CBFP Facilitator, Honorable Dr Christian Ruck, makes successful entrance into Congo Basin’s diplomatic and political scene

The CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honorable Dr Christian Ruck, paid a working visit to the DRC from 07 to 14 October 2020 and to Cameroon from 15 to 22 October 2020.

 

The visit, which falls squarely in line with the implementation of the CBFP roadmap, was aimed among other things, at preparing the 8th CBFP Council Meeting scheduled to hold in December and drafting the Joint Declaration of the Congo Basin countries and their vicinity as part of the Congo Basin's participation in upcoming summits and international conferences on climate and biodiversity. It also provided a framework to make the case for holding the third Summit of COMIFAC Heads of State and Government.

Working visit to the DRC from 7 to 22 October 2020

It was 11 p.m. on 07 October 2020 when the CBFP Facilitator’s flight landed on DRC soil. The Honorable Dr Christian Ruck was jointly welcomed at the airport by the German Embassy and the DRC State Protocol. He was then driven to his hotel.

 

8:30 a.m., 08 October 2020: Start of DRC tour with a Working Breakfast / Briefing with the German Ambassador to the DRC, H.E.M. Dr. Oliver Schnakenberg. This meeting was followed by another one with the GIZ; the GIZ Biodiversity and Sustainable Forest Management program and GIZ partners.

3 p.m.: Audience with H.E. Barrister Claude NYAMUGABO BAZIBUHE, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the DRC.

5 p.m.: Meeting with RECOF representatives,

7 p.m.: Working dinner with the partners.

The CBFP Facilitator also met with foundation leaders on that day.

Subsequent days were marked by a steady stream of audiences and working meetings.

 

Hence, the Facilitator was granted audiences by:

- H.E. Mr. Pépin Guillaume Manjolo Bwakila, Minister of State, Minister of International Cooperation, Regional Integration and Francophonie

-H.E. Master Claude NYAMUGABO BAZIBUHE, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development

- H.E. Ms. Jeanine MABUNDA LIOKO, Speaker of the National Assembly.

- Pastor Dr Cosma WILUNGULA BALONGELWA, Managing Director, Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN)

 

The ministerial audiences were followed by diplomatic meetings:

- High level meeting with H.E. Mr. Jo INDEKEU, Ambassador of Belgium and Minister-Adviser

- Meeting of the CBFP Facilitator with the United States Ambassador H.E. Mr. Michael A. Hammer,

- High level meeting with H.E. Mr. Jean-Marc CHATAIGNER, Head of the EU delegation,

- High-level meeting with H.E. Mr. Huang Xia, Special Envoy of the Secretary General to the Great Lakes region,

- High-level meeting with David McLachlan-Karr, Acting Deputy Special Representative and United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator,

- A High-level working lunch was organized with the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany as the main guest and brought together the Heads of Diplomatic missions of CBFP donor countries.

 

Also, during this visit to the DRC, Dr Christian Ruck spoke with partners and representatives of CBFP colleges, including:

- Representatives of the CBFP scientific and academic colleges

- Representatives of the CBFP civil society college

  - The AFN representative

- CAFI and NORAD

- The CBFP’s technical partners (project managers and (regional) partner programs), international NGOs / representatives of private sector colleges (FIB / ACEFA), multilateral partners / the United Nations system)

The Facilitator got a sense of realities on the ground thanks to a trip to the Ibi -Batéké and Bombo-Lumene sites.

The Facilitator enjoyed a Welcome Cocktail offered at the Pullman hotel in Kinshasa, to which the CBFP partners in Kinshasa as well as members of the TBC were invited.

 

Some of the highlights of this working visit of the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honorable Dr Christian Ruck to the DRC included:

- Full buy-in from the political leaders for the Federal Republic of Germany CBFP Facilitation’s roadmap.

 

- The DRC’s agreement and support for the hosting of the 8th CBFP Council Meeting in Kinshasa in December.

 

- The Kinshasa authorities’ agreement to help develop the Joint Declaration of the COMIFAC and ECCAS countries in preparation for next year’s key international summits and conferences on Climate and Biodiversity. In this regard, they voiced support for a corresponding Declaration of the Partnership and COMIFAC / ECCAS to be adopted during the next scheduled meeting of the Partnership’s Council with the proposed title "The Great Deal" / "The Great Pact" : protection and sustainable use of Congo Basin forests, in exchange for increased support from the international community and adequate payment for the ecological functions and services provided by the protected forests of the Congo Basin through a fair share of global financial resources negotiated for climate and biodiversity protection.

