Kinshasa, DRC, 13 February 2024: The Congo Basin Science Initiative has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Basin Science Initiative is now one of 127 member countries and organizations working together in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership to promote sustainable resource management, combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
GEF Council provides boost to nature protection amid pandemic – thegef
In a virtual meeting, representatives of the Global Environment Facility’s 184 member countries moved this week to financially support countries seeking to protect nature and tackle environmental priorities amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and endorsed new approaches to engage with the private sector and confront future zoonotic disease risks.
The 59th meeting of the GEF Council and 29th meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) Council included extensive discussion of the coronavirus, whose spread has made it hard for many governments to prioritize environmental action including the protection and restoration of nature and climate change adaptation amid rising health and economic costs.
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, who took over as GEF CEO and Chairperson in September, said laying the groundwork for a green recovery was the multilateral trust fund’s top priority.
“Faced with COVID-19 and multiple environmental threats, this past year has been a particularly difficult one and challenging for all of us. However, when we look back in years to come, I truly believe that 2020, despite the suffering it unleashed on all of us, will be seen as the year where we took a decision, the proper decision, and a turning point happened,” he said.
“I believe that the only way forward is to invest in nature and focus on a green recovery to prevent not just future pandemics but as well to prepare ourselves to fight ongoing environmental threats such as climate change, and biodiversity collapse.”
Since the pandemic began, the GEF has been working closely with its government and implementing agency partners to ensure continuity of support, and to ensure that vital projects and programs can keep advancing through this crisis. Discussions are also ramping up with United Nations conventions ahead of international negotiations on climate change, biodiversity, and more in 2021.
The GEF Council endorsed a new private sector engagement strategy outlining how the GEF will work in a systematic way with industry groups, companies, and investors, toward these same goals. It also heard from the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) and Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) about their recent work and adaptations related to the pandemic, and endorsed the GEF Monitoring Report 2020, which tracked progress toward generating global environment benefits even amid pandemic-related implementation challenges.
“In times of collective hardship, the solidity of GEF’s partnership institutions and its commitment to effective multilateral action have once more proven to be vital assets,” Françoise Clottes, GEF Director of Strategy and Operations, said. “Much mutual trust was demonstrated, during Council, to strike the right balance between securing continuity of operations, sustaining focus on results and efficiency of delivery, and providing flexibility where most needed.”
Council members approved a $409.2 million work program designed with COVID-19 in mind, offering urgent assistance to 87 of the world’s most vulnerable countries. They also discussed the pandemic’s impact on project management, and a new GEF COVID-19 Task Force’s white paper published ahead of the meetings outlined ways environmental action can reduce future disease outbreak threats.
The new work program approved on Friday is expected to directly benefit more than 25 million people in project areas while generating global environmental benefits related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, international waters, and chemicals and waste. It targets countries most in need in Africa and Asia, spanning 32 least developed countries and 19 small island developing states.
“Many of the projects and programs included in this work program will contribute to the mitigation of impacts emerging from the pandemic,” said Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Director of Programs. “From promoting nature-based solutions, to supporting local communities with alternate revenue streams, to incorporating green recovery principles in projects, these actions will not only help in avoiding future pandemics but also bring some relief to important local stakeholders in these difficult times.”
Projects with specific COVID-related adaptations include initiatives related to mangroves for climate resilience in Benin; biosafety in southern Africa; access and benefit-sharing of the Nagoya Protocol in The Gambia; chemicals management in the Philippines; climate security and natural resource management in Mali; integrated landscape management in the Bahamas; sea turtles and seagrass habitats in Madagascar; wildlife conservation management in China; land degradation in Azerbaijan; biodiversity and ecosystem services in Chile; and livelihoods and landscapes in Lesotho. The work program also includes a blended finance project related to off-grid energy in Africa and an extension of the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program to include Madagascar.
The new projects and programs will be implemented by 12 GEF Agencies: the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Conservation International, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Bank, and WWF - US. In light of recent findings by the UNDP Office of Audit and Investigations, all projects in the new work program to be implemented by UNDP will undergo additional review as part of their approval process.
The work program adopted this week includes 62 projects and programs and mobilizes $2.1 billion in co-financing, of which $1.4 billion of investment mobilized. It is the fifth work program to be considered under GEF-7, the trust fund’s latest four-year funding cycle that ends in June 2022, whose aggregate operational roll-out to date is summarized in the December 2020 GEF Corporate Scorecard.
The GEF Council also agreed to begin discussions about the next replenishment round, GEF-8, which Rodriguez said would be “the green recovery cycle.”
“This is what I firmly believe we should be concentrated on. It’s a matter of urgency,” he said.
