We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 is open. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors are able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment. To register as Exhibitor at the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), please fill out this form online before May 30, 2022.
Ditching fossil fuel subsidies can trigger unrest. Keeping them will kill the climate-EDITION
London (CNN Business)When protests swept Kazakhstan earlier this month, they were fueled by frustration with the ruling elite and entrenched inequality. But the unrest was sparked by a specific catalyst: an end to a government subsidy.
The cost of liquefied petroleum gas — which most people in the western part of the country use to power their cars — doubled overnight after the government lifted price caps. The ensuing turmoil, which saw thousands of protesters take to the streets, resulted in a Russian-led military intervention, the resignation of the government and the deaths of more than 200 people.
The episode is a reminder of the challenges facing governments that want to tackle longstanding fuel subsidies, either to reform markets and save money, as was the case in Kazakhstan, or to encourage people to switch to cleaner energy. There's a consensus that eliminating these subsidies soon is crucial to reaching net-zero emissions targets and averting the worst effects of the climate crisis.
"The overall direction of travel has got to be a quick move away from subsidies," said Peter Wooders, senior director of energy at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. "This isn't something we want to be talking about in 10 years, and ideally not something we want to be talking about in five years."
But rolling them back is a tricky task that requires careful maneuvering. Spiking energy costs are a frequent spark for political conflict, especially when trust in government leaders is already low.
The challenge is made harder by the fact that energy prices are rising sharply around the world, piling pressure on the most disadvantaged. Eliminating subsidies for consumers at such a moment would exacerbate that pain and amplify discontent.
The situation in Europe looks particularly perilous in the coming months. Natural gas prices have soared, and tension with Russia over Ukraine could send them even higher. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government faces mounting criticism over plans to raise a cap on household energy bills in April.
Government technocrats "know they need to get rid of" subsidies, said Glada Lahn, an energy policy expert at the think tank Chatham House in London. "But politically, it's difficult."
An end to subsidies
The value of government subsidies for fossil fuels dropped to $375 billion in 2020, their lowest in the past decade, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund and the International Energy Agency.
Yet that decline was mostly tied to the plunge in energy prices, which meant governments didn't have to pay as much to suppress costs for consumers. In 2021, subsidies shot back up again, IISD's Wooders said.
There are two main categories of subsidies for fossil fuels — those for consumers, which bring energy costs below market rates to lower the burden on the public, and those for producers, which can be harder to track, since they include tax breaks, loan guarantees and access to cheap credit. About three-quarters of global fossil fuel subsidies are for consumers.
In countries rich in oil and gas, consumer subsidies are often part of the social contract. Wealth from the energy sector is channeled to the government or business elites, so subsidies are seen as an important mechanism for redistributing those benefits more broadly.
Still, research shows that these policies tend to disproportionately benefit higher income segments of the population, since wealthy people are more likely to own cars that need gas and to use more electricity.
They're also a major impediment to slashing emissions, which needs to happen immediately to fight the climate crisis.
Subsidies encourage over-consumption by businesses and households, and reduce the urgency of limiting waste. They also eat up huge parts of government budgets that could be used for sustainable projects like greener public transport.
An IISD study published last year found that removing fossil fuel subsidies for consumers across 32 countries would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 6.1% by 2030. In some countries, emissions would drop by more than 30%.
"Phasing out the subsidies would provide more efficient price signals for consumers, and spur more energy conservation and measures to improve energy efficiency," the IEA said in its roadmap for achieving net-zero emissions.
The group's researchers said consumer subsidies must be eliminated to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Doing it right
Progress is possible. At least 12 countries took steps to reduce fossil fuel subsidies between the middle of 2020 and the middle of 2021, according to IISD.
But the removal of subsidies can be a lightning rod for dissent since it hits residents' pocketbooks immediately. Problems can also arise when people don't believe their government will fairly invest or redistribute the money they'd otherwise spend on reducing energy costs.
"Fuel subsidy cuts definitely can be a leading indicator for protests," said Hugo Brennan, an analyst at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.
