Rwanda is set to host the regional headquarters of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) following a presidential order signed by President Paul Kagame and issued in the national gazette. Founded in 1895, Wildlife Conservation Society is an NGO with headquarters in New York with the aim to conserve the world's largest wildlife and wild places in 14 priority regions home to more than 50 percent of the world's biodiversity.
Civil society organizations from the Congo Basin in closed ranks around the Federal Republic of Germany’s CBFP Facilitator, Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck
Please download the report below:
The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) of the Congo Basin, met within the CBFP Civil Society College, represented by their Chairs and Regional Coordinators, are committed to speaking with one voice to promote the image of the Congo Basin at the national, regional and international levels. They support the Facilitation's roadmap and will spare no effort to contribute to its implementation.
Thus, the CSOs of the Congo Basin unanimously approved the CBFP roadmap, calling on the German Facilitation to accelerate the implementation of the Douala Declaration, which emerged from the CBFP Civil Society Day organized in December 2019 on the side-lines of the high-level meeting of the CBFP Governing Council. They also requested the Facilitation to advocate for more transparency with regard to the positioning of CSOs in the CAFI process and in the projects and programmes of implementing partners in the Congo Basin.
On 26 June 2020, all the members of the Congo Basin Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) college of the CBFP, represented by their Chairs and Regional Coordinators, took an active part in the virtual meeting with the German CBFP Facilitator, Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck.
The Meeting was moderated by Minister Mbitikon Raymond, CBFP Co-Facilitator.
In his introductory remarks, Dr. Christian RUCK, the CBFP Facilitator, recalled the effects that the Covid-19 situation had created in his mission agenda under preparation in the sub-region. He hailed the remarkable attendance and organization of the members of the CBFP College of CSOs. The CBFP Facilitator stressed the importance and the crucial place of civil society organizations within the CBFP, as key actors in the field with proven expertise which is relevant to the Partnership as a whole. Presenting the CBFP Facilitation's roadmap, he laid special emphasis on its ambition to pursue the implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration, the one on the fight against poaching, and to strengthen the dialogue with China. Dr. Ruck presented the process leading to the adoption of a common position/declaration of the Congo Basin with regard to the major future international challenges. In this regard, he noted that his CBFP Facilitation is dominated by the EU-Africa Summit, the EU-China Summit and the CBD and UNFCCC conferences. These events offer great opportunities to the Congo Basin, and the Facilitator sees the CBFP as a means to ensure that the voice of the Congo Basin is heard clearly and in agreement in these global platforms. The Congo Basin is at the cross-road and the opportunities in terms of international challenges are at hand. It must seize them. Coming together to speak with one voice also offers the opportunity to create some discipline to better influence. With regard to the process towards a common Congo Basin position, the German CBFP Facilitator explained the need to continue the process of collecting responses to technical questions sent to CSOs, and that the deadline for the submission of contributions was set for 1 July, 2020. Before closing his remarks, Dr. Christian Ruck asked for the support of civil society organizations in the Congo Basin, emphasizing that the success of his Facilitation would depend on that.
Following the statement by Dr Christian Ruck, the German CBFP Facilitator, the floor was given to the Co-Leaders of the CBFP Civil Society College, namely His Majesty Honourable Essola Etoa Louis-Roger and Mr Nicaise Moulombi on the one hand, and on to members of the College on the other.
A summary of the contributions, intense and fruitful discussions is available below:
His Majesty, Honourable Essola Etoa Louis-Roger, Chairperson of the CEFDHAC Regional Steering Committee
On behalf of the Civil Society College, he congratulated Germany for assuming the CBFP Facilitation for the second time and announced the endorsement of by CSO College of the German CBFP Facilitation Roadmap. Thereafter, His Majesty Honourable Essola refreshed participants on the outcomes of the civil society day organized in Douala in December 2019, including a declaration adopted at the end of the day. This declaration brings together the recommendations of civil society. The CBFP College of CSOs called for support in the implementation of the Douala declaration. On all the actions foreseen in the roadmap, in particular the strengthening of the Dialogue with China; the EU-Africa Summits; EU-China as well as at the Biodiversity and Climate COPs, it called for a strong involvement of civil society in the process, especially in the envisaged preparatory frameworks in order to ensure effective regarding these joint contributions.
