvements, forest protection and sustainable local livelihoods.
The Forest Scientific and Technical Council (CST Forêt) of AFD has a new website that presents its activities and provides users with numerous resources and news. Created in 2019 by AFD and led by GRET, the CST aims to enhance French and Francophone expertise in the forestry sector in order to inform policymakers.
The first training activity of the ADEFAC project will start in August in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last week, from Sunday 30 May until Friday 4 June, the main technical assistant, Jacqueline LARDIT, and the project manager, Elise MAZEYRAC, of the projet to Support the development of continuous education for the forest and wood sector in Central Africa (ADEFAC) were on mission in Kinshasa, where the were received by the Wood industrials federation (FIB).
The month of May has already ended and the rainy season has not yet started. Although it has rained some days, it is just a few days compared to a normal year and the level of the Sangha River remains relatively low...
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...
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