In Kazakhstan, protests started in the western city of Zhanaozen over a leap in the price of butane and propane, which is often used as a cheaper alternative to gasoline. Yet demonstrations soon tapped into deeper sentiments.
"What's really going on [is] people are angry about inequality, about inflation and a lack of political freedom," said Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center. Kazakhstan's government opted to restore the price caps for six months.
It's just one example. After Ecuador's government announced the removal of fuel subsidies in late 2019, the country experienced a wave of protests that occasionally turned violent. The government ultimately reversed course. India, Indonesia, Yemen and Jordan have also been rocked by unrest tied to the rollback of fuel subsidies over the past 15 years.
Nigeria's government is trying to remove gasoline subsidies for consumers this year. While the subsidies mean prices at the pump are among the lowest in the world, the World Bank has reported that they mostly help the wealthiest members of the population and entice smugglers. Still, large-scale protests one decade ago and the failure of previous attempts underscore how fraught the process will be.
Concerns about fuel prices also affect the richest countries. In France, the gilet jaunes or "yellow vest" protest movement kicked off after President Emmanuel Macron's government announced a new eco-tax on fuel in 2018, generating backlash among the country's working and middle class living outside of major cities.
"These people needed to have purchasing power to get gas in their car so that's why the protest began," Samy Shalaby, an early yellow vest activist, told CNN in 2019. "But after that the people wanted to do more than challenge one tax, they wanted to change the democracy ... the entire economic model."
To successfully roll back subsidies, governments need to plan well in advance, Wooders said. The impact on lower-income households can be mitigated by providing direct cash payments to offset price increases — an approach that tends to be much cheaper than maintaining fuel subsidies in the long run. Communication about the move also needs to be deliberate and clear, and leaders should consider a phased approach, he added.
19th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration is open until May 20, 2022!
If you wish to attend the 19th MoP of the CBFP and related events, please register before 20th May 2022 by completing the form below and clicking on the button “register”. It will not be possible to attend the meeting without a properly completed registration procedure.
Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation. The project incorporates infrastructural upgrades with the formation of community action groups to improve the capital’s flood resilience . A project in Mongolia, which incorporates a wide range of initiatives and aims to build the resilience of high-risk communities, is directly confronting the burden of urban climate impacts.
Home to the only biosphere reserve of argan in the world, Morocco is facing a unique challenge. It must preserve its argan forests as a barrier to climate-induced desertification while helping the communities, that depend on these forests for a living, adapt and preserve their cultural heritage.
The 32nd meeting of the GCF Board is taking place in person in Antigua and Barbuda from May 16-19. The meeting, one of four scheduled this year, follows on the heels of the first Board meeting where USD 187.7 million was approved for new climate projects and major changes to GCF’s accreditation framework were approved. The changes aim to accelerate climate finance for developing countries and include strengthening the existing accreditation model and introducing the project-specific assessment approach (PSAA).
The proposed EU Regulation on deforestation-free products aims to ensure goods cannot be placed on the EU market if they have caused deforestation, forest degradation, or violated producer country laws. The Commission released a draft proposal of the Regulation on 17 November 2021, and now the European Parliament (EP) and the Council must agree on their positions. On 24 March 2022, the EP rapporteur Luxembourgish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Christophe Hansen of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), released his draft response.
As world leaders, the private sector, and experts met for the final day of the 15th World Forestry Congress on Friday and the United Nations Forum on Forests begins today, fulfilling funding promises made during UNFCCC’s CoP26 to tackle the illegal timber trade and accelerating the implementation of sustainability strategies must be at the top of the agenda says TRAFFIC.
Global shipping to focus on bringing down the illegal networks exploiting maritime supply chains to traffic wildlife. On the 13 of May 2022, the 46th Meeting of the Facilitation Committee (FAL46) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted new ‘Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Wildlife on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic’.
Fifty years after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which put “health and sanitation” on the international agenda, ensuring water and sanitation for all “remains one of the world’s biggest challenges.” A ‘Still Only One Earth’ policy brief from IISD argues that for universal access to become a reality,
The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has issued the second edition of its flagship report titled, ‘Global Land Outlook: Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience’ (GLO2). The publication outlines various future land scenarios, and highlights the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and human health, among other SDGs.
