CBFP Facilitation holds interactive session with Cameroon’s civil society
Monday, 19 October 2020, Hotel La Falaise, Yaoundé - the CBFP Facilitation team led by the Honorable Dr. Christian RUCK, the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany held discussions with civil society.
The meeting aimed on the one hand to discuss civil society members’ roadmaps and top fieldwork concerns and, on the other hand, provide an update on preparations ahead of the CBFP’s Civil Society Day, due to hold alongside the 8th CBFP Council in December in Kinshasa and lastly, discuss the Congo Basin’s participation in upcoming international meetings on climate and biodiversity.
Speaking to close to twenty participants representing coordinators and presidents of regional civil society networks, the Honorable ESSOLA ETOA Louis Roger who was also the meeting chair, thanked the CBFP Facilitation for honoring Civil Society with the gathering and recalled the expected outcomes of the meeting.
The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany was pleased to meet with civil society. He recalled the CBFP’s mission and strategic axes. He reassured the audience that civil society’s concerns would be factored into the finetuning of the Facilitation’s roadmap. He touched on the CBFP’s other missions, which include dialogue with China on sustainable development, the implementation of the Ndjamena declaration, and the need to speak with one voice at major summits in 2021 so as to ensure that the Congo Basin gets fair compensation for its conservation efforts.
“It is important not only for the voice of governments, but also that of people, scientists, public figures, companies, organizations ... all actors to be heard within CBFP colleges” He underscored.
In closing, Dr Christian RUCK described Cameroon as a second homeland where he had formed habits and grown familiar with unique landmarks. He also chatted about his weekend football games with his team and his football jersey emblazoned with his name. With this friendly story, the floor was opened for contributions.
Notable speeches, among others, included those of the traditional chiefs who do not feel very involved in the CBFP’s activities and called for greater involvement of traditional authorities in decision-making and forest preservation at village level.
“If we are equipped, we can provide great services to society. We will be the perfect whistleblower.” said the traditional chiefs’ representative.
The local civil society network called for better visibility and consideration within the CBFP and requested feedback on the network's wish to join the CBFP.
The RECEIAC Secretary, Jérôme NGUEFACK highlighted the meagre budget and low priority given to communication in programs and organizations. His question touched on the strategic place of communication within the CBFP’s strategy and RECEIAC’s failed attempts to sign an MOU with COMIFAC.
The CBFP Co-Facilitator H.E. MBITIKON Raymond, previously the Executive Secretary of COMIFAC, reaffirmed COMIFAC’s and the CBFP’s support for regional institutions and organizations. He stated that the acceptance of new members, the signing of MOUs and other agreements are done in compliance with applicable procedures. He noted that communication is gradually being taken into account by decision-making bodies.
The Facilitator highlighted civil society’s key role within the CBFP. He lauded the participants’ contributions which he said accurately reflected the responses received to the CBFP’s online surveys. He affirmed the Facilitation’s desire to find multifaceted and innovative high-impact solutions to the problems of all CBFP actors.
The Honorable ESSOLA presented the Civil Society Day as a great forum for consensus-building and for finetuning civil society’s voice.
The Youth Network and Women's Network coordinators presented the activities their respective networks had conducted throughout the year, and reiterated their gratitude to the CBFP for its support and planned rerun of the Civil Society Day in December in Kinshasa.
The meeting ended with a group photo as well as recommendations to continue the civil society discussions by e-mail.
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