Mr. Nicaise Moulombi, Chairperson of the Network of Civil Society Organizations for the Green Economy in Central Africa (ROSCEVAC) and Second Vice-President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of Gabon
On behalf of the civil society organizations that are not members of CEFDHAC, Mr. Moulombi expressed their adherence to the CBFP Facilitation roadmap. Beyond the China-Africa dialogue, he stressed the importance of the dialogue initiated within CAFI with civil society organizations. He recalled that to date, civil society is not actively taken into account in the CAFI negotiations in the countries and regretted the lack of transparency. Furthermore, he called for extending the dialogue beyond China, but also focusing it on other important partners in the Congo Basin such as Russia, Japan, etc...
Mr. Moulombi advocated for standardising support for the forests of Central Africa and the role that COMIFAC should play in this process.
Finally, he wished to receive more information from the Facilitation on the continuation of the process that should lead to a common position for the Congo Basin, recalling that its ROSCEVAC Network has already submitted its contribution and its answers to the questionnaires.
Mr. Nicaise Moulombi, proposed that each member of the CBFP's Society College at the national level should analyse the CAFI initiative from the perspective of CSOs’ participation in order to ensure that civil society organizations and forest communities are taken into account in the initiative. He committed to do an analysis of CAFI from a CSO perspective in his country Gabon. As soon as the analyses are available in each country, a compilation will be made. The result of these consultations will be shared with the CBFP Facilitator to assist CSOs in the Congo Basin in their advocacy with CAFI. The briefing note will be produced by the leaders of the CBFP CSOs College on CAFI for transmission to the CBFP Facilitator.
Monique BISSECK YIGBEDEK, Regional Coordinator of the Network of Women for Sustainable Development (REFADD)
REFADD is seeking a commitment from the CBFP Facilitation in the implementation of the CSOs’ declaration which emerged from the December 2019 day in Douala. She reiterated the points raised in the declaration. With regard to a key point of the declaration, the CSOs of the Congo Basin asked for a current assessment of partners' support for the Congo Basin. She announced that REFADD has already responded to the CBFP Facilitation's technical questionnaire. She pleaded for a better consideration of security and community challenges in partners' projects and programs.
Marie Nkom Tamoifo, Regional Coordinator of the Youth Network for Central African Forests (REJEFAC)
Ms. Tamoifo welcomed the openness of the CBFP Facilitation to civil society and youth organizations in particular. She recalled that REJEFAC has been active in organizing CBFP meetings through a volunteer service of young leaders that it has been mobilizing to facilitate the organization of CBFP meetings for several years. She stressed that REJEFAC was available support the organization of CBFP meetings as usual. As regards the COP Climate and Biodiversity, its network has experience in mobilizing youth to participate in a close rows, through the annual organization of the COPs AT HOME. She requested from the CBFP Facilitation a support for a greater participation of youths in the process towards a common position and recalled the availability of the Network's strategic document.
Raoul Siemeni, Director Africa Environment Plus and President of the Network of Communicators for Environment and Information in Central Africa (RECEIAC)
Siemeni, advocated for a single approach, a single position for CSOs in Central Africa in the process towards a common Congo Basin position. He proposed that the German Facilitation should help facilitate a harmonization of views and positions within civil society so that it can speak with one voice. He noted the urgency of cohesion among CSOs in the Congo Basin. In addition, with regard to RECEIAC, Mr. Siemeni called for communication to remain a priority of the German CBFP Facilitation. The need to maintain the information dynamic around the Partnership and its members.
Maixent Fortunin Agnimbat Emeka, Coordinator of the African Community Rights Network (ACRN)
Agnimbat Emeka reiterated ACRN's support for the implementation of the roadmap of the German CBFP Facilitation. He called for giving a louder voice to forest communities in this process.
Ms. Cécile Ndjebet - Coordinator of the Network of African Women for Community Forest Management (REFACOF) and Coordinator of the Central African Civil Society REDD+ & CC Platform (PR2CAC)
Ms. Ndjebet recalled that we are in a decade on family farming and that we are entering a decade on landscape restoration. She pointed out that this aspect was not taken into account in the questionnaire as well as the impact of COVID 19. She requested that these new themes be taken into account before reiterating the importance for the Congo Basin society to speak with one voice, to better coordinate its actions and work in cohesion.
