The bold plan to save Africa's largest forest – BBC

The Congo Basin contains the world's second-largest rainforest, crucial for regulating the world's climate. Inside it, a plan to halt the forest's decline is bearing fruit.

With a gentle tug of his left hand, Patrick Wasa-Nziabo eases dozens of kernels from a sun-dried cob and into a large plastic bucket brimming with lemon-yellow corn at his bare feet.

 

Flanked by an excitable troupe of young children, the 31-year-old is sorting through the plump harvest of maize grown on a patch of fertile land less than half an hour's walk from his village, Nkala, deep in the tropical rainforest of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

"The corn grows so quickly it's difficult for us to process all of it," says Wasa-Nziabo, taking another cob. The children watching him flutter around like the region's distinctive grey parrots overhead. "The earth here is so rich. It nourishes us in many ways. For us, it is sacred."

 

The people of Nkala's relationship with the forest goes back generations, but in one fundamental way it has recently changed. Under a revolutionary scheme in DR Congo – which is home to the majority of the Congo Basin, the world's second-largest rainforest – the 300 villagers of Nkala were granted 4,100 hectares (16 square miles) of forest in December 2018.

 

This meant, for the first time in their history, the community had the legal right to own and manage the forest they live in. Two years on, early signs suggest that community ownership could become a powerful tool in halting the decline of the Congo Basin rainforest, while alleviating poverty in one of the world's poorest regions.

 

"This is an enormous opportunity to transform the country," says Fifi Likunde Mboyo, head of the ministry of environment's community forestry division, the government body managing the scheme. "It is a break away from the past."

 

Find out more...

Go back

Partners News

Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator in a heart-to-heart discussion with members of the CBFP College of International NGOs

The meeting between the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, and the members of the College of International NGOs of the CBFP took place this Tuesday, March 7, 2023, without taboos and with an open heart.

Coordination meeting of the Eastern Bloc of the N'Djaména Declaration on Transhumance

On Wednesday, February 8 at 15.00 CET (Berlin, Brussels, Kinshasa Time) on MS Team, the partners and co-leaders of the Eastern Block of the follow-up of the implementation of the N'Djaména Declaration on Transhumance held their first coordination meeting of the year 2023. This meeting followed the meeting of the Central block on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.

Multilateral partners of the CBFP are satisfied with the performance of the Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany and are ready to work with the France – Gabon Facilitation

On Wednesday, March 8, at 3:00 p.m. (Yaoundé time) on MS Team, in anticipation of the end of the German CBFP Facilitation scheduled for July 2023, and with a view to preparing the handover from the German Facilitation to the France-Gabon Co-Facilitation, the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, held a meeting with the members of the Intergovernmental College and Multilateral Institutions of the CBFP.

CBFP Facilitator Honorable Dr. Ruck speaks at the 11th Ordinary Session of the COMIFAC Council of Ministers

Bujumbura, March 14, 2023, The CBFP Facilitator from the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, took the floor at the 11th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), held from March 14 to 17, 2023 in Bujumbura, Burundi. The council was organized by COMIFAC in close collaboration with the Burundian Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, and with the financial support of the German cooperation through the GIZ project.

Burundi takes over the chairmanship of COMIFAC

Bujumbura, Burundi, March 17, 2023 - The opening of the ministerial segment of the eleventh COMIFAC Council of Ministers was marked by the handover ceremony of the Chairmanship between the Republic of Cameroon, outgoing Chair, and the Republic of Burundi, incoming Chair, represented by Pr Sanctus NIRAGIRA, Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock of the Republic of Burundi in the presence of the Prime Minister, Head of Government Lieutenant General Gervais NDIRAKOBUCA, Heads of Institutions, Ambassadors of COMIFAC member countries, technical and financial partners, regional and international organizations, and the business community.

Announcing the passing of Éric Rama Doungous: Ecoguard Team Leader, WCS CAR

The Wildlife Conservation Society Central African Republic Program is deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Éric Rama Doungous, Ecoguard team leader and head of the Base Vie location in Bamingui. He died Monday, March 20, after he and his team, on patrol in the western sector of Bamingui-Bangoran National Park, were ambushed by armed bandits.

The Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany for the CBFP, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, at the origin of a meeting of the Consultation Circle of MINFOF and MINEPDED Partners (CCPM) in Yaoundé

Organized by KfW on the occasion of the mission in Yaounde of the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck, this meeting was in line with the meetings of the Consultation Circle of MINFOF and MINEPDED Partners (CCPM), whose activities were re-launched after a slowdown due mainly to the COVID crisis. It took place on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at Hotel La Falaise in Yaoundé, still within the framework of the visit of the CBFP facilitator to Cameroon.

Agriculture-linked deforestation topmost driver of emissions in Central Africa – Report -CIFOR

As the world races to mitigate global warming, agricultural expansion generally characterized by the practice of slash and burn has been identified as the topmost driver of deforestation that leads to carbon emission in the world’s largest carbon sink. In a new report titled Congo Basin Forests – State of the Forests 2021 produced by the Central Africa Forest Observatory (OFAC), experts say population growth puts fresh pressure on the forests of Central Africa and consequently reduce carbon stock as thousands of arrival of agrarian households into forest areas leads to clearing to establish farmlands. The experts also listed logging, territorial development, land use, governance and need for energy as other factors driving deforestation.

GCF and GIZ sign project agreement for sustainable forest management in Lao People’s Democratic Republic -GCF

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH have signed an agreement with the Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) for a USD 79.3 million project (USD 35.2 million in GCF financing), to address a much-needed transition to the climate resilient management of forests and landscapes at scale.

GCF and World Bank sign renewable energy project agreement - GCF

GCF and the World Bank have signed an instrumental legal agreement to rapidly begin implementing the second phase of a renewable energy facility. It will support nine countries in meeting their NDC commitments while increasing access to electricity for the most vulnerable populations. The mitigation/adaptation cross-cutting Facility aims to also increase the reliability of the grid infrastructure, improving the country’s economic resilience, and the resilience of vulnerable households to better adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change.

CONGO: Summit of the world’s three great forest basins, scheduled for June 2023 -Afrik21

On 5 January 2023, during the ceremony to present New Year’s greetings to the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou N’Guesso reiterated the announcement he had made at the 27th United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) in Egypt. In his capacity as president of the Congo Basin Climate Commission, he announced that the summit of the world’s three major forest basins would be held in Brazzaville in June 2023. The Congo Basin in Central Africa, the Amazon Basin in South America and the Borneo Mekong Basin in Southeast Asia.

Final Communiqué of the eleventh ordinary session of the COMIFAC Council of Ministers

Bujumbura, Republic of Burundi, March 17, 2023, under the high patronage of His Excellency Major Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE, President of the Republic, Head of State of Burundi, the eleventh ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) was held on March 17, 2023 in Bujumbura, Republic of Burundi.

Seeking synergies to improve landscape management in southern Zambia - CIFOR

As part of an effort to operationalize an integrated landscape approach in southern Zambia, the  COLANDS (Collaborating to operationalize landscape approaches for nature, development, and sustainability) initiative has been developing and applying new tools and techniques designed to understand and integrate stakeholder visions for the Kalomo Hills Forest Reserve landscape.

Forest: Launch of the study on the forest capital of the DRC - Environews-rdc

The General Secretariat for Land Management has launched the study on the national forestry capital for the preparation of the national scheme of land management of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This study, which is expected to take1 year, aims at determining the ecological (conservation), economic and social potentials of the forest massifs for the whole national territory. The launching ceremony took place this Tuesday, March 14, in Kinshasa.

GCF Board approves nearly USD 600m in new climate projects after selecting Mafalda Duarte as new Executive Director - GCF

The thirty-fifth meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board has ended with the approval of USD 587.7 million in new climate finance for developing nations, as well as the selection of a new Executive Director. Mafalda Duarte has been selected as the next Executive Director of GCF, with Henry Gonzalez, GCF Deputy Executive Director, appointed to serve as interim Executive Director until Duarte starts her tenure with GCF. The outgoing Executive Director Yannick Glemarec is reaching the end of his four-year term and will leave GCF on 2 April 2023.

How qualitative data analysis can serve women’s resource rights in Ethiopia - CIFOR

“Working on gender issues requires the ability to understand questions such as ‘why’ and ‘how’,” said Stibniati Atmadja, Ethiopia’s Country Lead for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Women’s Land Rights Initiative (WLR). “Qualitative data is key for this – but collecting and analyzing such data is a major skill gap in many countries.”