 

- The Kinshasa authorities’ ownership of the N’Djamena process on transhumance, especially the work done by the geographical blocs on transhumance, with particular emphasis on the East Bloc’s logical and programmatic framework and budgeted roadmap and the CBFP Facilitator’s political and diplomatic efforts.

 

- The Kinshasa political leaders’ call for greater ambition in the new ten-year phase of the CAFI program and more direct investment by German companies in the DRC. In this connection, they recommended assistance in the form of support for certification programs in the mining sector as a means of combating illegal logging and exportation, and supporting the fight against illegal logging.

 

- In-depth discussions with Heads of Diplomatic Missions in order to foster a major new joint effort to protect forests in the DRC and rally support for the new CAFI program and the implementation of the CBFP Facilitation’s Roadmap.

From Kinshasa to Yaoundé: the next stop in the CBFP Facilitator’s political and diplomatic tour was Cameroon, from 15 to 22 October 2020

Similar to his mission in the DRC, the Yaoundé visit aimed, among other things, to open the offices of the CBFP Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany in Yaoundé, and introduce and monitor the implementation of the Federal Republic of Germany’s CBFP Facilitation roadmap. The Honorable Dr Christian Ruck’s visit also aimed to conduct preparations for the 8th CBFP Council meeting due in December and hold consultations to facilitate the development of a Common Position Statement of ECCAS and COMIFAC countries as part of the participation of the Congo Basin and its vicinity in upcoming international Climate and Biodiversity meetings and in view of the 3rd Summit of Congo Basin Heads of State.

The CBFP Facilitator briefly met with the following high-ranking Cameroonian authorities:

- H.E. Joseph Dion Ngute, Prime Minister, Head of Government,

- H.E. Jules Doret Ndongo, Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife

- H.E. Gabriel DODO NDOKE, Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development

- H.E.  HELE PIERRE, Minister of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development.

- H.E. Gabriel Mbairobe, Cameroon Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

- H.E.  Alamine Ousmane, Mey Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT)

- H.E. Dr. TAÏGA, Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries

- H.E. BETI ASSOMO Joseph, Minister Delegate to the Presidency in charge of Defense.

 

After speaking with the Ministers, the Honorable Dr. Christian Ruck met first with H.E Dr Corinna Fricke, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cameroon.

After which the Facilitator met with the COMIFAC team led by Mr. Ndomba Ngoye Raymond, Executive Secretary of COMIFAC.

 

Finally, the Facilitator wrapped up his super busy schedule with meetings with the CBFP partners, including:

-  A high-level working meeting with the Head of the GIZ and KFW regional office

- An official visit to the KFW office

- A meeting of the CBFP Facilitator with CSO representatives from College 2

- A meeting of the CBFP Facilitator with Dr. LINJOUOM Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary of the Organization for Wildlife Conservation in Africa (OCFSA)

- A meeting with the Scientific and Academic College

- A meeting of the CBFP Facilitator with the Network of Parliamentarians for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPAR), with the German Ambassador in attendance.

- A meeting with the CBFP / CCPM’s technical and financial partners

- A meeting held by the CBFP Facilitator at the Central African Forest Observatory

- A meeting of the CBFP Facilitator with the Private Sector College

 

A few highlights from the meetings:

  • Prospects for collaboration and cooperation
  • The Facilitator’s presentation of his 2020-2021 CBFP Roadmap;
  • Full buy-in from the political leaders for the CBFP Roadmap of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Announcement of the 8th CBFP Council Meeting slated for December in Kinshasa.
  • Agreement of Cameroonian authorities to take part and help with preparations for the 8th CBFP Council Meeting
  • Recognition by Cameroon’s high-ranking authorities of the Facilitation’s contribution to the implementation of the N’Djamena Declaration
  • Acknowledgement by Cameroon’s high-ranking authorities of the need to play an active part in preparing the Joint Declaration of the Congo Basin, the world’s second lung, as part of preparations in view of major summits and international conferences on Biodiversity and the Climate coming up in 2021.
  • 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of COMIFAC countries
  • Discussions held with the Heads of Diplomatic Missions of donor countries on the Great Deal to be hammered out between the Congo Basin and the international community during international negotiations on climate and biodiversity coming up next year. This was the main topic of discussion during a lunch held with several ambassadors (including those of France, Great Britain, Japan, the United States and the EU).

 

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