COMIFAC, ECCAS and its partners gathered within the CBFP hereby launch a call for proposals to host side events lasting no more than 90 minutes under the « COMIFAC-ECCAS Initiatives Pavilion », at the COP27 venue from 6 to 18 November 2022. The following guidelines are offered, however there is no set format for proposals. Applications should be submitted before 10 October 2022.
Press release: Sustainable forest management, the solution against deforestation – ATIBT
This week was important for our sector: the International Day of Forests took place on Monday, March 21. On this occasion, we share with you the press release written following the press conference organized by ATIBT on March 15th.
At the initiative of the Fair&Precious programme, the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT) organised a webinar on Tuesday 15th of March to review its values, commitments and awareness in regards to sustainable management of tropical forests. During ATIBT’s conference, civil society representatives were able to express themselves on the matter and share their field experience.
Key figures to remember:
Concerning the Congo Basin rainforest*
- 300 million hectares of dense forests (about 3/4 of the European Union's surface)
- One of the two green lungs of the planet
- 25% of tropical terrestrial CO² storage
- 10 million hectares of certified land (guaranteed zero deforestation)
- + 10 000 different plant species, 400 types of wood and + 1 400 different animal species including emblematic mammals (great apes, elephants, buffaloes)
Deforestation and the Fight Against Global Warming
With the climate emergency at our doorstep, various European projects related to environmental preservation have emerged in recent years. The Green Deal, initiated in 2019, and the draft regulation on imported deforestation published last November (a project that has been underway for more than two and a half years in France through the SNDI – National Strategy to Combat Imported Deforestation) are all initiatives that echo the mission of the ATIBT, which aims to achieve "Zero Deforestation" consumption.
ATIBT’s support for certification and sustainable forest management is fully in accordance with the European strategy. For example, France, which has a history of activism against deforestation, recognises the FSC® & PEFC-PAFC certifications as key tools to combat deforestation. The EU also recognises these certifications as analysis and risk reduction methods.
Sustainable Forest Management - A Solution to Preserve the Second Lung of the Planet
Tropical rainforests play a crucial role in the healthy functioning of our world’s environmental system. They have specific regulating functions by absorbing and capturing carbon. Furthermore, the Congo Basin, also referred to as the second lung of the planet, provides ecosystem services (medicinal resources, food, biodiversity maintenance etc.) when managed properly.
In addition, it is important to remember that the timber sector in the Congo Basin countries is the largest employer after the State. In Gabon, for example, it represents 17,000 to 18,000 jobs (with a real prospect of growth due to the progress of processing among the wood trades in the country).
With the ambition to promote sustainable forest management and to encourage certified tropical timber, the ATIBT's mission is to raise awareness and educate on the issues at stake through its Fair&Precious programme. This programme was created five years ago and it sets ten sustainability objectives for forest managers, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, such as, maintaining biodiversity, reducing erosion, combating poaching, training of wood industry players, and more.
Fair&Precious includes both environmental and human commitments (such as the necessity to provide decent, remunerative and stable employment to the local populations). The programme also intends to promote sustainable management in producing countries as well as in European countries.
Testimonies : What Do the Field Experts Have to Say?
Edwige Eyang Effa, Researcher at the Tropical Ecology Research Institute based in Gabon and Norbet Gami, Anthropologist based in Congo have shared their views on the importance of preserving tropical forests in the Congo Basin.
Norbert Gami recalled that Congo is one of the first countries to be FSC® certified (since 2008). ‘More than 2 million hectares of forests are FSC® certified which answers a national and political necessity to have a sustainably managed forest. Today, logging is seen as destructive, whereas on the contrary, we have seen enormous progress in terms of human and social conditions of the population in sustainably managed forests. Indeed, there is access to education and health systems, it is possible to legalise employment contracts, thus providing employment security. Certification is improving the daily lives of local and indigenous populations. There is real awareness in regards to forest preservation among the inhabitants.’
Edwige Eyang Effa, shares her daily experience in certified concessions that participate in biodiversity development: ‘Operators who respect sustainable regulations (through selective harvesting, rotation in logging, a guideline for conservation of rare ecosystems with the establishment of conservation zones and the protection of HVCs, etc.), participate greatly in the preservation of the environment. Gabon has recently imposed environmental impact studies on all forest concessions, which certified concessions already do in depth. They must indeed justify their participation in the protection of the fauna and flora (with a management and preservation plan for the protection of biodiversity and/or the preservation of the communities living there). Certification is always beneficial for the environment, but it also contributes the community and worker rights.’
A recent WCS study has found that the elephant population in the basin is growing since the last 30 years as a result of the conservation and monitoring practices of forest management companies.