The N'Djaména Declaration on Transhumance - Last Coordination Meeting of the Western Geographical Block of the CBFP

On tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 11:00 am CET (Berlin, Brussels, Kinshasa Time) the partners, leaders and co-leaders of the Western Block held their last coordination meeting online, on the follow-up of the implementation of the Declaration on Transhumance across borders, on MS Teams.

ONE FOREST YOUTH FORUM! ONE FOREST SUMMIT: a resounding success for the youth of the Congo Basin

The "One Forest Youth Forum (OFYF)" was held from 27 to 28 February 2023 in Libreville (Gabon) as a prelude to the One Forest Summit. The event was organized spontaneously by the youth, members of AGRIDIS and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA Gabon) in collaboration with the National Youth Councils of ECCAS, the Youth Network for Central African Forests (REJEFAC), and a hundred NGOs and youth associations involved in the tackling of environmental, climate and forestry issues.

One Forest Summit: Jean-Christophe Bokika pleaded for a better recognition of ancestral knowledge in the protection of bonobos - Environews-rdc

Jean Christophe Bokika Ngawolo, Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the NGO Mbou-Mon-Tour, was among the few personalities to speak at the One Forest Summit in the presence of various heads of state including Emmanuel Macron, Denis Sassou Nguesso and Ali Bongo. His organization was created in 1997 by a few university executives from the village of Nkala, in the territory of Bolobo (Maï-Ndombe). This territory has one of the highest densities of bonobos, an endemic species of the country and endangered according to the IUCN Red List.

11th Ordinary Session of the COMIFAC Council of Ministers: press release

The Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock of Burundi and with the financial support of the German cooperation through the GIZ project to support COMIFAC are organizing the eleventh ordinary session of its Council of Ministers from 14 to 17 March 2023 in Bujumbura, Republic of Burundi.

IMET : an innovative tool for protected area management in the preservation of the Congo Basin forests: the case of the Salonga National Park, DRC

In order to improve the efficiency of the management of Protected Areas, the DRC, with the involvement of its partners, had invested in the BIOPAMA project in order to contribute to the development of the IMET tool "Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool". The use of the IMET tool in 18 DRC Protected Areas, for an overall frequency of 33 assessments, contributed to the diagnosis of management problems and to generate structured information to guide decision making for the change of the conservation status.

France - Gabon: The main conclusions of the One Forest Summit in Libreville (1-2 March 2023)

In line with the CBFP "Fair Deal", the OFS advocates for "A fair deal" between forest countries and the international community: "Time for payment for services rendered to the rest of the world (with the support of the secretariat of the High Ambition for Nature and Peoples (HAC) has come. In return for the commitment of forest countries, the international community will make available more funding, but also a mechanism for payment for the services rendered by nature kept intact, including carbon sequestration.”

Tropical wetland countries refine forest reference emission levels (FREL) -forestsnews

For developing countries who are part of the UN’s REDD+ scheme (to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks), establishing baseline forest reference emission levels (FREL) is essential obligation to track progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. FREL covers emissions from deforestation and – in some countries – from forest degradation and peat decomposition. In countries like Indonesia, Peru, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Republic of Congo (RoC), that have large amounts of standing forest – and which can contribute significantly to a country’s emissions due to land-use change – these reference levels are particularly critical.

Ghana Begins Receiving Payments for Reducing Carbon Emissions in Forest Landscapes - World Bank

Ghana has become the second country in Africa after Mozambique to receive payments from a World Bank trust fund for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, commonly known as REDD+. The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) paid Ghana $4,862,280 for reducing 972,456 tons of carbon emissions for the first monitoring period under the program (June to December 2019).

UNESCO highlights unique mandate and proven track record of protecting forests - Topafricanews

Paris, 27 February 2023 – The One Forest Summit will be held in Libreville, Gabon, on 01-02 March, with the goal of making progress on climate action and protecting biodiversity by promoting solidarity between the three major forest basins of the world.  Director General Audrey Azoulay will attend to highlight UNESCO’s unique mandate to protect forest areas and numerous conservation programs.

Commonwealth Secretary-General to spotlight on biodiversity and climate change -Topafricanews

Baroness Scotland is head of the Commonwealth Secretariat - the organisation's main intergovernmental agency. Getty Image. The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, will be in Gabon from Wednesday 1 March to highlight the importance of protecting global biodiversity at the One Forest Summit in Libreville on Thursday.