At the recently concluded 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) took to the stage to denounce one of the unfulfilled promises of COP26. At the previous summit, donors committed to funding the protection and management of the Congo Basin forests to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars. This commitment is already insufficient. The countries of the sub-region are asking for $100 billion to preserve the forests of the Congo Basin.
COMIFAC at CoP26: High-level Session on Central African countries contributions and multilateral financial mechanisms to protect Congo Basin
COMIFAC Pavilion, Glasgow, UK, 05 November 2021
The Panel during the High-Level Political Dialogue in the COMIFAC Pavilion
Chaired by H.E. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forests and Wildlife of Cameroon and current President of COMIFAC, a high-level session on the commitment of Central African countries and the Multilateral Financial Mechanisms for the protection of Congo Basin was held today, 05/11/2021 in the COMIFAC Pavilion at the COP26 Conference Centre in Glasgow, UK.
This session, co-organised by COMIFAC, German Facilitation of Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) and Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), brought together in a high-level political dialogue, HE Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forests and Wildlife of Cameroon, current President of COMIFAC, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Republic of Germany, Dr. Christ DIKINSON, Senior Specialist Ecosystem Management Division, GEF, and Mr. Paul MARTINEZ, Senior Climate Specialist, GCF and Mrs. Berta PESTI, Director General of CAFI Secretariat, who intervened online. This important session was moderated by Dr. Dany POKEM, CBFP Facilitation.
About thirty participants in person and many others online took part in the session. The dialogue started with introductory remarks by Dr. Christian RUCK, CBFP Facilitator for Federal Republic of Germany, who presented the history of the highly participatory and inclusive process that led to the SINGLE Declaration of Central African countries at the Berlin Symposium, which called on the international community to "FAIR DEAL" for the protection of Congo Basin, given its crucial importance in helping the world to face the dual crisis of climate and biodiversity. According to him: "All stakeholders have actively participated in the process for 18 months, Governments of Central African countries, civil society organisations, parliamentarians and local elected representatives, donor countries, international organisations and institutions, technical and financial partners, research institutions, private sector, etc. "This Declaration, commitment of the COMIFAC member countries, led to the result we have today: the Glasgow Declaration, and the commitment of donors coalition to finance the protection of forests and peatlands of Congo Basin of 1.5 billion US dollars... "FAIR DEAL” is not just a donation, Central Africa countries have something very valuable to sell, not just climate service, but also biodiversity service.” ... “We are moving in the right direction, as leaders of Coalition, Great Britain and Germany, have said, but it is a beginning, because we need sustainable funding for Congo Basin, 10 times more than what is promised now and an investment plan," he continued. Finally, he called once again on Central African countries to coordinate their efforts and actions.
According to Dr. Christ DIKINSON, Senior Specialist Ecosystem Management Division, GEF, and Paul MARTINEZ, Senior Climate Specialist, GCF, following the Glasgow Declaration on Congo Basin Finance, they presented, each for their own organisation, the current situation of financial commitments through projects in the sub-region and the perspectives.
Dr. Christ DIKINSON, stated that GEF is in cycle 7 of its financing, in which Congo Basin has 64 million US dollars, as a contribution to sustainable management of forests for the benefit of 6 countries among which: Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, CAR, DRC. Within this framework, five of the seven projects submitted by these countries have been accepted and are about to start.
In terms of prospects, eleven major programmes are in progress in the new cycle starting in 2022, with the largest one focusing on protection of primary forests in the Amazon, Congo Basin and South-East Asian Basin. The central component of this funding is dedicated to Congo Basin. This major programme will extend assistance to protected area management, livelihoods and alternative development for indigenous and local people in protected areas periphery, REDD+, payment for ecosystem services and Nature+ policies.
"We have a GEF 7 and GEF 8 coordination platform within GEF, and we wanted a political cohesion and a strengthened partnership with Central African countries.
"In early 2022, we will know which amount is allocated to a country and the purpose. It is necessary for countries to have a common voice and a coherent and harmonised investment plan to be effective, through multi-country, multi-sectoral and inclusive projects.
Referring to the natural wonder represented by forests of Congo Basin, Dr Christ DIKINSON, highlighted the role of Congo Basin in global rainfall and water resources (30% of global rainfall comes from Congo Basin... Congo Basin is not just vast expanses of forest, but also water. To this end, we need to intervene in Congo Basin to support the fight against climate change, deforestation and forest degradation.