Ms. MAIMUNA UMARO, Biodiversity Focal Point and National Coordinator Chad of the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations of Central Africa (REPALEAC)
Ms. MAIMUNA UMARO welcomed the roadmap of the German CBFP Facilitation and stressed that REPALEAC would provide these contributions in writing in the coming days.
Some guidelines and answers provided by the CBFP Facilitation to the contributions of CBFP society organisations
Dr. Iven Schad, BMZ Central Africa Division
On the point calling for more transparency within CAFI for a greater CSO’s participation, Dr. Iven Schad recalled that CSOs’ participation is essential and important for the BMZ. He stressed that the BMZ and the CBFP Facilitator are following CAFI's development within the CAFI Board.
Minister Mbitikon, CBFP Co-Facilitator, underlined with satisfaction the importance and richness of the proposals from CSOs in the Congo Basin, noting that CSOs have innovative ideas that could enrich the sub-regional debate. Seizing this opportunity, he appealed on the basis of the request of several participants, for better cohesion and collaboration, for a sub-regional union around key objectives so that CSOs of the Congo Basin speak with one voice.
Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck, the German CBFP, thanked the participants for their contributions, ideas and constructive thoughts, which he will take into account in the framework of his mandate.
On the process towards the Congo Basin Common Position, Dr. Ruck confirmed the role and key input of civil society and stressed that he would like to promote more discussions with civil society and looks forward to written contributions from all members of the college following the Facilitation questionnaire, including on new themes. Subsequently, the CSOs College Co-Leaders and the CBFP Facilitation will collect all the completed questionnaires for a synthesis and proposal of a draft document for intensive discussions in the colleges. He took good note of the importance of taking into account the different actors, notably indigenous people, forest communities, women, youth...
With regard to the Douala Declaration adopted at the end of the CBFP civil society day, the Facilitator has taken due note and will follow up as soon as possible.
Regarding CAFI, the CBFP Facilitator recalled that Germany chairs both initiatives: CAFI and CBFP. A major focus of his interventions as Facilitator would be to bring the two initiatives closer and synchronise them, strengthen synergies and pool efforts.
Giving an update on his participation in the last CAFI Board meeting, he said that he had advocated for increased CSOs’ participation in CAFI and suggested that CAFI should use the CBFP platform, including colleges to conduct consultations. With regard to civil society participation in CAFI, this is an issue that he said he could discuss with CAFI. He stressed that all contributions are welcome. All ideas and whatever the subject should be discussed without taboos. He welcomed the fact that civil society in the Congo Basin would like to speak with one voice. Furthermore, he welcomed the fact that several participants had promised to make written contributions, which would be much appreciated.
In his closing remarks, the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck expressed his willingness to meet with civil society as soon as the borders are opened again.
Researchers consider the benefits of conservation retreat: smaller reserves and focused funding – Anthropocene magazine
Decades of declining herbivore populations in central African national parks have conservation scientists arguing that smaller reserves might be better for wildlife. As conservationists press for a major expansion of protected habitat around the world, scientists with years of experience in central Africa say new evidence calls for just the opposite in the region.
At the beginning of this year, we learn that Ben Gunneberg is leaving his position as CEO after 22 years at PEFC. ATIBT wishes him the best for the future.
ClientEarth launches this month a consultation on women's rights in the forestry sector in Gabon and the Republic of Congo
This mission will focus on the status of women's rights in the forestry sector legislation applicable in Gabon and support to Gabonese and Congolese civil society through capacity strenghting and gender inclusion.
ATIBT has conducted numerous press actions throughout 2021 mainly around Fair&Precious brand. A look back at these advocacy activities for a sustainable trade of tropical timber.
The year 2021 ended with excellent news for the Congo Basin PAFC project: the scheme is now recognized by the PEFC Council!
For decades, Fern and partners have campaigned to strengthen the rights of forest peoples and protect and restore forests. There have been locust years, when things went backwards, and harvest years, when plans come to fruition. Gratifyingly, 2021 was a year in which the forest movement achieved outstanding successes and we enter 2022 energised and ready to defend and build on them.
New paper Paul Scholte et al. : Conservation overstretch and the long term decline of wildlife and tourism in the Central African savannas
When in 2010 the world's governments pledged to increase protected area coverage to 17% of the world's land surface, several Central African countries had already set aside 25% of their northern savannas for conservation. To evaluate the effectiveness of this commitment, we analyzed the results of 68 multispecies surveys conducted in the 7 main savanna national parks in Central Africa (1960-2017).