Tropical Rainforest Preservation: A Powerful Economic Factor
Managing tropical forests sustainably is not free. To ensure that it is understood and implemented by all, the ATIBT, together with NGOs such as WWF and certification bodies, are setting up training courses for all those involved in the sector. The goal is to continue the fight against the illegal timber trade. The association's objective is to double the certified areas in the heart of the Congo Basin, but also in other African countries.
‘Today, certification is known but unfortunately we are not paying the right price for this wood because there is unfair competition from illegal operations that do not respect the rules and harm not only the environment, but also society,’ stated Françoise Van de Ven, President of the ATIBT. She also highlighted that ‘300 million hectares of forests cannot be monitored on a daily basis! And out of 51 million hectares of production forests, only 10% are certified today. It is progressing, but there is still a lot work ahead. We are hoping to double our certified surfaces in the Congo Basin and in other countries (Liberia and Sierra Leone for example), with the support of our partners such as KfW, PPECF, etc., who actively guide actors in the certification process.’
‘Thanks to sustainable forest management, we can see real progress. We can now count 95,000 elephants, compared to 60,000 a few years ago, and the majority of these mammals are found in forest concessions! Economically, we wish to continue our efforts with the Fair&Precious initiative because this programme allows us to preserve the rainforests for future generations, while creating local employment, boosting flora and fauna and storing carbon’ she concluded.
The ATIBT’s Commitment to Add Value to the Forest
Good tropical forest management means contributing to its protection. In order to save the forest, it is necessary to cut down trees. This idea is negatively perceived by Europeans and is generally misunderstood. ‘If we want to protect the forest, let's consume certified wood at the right price!’
According to Benoît Jobbé-Duval, General Director of the ATIBT, ‘forestry companies remove one or two trees per hectare every 20 to 30 years. Indeed, there is some degradation linked to human action, but it is temporary and reversible in a few years. Plus, it has beneficial aspects because this process contributes to employment, finances training programmes, battles poaching and contributes to public health. It is essential to understand the importance of sustainable forest management for our future generations. Importers and consumers of tropical timber need to understand that choosing certified timber means adding value to the forest, and supporting the populations that live in it and make a living from it.’
Tropical wood is the only natural raw material that is infinitely renewable and provides services to local populations and to the rest of the world. It is ATIBT’s mission, and the duty of all actors in the sector, to promote certified wood in order to preserve this treasure for future generations.
MoP 19 -Libreville - Keynote Speech - Dr Richard Eba’a Atyi: The forests of the Congo Basin: Stakes, Challenges, opportunities and perspectives
The general context of forest management and conservation in central Africa… The socio-economic context of forest management and conservation in central Africa. The 4 key elements which have most impacts on forests management and conservation in central Africa… young population and strong population growth…
EDITO - Cites conference in Panama, the genera Afzelia, Khaya and Pterocarpus could find themselves listed in Annex 2 of Cites
At the next Cites conference in Panama, the genera Afzelia, Khaya and Pterocarpus could find themselves listed in Annex 2 of Cites with the support of the EU and its members, who do not always seem to evaluate the consequences of such a listing for the concerned producer countries. The ATIBT, as well as other organizations such as ITTO, have not been consulted, which is incomprehensible. Were the producing countries themselves consulted? What is the basis for the CITES and the European Union to target certain species?
Brazil's civil society has proved a bulwark against President Bolsonaro's efforts to subvert the country’s democracy. As Brazil heads to the polls, Adriana Ramos outlines the social and environmental challenges ahead. Jair Bolsonaro’s reign as Brazil’s President has seen the greatest reversal of social and environmental protections in our nation’s history.
The now published Briefing Document outlines TRAFFIC’s views and advice on many of these priority issues and all the 52 proposals to amend the CITES Appendices on the agenda for CITES CoP19. The agenda of the 19th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP19) will be unfolding in Panama City on 14-25 November 2022.
Introducing marine species information boards in Kenya and Tanzania: getting locals on board with artisanal fishing regulations – Traffic
In response to concerns over unsustainable and illegal catch and trade in East African nearshore fisheries, TRAFFIC has launched information boards to raise awareness of prohibited species among fishers and traders and aid compliance officers in identifying threatened marine species. The information boards, an output of the ReTTA1 project through support from WWF Kenya, have been placed at strategic landing sites in Kenya and Tanzania. They include a wide range of taxa, including turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, molluscs, corals, and other marine species, all of which are protected by national law. In addition, trade in a number of the species is restricted internationally by CITES.