In terms of perspectives, he proposed a step-by-step approach and to develop strong leadership, with projects to prepare countries readiness, as has been the case in other basins, to develop models that allow the development of sustainable agriculture, to fight against fires... "There is an urgent need to have a strategic framework and multi-country projects, a necessary coalition and a single goal", he insisted.
In her speech online, Mrs. Berta PESTI, Director General of CAFI Secretariat, gave an update on CAFI status commitments in Central Africa, with an envelope of 800 million US dollars. These commitments have been materialised through the signing of agreements with partner countries. British Prime Minister Boris JOHNSON signed, here at CoP26, a financing agreement of 500 million US dollars with President Felix TSISEKEDI of Democratic Republic of Congo, and two years ago the French President, Emmanuel MACRON, signed a financing agreement with President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO of Republic of Congo. These projects concern sustainable agriculture, wood and sustainable forest management, forestry, etc. "According to CAFI, it is a matter of sensitising donors and Central African countries, so that projects are developed and meet political needs of countries and their populations", ... “Agreements are there, but they must be implemented," she said. CAFI does not yet have a financing agreement with some countries such as Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Central African Republic, and we hope that by CoP27, we shall be able to sign agreements for these countries”.
After a question-and-answer session following these opening statements, HE Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forests and Wildlife of Cameroon and current President of COMIFAC, concluded the session by giving the following key points (i) The entire international community is today unanimous with the fact that Congo Basin forests are the most important in the world, first net carbon sink and last bastion of human survival; (ii) Donors have clearly expressed their willingness to mobilise financial resources for the protection of this important basin; (iii) Although financing mechanisms exist, they are still difficult for our countries in Central Africa; (iv) It is therefore a matter of searching together, with technical and financial partners, mechanisms that best respond to realities of our countries; (v) COMIFAC has modern and diversified means of communication that can be used to communicate widely on different mechanisms that exist, which are very often ignored or poorly exposed.
Forest Declaration Assessment in the Congo Basin: Interview with Monique Catherine Bisseck Epse Yigbedek, regional coordinator of the African Women’s Network for Sustainable Development (REFADD) – FOREST DECLARATION
In 2022, the Forest Declaration Assessment included a regional pilot in the Congo Basin. Nine civil society organizations participated in this regional assessment, providing expertise, collecting data and contributing to the first regional Forest Declaration Assessment report that will be published in November 2022. This interview series highlights the work of these regional partners.
EarthRanger, an artificial intelligence programme for monitoring wildlife, has been deployed in six more natural parks in Botswana, Mozambique and the Republic of Congo. The project, which will run until March 2026, is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its partners to the tune of US$7.2 million. It aims to reduce the decline of biodiversity in Africa.
Delegates gathered against an ominous backdrop of multiple crises: energy, cost of living, indebtedness, nature loss, and geopolitical tensions among major powers. But the need to act in the face of the climate crisis has never been clearer. Global average temperature rise is already 1.1°C. People around the world are experiencing the effects of climate change, from heatwaves and droughts to floods and superstorms. Only the wealthiest countries can (so far) cope. As Sherry Rehman, Minister of Climate Change, Pakistan, implored “Vulnerability shouldn’t be a death sentence.”
FLEGT’s achievements must be saved at all costs, says Christian Mounzéo of Rencontre pour la paix et les droits de l’homme (RPDH), Republic of Congo. When the European Commission published its draft Regulation on deforestation-free products last November, the first reaction among Congo’s civil society was surprise. The second was concern.
EU deforestation regulation must strengthen the FLEGT process and producer countries’ own efforts to combat deforestation – FERN
The EU’s deforestation regulation must strengthen the FLEGT process and producer countries’ own efforts to combat deforestation, says Justin Kamga, Coordinator of Cameroonian NGO Forêts et Développement Rural (Foder).
In September, Fern’s civil society partners from the Congo Basin, West Africa and South East Asia came to Brussels to talk with policymakers about deforestation’s impact - on landscapes as well as people. More specifically, they shared their expertise on how the EU can tackle its responsibility for destroying forests around the world, and to highlight the potential ramifications of its proposed.
UN Climate Change News, 20 November 2022 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 closed today with a breakthrough agreement to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters.
Just published - More is not enough: Central Africa and the proposed 30% protected and conserved areas by 2030
Here we summarize the discussions regarding how Central African countries could achieve the 30 × 30 target by addressing the following four matters. (1) Several financing mechanisms centred on forest carbon sequestration have started. Yet despite awareness of the importance of biodiversity and the fight against climate change, funding remains cruelly short of the required 10-fold scaling up. (2) Public–private partnerships, in which governments delegate the management of protected areas to private partners, have shown increased management efficiency and financing. Please download the Document....