Immediately following the GEF Council meeting, was the 29th Council meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), two GEF-administered funds focused on helping the world’s poorest countries to increase their resilience and adapt to climate change.
The Council members approved a $64 million LDCF work program comprising of nine projects, including three multi-trust fund projects that combine resources with the GEF.
The new LDCF work program was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and came about as a result of significant collaboration between recipient countries, GEF Agencies, and other partners. It spans eight countries – Afghanistan, Benin, Burundi, Haiti, Mali, Nepal, Senegal, and Sierra Leone – whose people and ecosystems are facing increased risk and vulnerability as a result of the coronavirus. The projects aim to address climate adaptation needs while also supporting livelihoods, prioritizing gender equality, promoting innovation, and protecting ecosystems that are foundations of economic growth.
Donors including Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, and Qatar which is in the process of finalizing its participation in the GEF, announced new pledges to the LDCF at the Council meeting, in support of its continued work.
“What science tells us is clear. To keep the Paris Agreement temperature goal within reach and to protect global biodiversity, enhanced consistent international commitment is crucial,” Jean-Arthur Regibeau, Ambasador of Belgium to the United States, told the session. “Today I am happy to announce an additional multi-annual contribution of 20 million euros to the fund, to be disbursed over four years. More is yet to come as our government intends to enhance its climate action and we hope to announce additional funding to the LDC Fund next year."
Finland announced 5 million euros to the LDCF, Switzerland pledged an additional 700,000 Swiss francs, and Qatar pledged $500,000 – its first contribution to the LDCF as a new donor to the fund. “We are looking forward to amplify our partnership with the GEF and LDCF,” said Rwoda Al Naimi of the Qatar Fund for Development.
UNEA6 side event – Joint Action Against Nature Crime: A Pathway to Achieving Biodiversity, Climate and Sustainable Development Goals
Ministers and representatives from governments, international organisations, and civil society will explore how multi-sector collaboration in the fight against nature crime can inform wider efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis during an official side event at the upcoming UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi.
Southern Africa Dialogue aims to improve detection and disruption of financial flows linked to nature crime – Nature Crime Alliance
Financial crime analysts, industry experts and law enforcement officers from across Southern Africa assembled in Cape Town last week for the first in a new series of regional meetings aimed at tackling illicit financial flows associated with nature crime.
Second ministerial conference on ‘Transhumance-Protected Areas-Security’ in Central Africa: progress and perspectives
This article by Paul Scholte and Matthew Luizza in Conservation News looks at the progress and prospects for work on transhumance in Central Africa since the second international conference of ministers on transboundary transhumance of July 2023 in Yaoundé.
This is the question posed by Development Advocates (GDA) in its new publication: Deforestation-free cocoa in Cameroon: questions, concerns and priorities from smallholder farmers. The document sets out the challenges Cameroon faces in doubling its domestic cocoa production, retaining access to its biggest market (the EU) and reducing the pressure on its forests. Please download the GDA publication...
Pollution is widespread – and often fatal.Dirty air alone is responsible for 6.7 million deaths globally every year, while conservative estimates suggest that in 2019, 5.5 million people died from heart disease linked to lead exposure. To stem the pollution crisis, countries agreed in 2022 to establish a new body that would provide policymakers with robust, independent information on chemicals, waste and pollution.
Press release - Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia summit adaptation to climate change, nature-based solutions and resilience
The Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit "Adaption to climate change, Nature-based Solutions and Resilience" was held at the Palais des Congrès in Liège on 8 and 9 February 2024. Over two days, the Summit brought together nearly 1,000 participants of more than 20 nationalities, from numerous European networks and organisations of non-state actors such as businesses, researchers, civil society and local governments.
Towards UNEA-6: Multilateral solutions to triple planetary crisis - UNEP Speech delivered by Inger Andersen
As the world’s top decision-making body on the environment, UNEA-6 will bring together ministers, intergovernmental organizations, the broader UN system, civil society groups, the scientific community and private sector to shape global environmental policy. This year, we’re expecting more than 70 Ministers and 3,000 delegates to join us in Nairobi. We currently have 20 draft resolutions and two draft decisions submitted for countries to discuss. Ms. Ochalik will share more on this. I will talk about the wider context of UNEA-6, and what it means.
Look closely at this interactive map of the world and squiggly pink lines are visible in almost every major saltwater body, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay of Bengal. The lines represent the movement of boats captured via a network of satellites and ground monitoring stations.
RELEASE: Landscape Restoration Champions Across Africa Receive USD 17.8 Million in Financing from TerraFund for AFR100 - WRI
This second cohort of investments, named TerraFund for AFR100 Landscapes, is restoring land in three of the continent’s vital landscapes: the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Ghana Cocoa Belt; and the Greater Rift Valley of Kenya. These landscapes were chosen because they provide food and water for millions of people and protect crucial biodiversity; yet they are suffering from decades of degradation.