ITTO appoints Executive Director, sets new priorities to increase economic contribution of tropical forest sector while reducing deforestation and increasing resilience
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN, 20 December 2021: The International Tropical Timber Council appointed Ms Sheam Satkuru as the new Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) at its virtual 57th session concluded in early December 2021 and also endorsed a strategic action plan to set the Organization’s path for the next five years.
The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, Goodwill Ambassador of the COMIFAC Declaration, wishes you a happy holiday season 2021 and all the best for 2022
in this holiday season marking the end of 2021, I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to you. Your rich and various contributions and your proactive and dedicated involvement have enriched and enhanced the efficacy of our joint partnership. Our fruitful and close collaboration was an overwhelming success internationally and most tangibly during the CoP 26 in Glasgow, UK.
At this time of year, we find it instructive to look back at our most read stories for 2021. This look back reminds us how far we have come and helps to set our agenda for the following year.
The International Science Council convened a process to reorient funding for scientific research and institutional arrangements to support needed societal transformations. The resulting report sets out a roadmap for the production of actionable knowledge in five areas that pose the most risk to the Earth as a “safe operating space” within ten or 20 years.
The 2021 HLPF convened in a hybrid format from 6-15 July under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Leading up to the session, 42 governments had conducted VNRs, and they presented on these processes during the Forum. The DESA report notes that these governments recognized the second year of the pandemic as “a crucial time to conduct a VNR, in order to align their efforts towards a resilient recovery.”
For three scientists who have authored a new book titled Adaptive Collaborative Management in Forest Landscapes: Villagers, Bureaucrats and Civil Society (Routledge, 2022), it represents the conjoining of their disparate but likeminded visions and guiding strategic principles for Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) in forest landscapes and resource management.
Secure tenure and effective governance are central to the future of natural resources and agriculture. Although important on their own, tenure and governance are also embedded in the solutions to key global challenges: climate change; environmental management; poverty; gender equity and women’s empowerment; and nutrition and health.
Establishing standards for measuring, monitoring and assigning financial value to forest-related greenhouse gas emissions is a challenging process due to the wide range of variables at play, said delegates attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
VIENNA, 30 November 2021 – Gerd Müller, Germany’s acting Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, is set to take office as the new Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
A team of researchers led by the University of Sheffield has discovered that rates of deforestation and degradation in tropical forests are lower in Indigenous lands compared to other areas. The findings, published in Nature Sustainability, show that across the tropics, Indigenous lands had a fifth less deforestation on average compared to non-protected areas, and in Africa, Indigenous Lands reduce deforestation more effectively than protected areas.
The Congo Basin: Eight grants totaling $105.05 million were made to create more than 11 million hectares of new protected areas
The Congo Basin. The Congo Basin is home to 70% of Africa’s forests and is one of the most important places for biodiversity and carbon stocks on the planet—yet only 17% of the area is protected today. Each year, large areas are lost to deforestation, while remaining forests are degraded by logging, mining, agriculture, the building of new roads, fuelwood collection, hunting, and other pressures.
With this newsletter we would like to inform you about some of the current activities of FSC on behalf of the FSC Congo Basin team, and furthermore interest you with the actualities relevant to the tropical timber trade and our network partners.
The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck co-hosts a press conference with the President of COMIFAC on the Congo Basin’s involvement to the COP26 Climate in Glasgow
A press conference was held on Friday 17 December 2021, at 10 a.m. at the Djeuga Palace Hotel to discuss the involvement of COMIFAC countries and partners in COP 26 in Glasgow, UK. This press conference was co-hosted by the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Dr. Christian Ruck, and the current Chairman of the COMIFAC Council of Ministers, His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forests and Wildlife of Cameroon.
This report provides a technical analysis of pastoral dynamics in the region to support the development of adaptive management approaches. Rooted in genuine engagement, it presents a series of recommendations for regional actors and NGOs involved in pastoralism.
Cameroonian authorities say clashes between ranchers and fishers have left at least ten people dead and scores wounded Monday, forcing hundreds to flee into neighboring Chad. The clashes in Cameroon’s north broke out over water scarcity, a problem that authorities have struggled to address.
This discussion document gathers the views and perspectives of timber-producing country stakeholders on the EU’s policies to protect tropical forests and forest communities. It highlights potential innovations and revisions to the VPA model, and options to ensure its full integration into and contribution towards global action against deforestation.