MoP19-CBFP-UK: His Excellency Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park's speech at CBFP MOP 19 in Libreville
…As we give the COP26 pledge a permanent home at the CBFP... And having committed to investing nearly a third of UK International Climate Finance – which we recently doubled – into nature, at least half of that in forests...we’re forging ahead with the work that our £200m commitment to the Congo Basin pledge will support…through the brilliant Forests, Governance, Markets, and Climate Programme, our newly established transboundary Biodiverse Landscapes Fund, and a new bilateral programme that we’re designing ahead of COP27…alongside our £32m contribution to CAFI. We know CAFI needs to change – and we’re committed to that as well.... Find out more...
MoP 19: Mechanism, Coordination of Financing for the Protection of Tropical Forests in Central Africa
The high-level meeting on the international financial architecture for biodiversity was held on July 5 and 6, 2022 in Libreville, Gabon. The panel was composed of CAFI, AfDB, AFD and the EU on July 5, and KFW and Winrock on July 6. The finding is that there is chaos in the actions of donors to the forests of the Congo Basin. In the Congo Basin there are 35 funding initiatives in total, including a concern for coordination. It is a question of reflecting on the best coordination mechanism and also on the PES and their indicators; to look at what are the mechanisms to reassure the private sector...
On 14 September 2022, the European Parliament voted on proposals to amend the EU‘s Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Changing problematic incentives for burning forest biomass was the most contentious issue in an otherwise fairly consensual file, as most MEPs agree that overall renewable energy ambitions should be considerably increased.
An area of Europe equivalent to one-fifth of Belgium has burned so far this year, the greatest surface at this point in the calendar year since records began in 2006. As this and the other realities of the climate crisis made their presence felt, Professor Sten B. Nilsson wrote an opinion piece for Euractiv outlining how to prevent Europe’s forest fires.
At the start of the new academic year, the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Bonn together with UNCCD, hosted a group of graduate students from Côte d’Ivoire, Germany and Kenya to discuss the Convention’s work on combating drought and desertification and the role of science in supporting good land stewardship. Two dozen students who visited UN Bonn are a part of the programme launched by the German Center for Development Research (ZEF) in 2021, together with the Universities of Cologne, Abidjan and Nairobi as part of the new DAAD Global Environment and Climate Center Initiative.
Droughtland campaign featured in the margins of the General Assembly discussions on new ways to promote SDGs - UNCCD
On the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the UNCCD took part in a high-level event at the opening night of Goals House held at the iconic Tavern on the Green in Central Park on 18 September 2022.
New York, September 19, 2022 – The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD in partnership with Afreximbank, co-launched the AUDA-NEPAD Energize Africa initiative on the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Energize Africa initiative recognises that Africa’s youth and women – making up more than half of the continent’s populations - must be at the core of Africa’s economic growth and inclusive development strategies.
Press Release: Climate Finance to Address Global Challenges on Climate Change, Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss - NEPAD
New York, September 20, 2022 – Climate financing will play an important role in unlocking Africa’s potential to combat climate change. It is estimated that Africa requires about 2.5 trillion dollars of climate finance between 2020 and 2030 averaging about 250 billion dollars each year. However, the total annual climate finance flows in Africa for 2020 were only 30 billion dollars, which is just about 12 percent of the amount needed.
Global Leadership Council unveiled to scale up clean, reliable energy and stop global warming - AFDB
22-Sep-2022 - The battle to stop global warming from rising above the catastrophic 1.5 degree Celsius received a boost on Wednesday as the newly launched Global Leadership Council got down to business during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
As the world faces multiple crises dominated by new conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, economic shocks, and growing inequalities, development has been halted or even reversed across several domains, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).
The African Union (AU) Youth for Peace Africa Programme, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) have launched a serious game known as “Mission55 Conflict in Anaka”, to commemorate the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) 2022. The game, which the AU and GIZ developed, aims to raise awareness, educate and inform the public, particularly youth, on the mandate of the AU to promote good governance, peace and security in Africa.
African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in eastern and southern Africa have been prompted to support and promote the implementation of the African Union’s Free Movement Protocol (FMP) and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA). The call to action to CSOs was made during the opening of the second Regional CSO Sensitization Forum on the Continental Free Movement Protocol organized by the AU Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
September 15, 2022 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today launched the IGAD Regional Trade Policy 2022-2026 in Nairobi. Representatives of IGAD Member States from Ministry of Trade and Heads of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representatives of partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) attended the one-day event.
New biodiversity commitments announced as world leaders declare nature summit COP15 a priority - GEF
New commitments aimed at catalyzing biodiversity finance and conservation were unveiled today at a high-level event convened on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to showcase action and support for a nature-positive world. New initiatives announced include €0.87 billion of new funding from the German government; a 10 point plan for financing biodiversity, endorsed by 16 initial countries; and the next phase of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC for Nature and People 2.0)...