Delegates at the 15th meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) called for immediate action to protect forests, forestry, and forest stakeholders as providers of nature-based solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, hunger, and poverty. They encouraged “actions for a green, healthy and resilient future with forests” as a contribution to the SDGs, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched its biennial flagship report on the state of the world’s forests (SOFO), which explores three intertwined forest pathways to achieve green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, among other “multidimensional planetary crises.”
A high-level panel marked Desertification and Drought Day 2020 with a discussion focused on the Day’s theme, ‘Food. Feed. Fibre,” and the question, “Is it time for a new social contract for nature?” Ministers and agency heads offered recommendations for addressing vulnerabilities for land management that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and options for building back better.
Convening under the theme “Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests,” the Fifteenth meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) sought to define the role of forests in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other major agreements, including the Global Forest Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
At the end of the XV World Forestry Congress held in Seoul from May 2 to 6, 8 ministers signed a text calling for the production and consumption of sustainable wood. Sustainable production and consumption of wood promotes forest conservation, enhances the value of forests and mitigates climate change. Building and living with wood responds to an increased demand for renewable materials and provides impetus for green recovery.
The Forest Conservation Job Day took place online, on Friday May 6th 2022. This Forest Conservation Job day, which was in its first edition, was co-organised by ERAIFT and the association of its alumni gathered within the « Réseau Africain pour le Développement Durable et Intégré (RADDI) ». The Participants to this event were former ERAIFT students and students from the 3rd and 4th Master's classes actually in training.
The Board of Directors of the ATIBT validated the membership application of this trading and sawing Gilmour & Aitken Ltd are suppliers and stock holders of a comprehensive range of high quality sawn and engineered hardwood and softwood timber products. Established in 1852 and now in its 5th generation, the business prides itself on its product expertise, stock range and customer service.
To get back on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, a profound step up in political commitments and financing is needed, especially for climate action in developing countries being hit hard by the impacts of climate change.
GCF explores how to strengthen private sector finance at World Forestry Congress – GREEN CLIMATE FUND
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) will strive to narrow the forest finance gap by helping to strengthen public-private roots of climate cooperation during the World Forestry Congress which opens today in South Korea.
COP 15 : World leaders at the Abidjan summit on desertification unanimously agree time to safeguard the future of land is now – CAN
Heads of States and governments at the fifteenth session of the Conference of Parties(COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) have made a clarion call to the international community to take urgent measures to avert loss of live and source of livelihood threatening the world today as result of the devastating effects of desertification, land degradation and drought.
A consortium of investigative journalists in Liberia are shining a spotlight on the country’s forest sector – with some remarkable results. Starting at 4pm every Thursday, one of Liberia’s best-known radio stations, OK FM 99.5, broadcasts a live one-hour show that’s possibly the only one of its kind in the world.
In early April 2022, I had the chance to travel to Brazil to consult with Fern’s partners and attend the yearly Free Land Camp organised by Brazil’s Articulation of Indigenous Peoples (APIB) in Brasilia. This trip gave me a snapshot of where the people with whom we work stand in this crucial year for the country.
European biomass industry confirms it is burning large amounts of “low-quality stemwood” (tree trunks) – FERN
On 5 April, the Forest Defenders Alliance published an impactful visual investigation, revealing that “many wood-burning power plants and wood pellet manufacturing plants in the EU appear to be using trees logged directly from forests, despite claims to use sawdust and other mill waste for fuel and feedstock”. Surprisingly, industry confirmed the report’s findings, proving the importance of ensuring that the EU’s renewed Renewable Energy Directive (RED) takes a strong line on which types of material should, and should not be burnt.
Despite the urgency of the climate crisis and the importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use and forestry, some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Member States and private actors continue to try to downgrade climate ambition. In upcoming votes about the proposed Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation, there are hopes that the European Parliament will set a more positive course.