Ministers return to Egypt to lend their political weight to delegates wrestling with key issues. About 200 nations from around the globe continued to chase a deal at the Cop27 summit in Egypt that will help in the struggle to save the planet from climate change. But despite hurdles, small but significant signs surfaced that an agreement at the UN summit remained possible.
Thank you Mr. President to you and your team for all your work. And I also want to thank the secretariat and the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies. It hasn’t been easy. But I want to begin by recognising the progress on loss and damage. This is historic. The decision that we have taken here has the potential to support and increase that support for the most vulnerable.
Exclusive: Funding from rich countries is critical issue at Cop27 and poll shows many think UK has duty to provide it. A significant majority of people in the UK think the country has a responsibility to pay for climate action in poorer and vulnerable countries, an opinion poll shows.
Negotiations moved slowly on several issues, particularly finance. For other issues, texts were forwarded to the COP Presidency or ministers for further consideration. Agreement on a decision on the Santiago Network was met with applause from negotiators. Talks on the Adaptation Fund Board also reached compromise.
While ministers gave high-level speeches that relayed their national priorities, negotiators worked to clear as much of the backlog of pending issues as possible. By the end of the day, numerous issues remained unresolved. Ministers will take up a shortlist of issues to bridge the remaining differences.
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Al Gore and High-Level Speakers: Transparency and Accountability Underpin Effective Climate Action - unfccc
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With the end of the first week of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference nearing, co-facilitators across many negotiation rooms reminded delegates of the need to conclude consideration of the items set to be forwarded to the closing plenaries of the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs), scheduled for the next day.
Funding urgently needed to cope with climate disasters – and to prevent distrust crashing UN negotiations. Money is likely to be a flashpoint at the UN Cop27 climate summit starting on Sunday in Egypt, where world leaders will attempt to tackle the climate crisis.
World Leaders Launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership to accelerate momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 - bringing the total funds committed to $24,5 bn November 7, 2022 at COP27 - 26 countries, including some Central African countries and the European Union – which together account for over 33% of the world’s forests and nearly 60% of the world’s GDP launch the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP).
Heads of State and Government and their entourages took over the conference venue on the second day of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference. With their presence, leaders aimed to signal sustained momentum on climate action. In parallel, intergovernmental negotiations got up to speed. Discussions on some agenda items, such as those related to cooperative approaches under the Paris Agreement (Article 6.2), drew such crowds that they surpassed room capacity. Please download the Document....
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World Leaders Launch Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership to accelerate momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 -UK
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At COP26 in Glasgow (2021) twelve donors committed to a collective Congo Basin pledge of at least US$1.5 billion of financing between 2021 and 2025. Over the course of 2021, the donors have collectively provided over $508 million towards the Congo Basin Pledge, with just under $311 million disbursed in the region so far. The report provides more detail on the collective spend, including case studies. Please download the 2021 report...
On the sidelines of this international climate governance conference, the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), gathering 11 member states1, is organizing today, November 7, 2022, at the DRC Pavilion (P80), from 12:30 pm the day of the ECCAS at COP 27, under the Leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), country presiding over this instrument of regional integration. Please download the press release of the day...
Two major events for the ATIBT sectors are taking place every day at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to declare open the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Friends, let me begin by thanking our friends here in Egypt for such a warm welcome.
We are five days from the start of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). As COP President, Egypt is proud to host more than 45,000 registered COP27 participants representing Parties, UN and regional organizations, businesses, the scientific community, indigenous and local communities and civil society to jointly enhance and accelerate the implementation of climate action and follow up on our collective commitments and pledges. We hope that the welcoming people and natural beauty of Sharm El Sheikh can provide some inspiration for us to take the very needed meaningful steps to fight for the people and planet and save lives and livelihoods.
Cairo, Egypt - November 2022 – COP27, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, hosted by Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh will see delegates from around the world participate in the annual climate change negotiations. With over 40,000 estimated attendees, the summit is expected to host one of the largest number of participants in the annual global climate conference, which is running from November 6 to 18 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Gabon has just been certified for carbon credit by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The government welcomes a step forward for the marketing of carbon credits in Gabon. On Friday 7 October 2022, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) published́ its report on the technical analysis of Gabon’s activities over the period 2010-2018 on reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, as well as conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+).