Nancy Karigithu is Kenya’s Ambassador and Special Envoy for Shipping and the Blue Economy. In an interview, she explained how the maritime sector can reduce pollution, rein in carbon emissions, and combat wildlife trafficking on a global scale.
Patricia Zurita is CEO of BirdLife International, a leading conservation organization that works with 115 national partner organizations and 13 million members to protect birds and their habitats worldwide. In an interview marking BirdLife’s 100th anniversary, she shared her vision for how the world can create a healthy environment for healthy societies in the coming century.
Media Release: Governments Meet on Science and Evidence to Address Global Biodiversity Crisis - ipbes
Bonn, Germany – Representatives of almost 140 Governments will begin a week-long meeting on Sunday in Bonn, Germany to advance the science and evidence necessary to address the global biodiversity crisis. The ninth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (#IPBES9) will be the first in-person meeting, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, of the global body tasked with presenting decision-makers with the best-available science and expertise, to inform policy and action on nature.
Hindou, a Mbororo Indigenous pastoralist woman, is the founder of the Association of Indigenous Peul Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), a community-based organization focused on promoting the rights of girls and women in the Mbororo community and inspiring leadership and advocacy in environmental protection. She is an influential climate leader in Africa, advocating for the importance of traditional knowledge for building resilience of Indigenous and forest communities to cope with the climate crisis.
Enforcement officers new to the fight against wildlife crime have put a suite of TRAFFIC resources and newly developed materials to the test in a series of trainings in Southeast Asia. The face-to-face trainings with newly designed materials have been critical in bringing up-to-date information and tools to frontliners in some of the region’s major wildlife trade hotspots. However, staff turnover, regulatory changes, and evolving trends in wildlife crime mean there is a constant need for training.” Renee Yee, TRAFFIC’s Training and Capacity Building Officer in Southeast Asia
UN Women and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued a report, which presents evidence on gender equality across all 17 SDGs. Emphasizing the pivotal role of gender equality in driving progress on the entire 2030 Agenda, the report warns that global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, violent conflict, and climate change have exacerbated gender disparities.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional offices for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published the results of a regional assessment of progress towards SDG 4 (quality education). The report highlights the urgent need for more investment and social participation to enable a systemic transformation of education.
On the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2022, we reflect on the important role of indigenous women in the preservation and the transmission of traditional knowledge.
COP 15 PRESIDENCY: latest news from Huang Runqiu, President of the COP 15 and Minister of Ecology and Environment of China – CBD
On September 12, Huang Runqiu, President of the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) and Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, had a video meeting with Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. The two sides had in-depth exchanges on the second part of COP 15 and key issues related to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) .
From 19 September to 20 November 2022, learn to develop a step-by-step ecosystem restoration plan and apply effective restoration solutions in your national and sub-national context. Now is the time to restore our damaged ecosystems. Join a FREE MOOC on Ecosystem Restoration on the Learning for Nature platform.
We, the representatives of Central African civil society who participated in-person and virtually in the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), which was organized by the Federal Republic of Germany and took place from 5 to 8 July, 2022, in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, came together on 6 July 2022, as part of a strategic workshop of civil society organizations working to ensure effective management of natural resources in Congo Basin countries…
Berlin, 12th September 2022, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), has officially joined the 124 members of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). INBAR has submitted its application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework to promote sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
CBFP RDP 19: Main conclusions of Streams of the 19th Meeting of the Parties of the CBFP: Strong messages and recommendations...
Please download the recommendations, conclusions, messages coming out of the deliberations of Streams 1a, 1b, 2 and 3, Technical Segment of the MOP 19 of the CBFP of Libreville towards sustainable development for Central Africa’s countries, people, forests and biodiversity...These conclusions also serve as a roadmap for the partners to implement the "Declaration of commitment of COMIFAC Member States to the forests of Central Africa and call for equitable financing" and the “Joint Declaration of the Congo Basin donors of COP26”…
MoP 19 - CIFOR - USFS: Peatlands, mangroves, and other wetlands: climate responses in the Congo Basin
Please kindly consult the main conclusions of the two side events organised by CIFOR and USFS in the margins of CBFP MOP 19 on: Slot 1: Current scientific activities on peatlands (and other wetlands) in the Congo Basin and Slot 2: Early responses to protect and manage peatlands in the Congo Basin.
A new member of the great CBFP family: Welcome to the Republic of Korea (ROK) represented by the Korean Forest Service (KFS)!
Berlin, 12th August 2022, the Republic of Korea (ROK), represented by the Korea Forest Service (KFS), has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). ROK has submitted their application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework in promoting sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.