State of the Forest 2021 Report presented in the COMIFAC Pavilion during the World Forestry Congress - A product of the German CBFP Facilitation
The "State of the Forests" report is a flagship product of the CBFP partners' efforts, especially of the EU, which is the main donor of OFAC. The production of this report remains a major challenge for each CBFP Facilitation. We are there!!! The State of the Forest 2021 (SOF 2021) report is the seventh in the series published since 2005. The previous report was released in 2015 at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris.
World Forestry Congress: “Scaling up forest landscape restoration in the central Africa” at COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiatives
Seoul (Republic of Korea) World Forest Congress, 5 Mai 2022 – at COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiatives, a special session was organized on “Accelerating and Scaling up forest landscape restoration under the Bonn Challenge and AFR100 in the central Africa”. The Session was moderated by the German CBFP Facilitation and had as panelists IUCN and the African Union (NEPAD/AFR100).
IUCN Africa Protected Area Congress at the heart of the COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiative at the 15th World Forestry Congress
Seoul (Republic of Korea) World Forest Congress, 5 Mai 2022 – IUCN Africa Protected Area Congress was presented by Mr. KARANGWA Charles Regional Head of Land Systems and Country Representative, IUCN Rwanda, in a special hybrid session in the COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion.
Welfare support for forest and farm producers has become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it wrecked economies and livelihoods across the globe. But the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) has stepped up to the plate. Over the course of 2021, more than 56,000 forest and farm producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America received food aid, hygiene products or government social protection schemes thanks to the work of FFF-supported forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs).
Women fish processors and sellers learn new techniques from their colleagues in order to make their jobs safer and their products more competitive 4 April, Abidjan/Dakar/Praia/Rome - The FAO Coastal Fisheries Initiative in West Africa (CFI-WA) has organized three exchange visits aimed at strengthening the role of women in fisheries value chains in Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, and Senegal.
Located in Zambia’s North-Western Province, the greater Kafue National Park and West Lunga ecosystem complex was once home to an abundance of ancient rosewood trees and a host of other endemic and endangered species. Now, aerial views reveal slabs of fallen trees peppering black holes in the green forest canopy. Fenced clearings open up to piles of orange rosewood, stacked high in the grounds of a sawmill
WFC - Side Event CBFP/CAFI: Saving our planet’s second-largest lung – How the Congo Basin contributes to protecting global climate and threatened biodiversity and how it should be supported
Join this discussion on Calls for a “Fair Deal” that addresses the protection, sustainable use, and good governance of the central African Forest ecosystems of the Congo basin by the riparian countries of COMIFAC in exchange for an adequate share of international climate and biodiversity funds. Wednesday 4th May 2022, SEOUL, 5:30 PM KST - 7:00 PM KST Where: Room. E5. Third floor.
We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 will be open soon. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors will be able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment.
Our investigation found that at the height of the clashes between fishers and pastoralists on 9 December, Shuwa Arab elders consulted each other and contacted Park guards by phone before deciding to enter the Park. The following day, Shuwa Arab men, women and children walked 20 km to the centre of the Park, continuing 2 days later to a nearby waterhole. There they were initially summoned by the Park warden to leave the Park but allowed to stay to recover from their journey. After 1 week, pastoralists continued through the inundated part of the Park to the north-east where they stayed until 20 January, when all but two of the 17 groups left the Park. The Park offered safety for the pastoralists, but the conditions were harsh for families and livestock, resulting in considerable loss of sheep and donkeys; three cattle were predated by lions.
The Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany is pleased to launch a call for proposals for side events during the 19th Meeting of Parties (MoP 19) in Libreville, Gabon, from 5-8 July 2022, tbc. There is no set format required, but guidelines are provided below. Submissions should be sent before. 20 May 2022, to the following address: email@example.com
This new video explains the EU’s proposed new Regulation on deforestation-free products, which aims to reduce the risk that products on the EU market have caused forest destruction and human rights impacts. It also explains the issues at stake and the loopholes that need to be closed over the next few months, as the Regulation is discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.