To bolster its work in the region, Tenure Facility has joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), a strategic alliance of countries and organisations dedicated to fostering sustainable practices, improving living conditions, and preserving the rich biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.Tenure Facility will bring its longstanding collaboration with several stakeholders – including Indigenous Peoples, local communities, organisations, and governments – to CBFP as it works toward finding inclusive and equitable solutions to forest-related challenges.
When it comes to climate, we do have something new to build on. Yes, the Dubai Consensus that emerged from COP28 was not everything everyone had hoped for. But it did signal a global decision to move away from fossil fuels, which is critical, as we all know. And, of course, the Loss & Damage Fund was put into operation. This was an important show of solidarity with vulnerable nations, although there is a long way to go to capitalize the fund. The positives did not stop there. We saw new commitments on sustainable cooling and reducing methane emissions. A tripling of renewable energy targets. Nature breakthroughs. Crucially, there was agreement on the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
Strengthening land rights for women and young people supports fair conflict resolution -Tenure Facility
Cicin Juarsim, 52, smiled with joy when the land she has been cultivating officially became hers. “Now I am holding a private ownership certificate in my land. This is not only important for me. This land is important for my children,” said Cicin Juarsim who lives in Muktisari village, Ciamis District, in Indonesia’s western province of Java.
PRESS RELEASE: CBFP Side Event at the 14th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday 24 January 2024, 17:00 - 18:30, Virtual.
Under the aegis of the Co-Facilitator of France, Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) is taking part in the GFMD and is organising a side event on Wednesday 24 January 2024, from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm (virtual), on the theme: Meeting between the Sahel and northern equatorial Africa - The challenges of the nexus: cross-border transhumance, survival of protected areas, natural resources, and human lives, development, security and peace.
For months last year, Florida’s beachgoers were plagued by rotting tangles of decaying seaweed that had washed ashore. Known technically as sargassum, the thick clumps were part of a record-setting 8,000-kilometre-long seaweed belt in the Atlantic Ocean. Sargassum blooms cause a range of environmental problems, including coastal “dead zones” bereft of aquatic life. Past sargassum outbreaks have been linked to the excessive release of phosphorus and other chemical substances known as nutrients.
SAVE THE DATE - GEF Technical BBL Series: Taking the lessons from Integrated Approach Pilots to the GEF8 Amazon, Congo, and Critical Forest Biome Integrated Program. Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 12:30 - 14:00 pm EST (hybrid event, in English)
Location: Gustavo Fonseca Meeting room (N 8 – 180) and virtually on Zoom. 3. Speakers: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez. CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; Ana Maria Gonzalez Velosa, Senior Environmental Specialist, Coordinator of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program, World Bank Group, Latin America Region; Jean-Marc Sinnassamy, Senior Environmental Specialist, Lead of the CFB IP, GEF Secretariat; Charity Nalyanya, Director, Project Management and Technical Oversight, Conservation International (CI); George Akwah Neba, Team Leader of UNEP’s Congo Basin Team; Yawo Jonky Tenou...
Seated by a crackling fire burning during an inky night, community elder Cosmas Murunga shares some advice to his audience of young listeners. “As you grow up, women might get married outside of the community. But they shouldn’t forget where they came from,” he says. “And you young men, as you grow, know that you will inherit the ways of your fathers, grandfathers and those of your ancestors.”
Second International Conference of Ministers on Cross-Border Transhumance - Compendium of Country Investment Plans
In the case of Cameroon, the government established an inter sectoral committee chaired by the prime minister office to facilitate development of the country’s PIP. The methodology adopted for writing of this document, followed a participatory approach. After validation of the draft logical framework by the Expert Committee in Douala, the national Steering Committee which brings together various sectoral ministries met in May 2023 to work on priority sectoral activities of the seven strategic axes of the logical framework. A consultant was hired to technically assist the national steering committee in development process of the PIP. The main tasks of the consultant included further consultation of sectoral ministries to discuss priorities, consultation of strategic partners, desktop review of technical reports and other related documents on transhumance, budgeting and development of 5years investment plan.
Paris, 10 January 2024: The Tenure Facility has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Tenure Facility is now one of 126 member countries and organizations who work together to promote sustainable resource management, to combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
The report, prepared by a consortium led by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and supported by Agence Française de Développement and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to provide professionals and policymakers working at the intersections of water, the environment, health, energy, agriculture, spatial planning, and land use with a global cooperative and cross-sectoral reference on the current situation and developments in sanitation and wastewater and fecal sludge management in cities and human settlements.