A lot has happened since we were last in touch. Most importantly, after a year’s delay, COP26 finally took place. Debate continues on whether it was a good COP or a bad COP, but we made sure voices from over 15 countries were heard as they made this demand: stop corruption from diluting climate action. Before finishing up with 2021, let’s take a glance at our activities around the world.
03.12.2021. INTERHOLCO is proud to present Lobi, the spearhead of its first collection made from FSC®* certified Sustainable Hardwood, Made in Africa according to the most demanding socio-environmental criteria. Lobi means 'tomorrow' and 'future' in the broadest sense; the name is derived from Lingala, the most widely used language in Congo Basin countries.
This report reinforces the "Fair Deal" and "Fair Share" for the protection of the Congo Basin Forests which is the largest net positive tropical carbon sink in the world...
...and at the same time to contribute to "Saving" the planet with those 80 billion tons of CO2 Stored and which could come from the emissions of the intense industrial period ... Joint the "Fair Deal" Alliance to protect the Congo Basin rainforest...
« Fair Deal, Fair Share » Congo Basin : The Congo Basin becomes the world’s first tropical carbon sink
Today, despite their comparatively smaller area, the undisturbed forests in Central African of the Congo Basin now absorb more carbon than in the Amazon and Southeast Asia combined, and is thus the most important tropical carbon sink to date.
COP 26 – GIZ-COMIFAC-PFBC: Ministers from Central African countries around Ms. Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director General of the GIZ Presidium (Vorstand) - German GIZ Cooperation celebrated
COP 26, Glasgow, 8 November 2021, held a High-Level Side Event in the COMIFAC Congo Basin Initiative Pavilion on the theme: "Nature-based solutions as means of conservation and sustainable management of Congo Basin Forest landscapes for climate change mitigation.” This high-level event between ministers of the Congo Basin countries and representatives of development agencies was attended by Ms. Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director General of the GIZ Presidium (Vorstand).
After the removal of the Salonga National Park from the list of World Heritage in Danger last July, another piece of good news has come to mark the life of the park in this year 2021. Indeed, a new partnership agreement on the Salonga National Park concluded between the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation and the WWF will bring the collaboration between the two institutions to the phase of the implementation of an even more effective management framework to better address the specific challenges of the largest park in Africa.
COP 26 – A landmark event on financing: High Level Political Dialogue between COMIFAC countries and donor countries.
His Excellency Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, Goodwill Ambassador and CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, testifies about the participation of technical and financial partners in the consultative process that led to the Declaration of Commitment by COMIFAC Member States for Central Africa Forests and call for equitable financing and "Fair Share" and "Fair Deal" to which he was made a Goodwill Ambassador in Berlin on the sidelines of the symposium on tropical forests by Germany and the Ministers of the COMIFAC countries.
COP 26 - Glasgow: Honorable Dr. Christian successfully drives landmark mobilization – Fair Deal movement bears fruit: US$ 1.5billion to protect Central African forests in the Congo Basin.
For the first time in the history of Conferences of the Parties, Central African countries are securing a financial commitment from donors within the framework of the "Fair Deal" to accelerate the implementation of the COMIFAC Declaration of September 2021. This is a major achievement for COMIFAC, Central African countries, and CBFP partners.
COMIFAC at CoP26: Private Sector – British Timber Federation, China Timber Association and Central African countries call for global governance of the world’s forests for greater equity.
Co-organised by COMIFAC, German Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) and Timber Trade Federation of Great Britain (TTF UK), an important session on private sector took place on 6 November 2021, at the COMIFAC Pavilion at CoP26 in Glasgow, UK, on the theme: "Global Forests Need Global Governance".
Landmark International Mobilization for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities: US$ 1,7 Billion available – Central Africa Calls for a “Fair Share” – A Fair Share for its Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
US$ 1.7 billion international financial commitment aims to promote support to indigenous peoples' and local communities' land rights and forest conservation - Glasgow COP26, November 2021...
COP 26 – High-level visit of H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo to COMIFAC Congo Basin Initiatives Pavilion
COP 26 - Glasgow-Scotland, 3 November 2021: The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck and His Excellency Jules Doret Ndongo, current President of COMIFAC welcome to the COMIFAC Congo Basin Initiatives Pavilion, H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, President of the Congo Basin Climate Commission.