The 2023 edition of the Population Reference Bureau’s (PRB) World Population Data Sheet explores the role of population data in helping countries prepare for and adapt to climate change. It finds that “[b]y examining the association between population vulnerability and risk of exposure to climate shocks, decisionmakers can allocate resources to areas of greatest need and prepare essential systems to respond effectively to climate change.”
In recent years, climate crises such as floods, wildfires, drought, and extreme heat have disrupted ecosystems and negatively impacted human health. The Global South is often the hardest hit by climate change. Amid these crises, digital health emerges as a beacon of hope given its ability to provide accessible, cost-effective, and resilient healthcare services, which are increasingly necessary in the face of the growing challenges posed by climate change, particularly in hard-to-reach regions.
The Nigeria Ministry for Agriculture and Food Security is set to collaborate with IITA to scale technologies as part of measures to implement the government’s 8-point agenda. During a recent visit to the office of the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Abubakar Kyari, in Abuja, IITA Director General and Regional Director for CGIAR in Africa, Dr Simeon Ehui, said the Institute values the strong support of the Nigerian government and would like to align with the national programs.
Last September, 193 UN Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a shared roadmap, as well as to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. At the same time, countries gathered at the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) SDG Summit acknowledged that achieving the Global Goals on time is “in peril” due to major setbacks related to multiple global crises.
The 2023 Dubai Climate Change Conference began on a high note. During the opening plenary, parties adopted a decision operationalizing the new loss and damage fund that was established the previous year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and a number of parties announced pledges for its initial capitalization. This success was made possible by an agreement reached in the Transitional Committee that was tasked and met throughout 2023 to make a recommendation on the institutional arrangements for the fund.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched an online platform gathering existing knowledge and resources on biodiversity in agriculture to improve countries’ knowledge and capacity to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), deliver on the SDGs, and achieve food security for all.
Ambassador Dr. Aurélie Flore Koumba Pambo and Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, Co-Facilitators of the CBFP, wish you the very best for 2024!
Having just completed the 12th meeting of the Governing Council of the CBFP, we would like to thank you once again for the warm reception you gave the Franco-Gabonese Co-Facilitation, which was set up in July 2023. Six months after the start of our Co-Facilitation, we have spoken out on behalf of the Congo Basin at international meetings including...
At the outset of 2023, the voluntary carbon trade seemed poised to expand its reach, boosting the amount of carbon it sought to offset along with the trade’s value. Figures from 2022 suggested the market’s value had reached $2 billion, and current projections suggest it could grow to $10 billion or even $100 billion by 2030 — and into the trillions by 2050.
IQUITOS, Peru — On the Peruvian side of the Yavarí River, overlooking the lush Brazilian shore, a weary Matsés man deletes the latest anonymous threat he received on his cellphone. He thought he and his people had seen it all: invasive logging and oil giants; the marauding cowboys of the first carbon credit rush; the quiet encroachment of illegal fishing and drug-trafficking rings into the Amazon. But then came a new disappointment.
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued the 2024 edition of its flagship World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, which projects global economic growth to further slow down from an estimated 2.7% in 2023 to 2.4% in 2024, continuing to trend below the pre-pandemic growth rate of 3%. The report calls for stronger international cooperation to stimulate growth and promote green transition.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting notes that “air, water, and soil pollution are responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths and cost the world trillions of dollars every year.” While “[t]his is about three times the death burden from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis combined,” “chemicals and waste issues receive less policy and public attention than disease, climate change or biodiversity loss,” it notes.
Research shows positive changes for women and men, increased household income. Ensuring women have fair and equal access to land and resource benefits through Gender Transformative Approaches (GTAs) can yield real benefits such as greater income that impacts the entire family, according to new findings by Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry Centre (CIFOR-ICRAF) scientists.
Bonn/Dubai, 9 December 2023 – Germany will host the next Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June 2024, which will also mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), one of the three Rio Conventions alongside climate and biodiversity.
Although knowledge gaps concerning integrated landscape approaches (ILA) are closing, there are still as many questions as there are possible solutions around the popular concept, say researchers investigating ILAs.Diverse landscapes across Ghana, Zambia, and Indonesia, where ILAs are being researched, trigger many of the same questions about the impacts on human and environmental well-being, COLANDS team members said during the Forests & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) Network conference in October 2023.
Call for contributions Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit - Share your climate initiatives and innovations in the EU!
European actors committed to adapting to climate change in the European Union, submit your project and contribute to the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit on 8-9 February in Liège! For the Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit on 8 and 9 February 2024 in Liège, Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit has launching a call for contributions in the European Union! The climate actions selected will be presented by their promoters at the Pitch Corner, a space at the heart of the event. They will also be published on the Cartography for Action, which lists best practices and innovative climate initiatives that can be replicated on a larger scale.