Policy makers say environmental sustainability and international cooperation vital for COVID-19 recovery – UNCCD
Is it time for a new social contract for nature?
A high-level panel moderated by UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw held on the Desertification and Drought Day observed every year on 17 June, discussed this issue, in the context of a post-COVID-19 recovery and government actions to build back better.
While COVID-19 exposed the vulnerability of health systems across the world and varying impacts on access to food at country-level, the panelists stressed the importance of both environmental sustainability and international cooperation in the post COVID-19 recovery efforts.
“COVID-19 is testing us all, and our response has to be inclusive and swift to ensure that we not only survive the pandemic but also thrive after it passes,” said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates.
He said the UAE acknowledged the seriousness of the situation early on and leveraged agricultural technologies and supported local farmerswhile strengthening international supply chains, in cooperation with other countries” to address the many challenges the country faced.
He said technology will be used for land restoration in the country and stressed that environmental sustainability would be at the core of the recovery plans and screened a video showing how the country is using technology to overcome water scarcity to grow rice..
Ms Marieme Bekaye, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mauritania, and current Chair of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative, said the country has a small industry, is highly dependent on food imports and many people lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
The country has gained important lessons for the country’s agro-pastoral sector, in particular, and for Africa which is highly impacted by climate change and dependent on food supplies from other countries. Among these are political will for crisis management, predictability to introduce response measures quickly and multi-sectoral resource mobilization.
She underlined the need for stability in funding, better environmental data collection and more innovation and technology for the regional Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative.
Mr. Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation and Industry, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, highlighted the constraints Small Island States face. With only 18,000 acres of agricultural land, there is extreme competition of land for housing, infrastructure and other livelihood needs.
He described the elaborate COVID-19 package for agriculture set up to make food more accessible in the country, which included redoubling efforts to increase food imports and exports, promoting sustainable farming and drought tolerant crops and setting up food banks.
India’s Prime Minister had announced the release of “20 trillion Rupees (over USD260 billion), equivalent to 10% of India’s Gross Domestic Product, for various sectors, including the nature-based solution, to overcome the COVID pandemic,” said Mr. Babul Supriyo, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India.
He underlined India's ambitious target of achieving restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 and a recovery of the forest cover by 2 percent.
“We stand by each other in this crucial time of pandemic to the need of land which is the most significant entity for our survival,” he added.
Francesco Le Camera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) stressed the potential for creating new jobs through renewable energy solutions.
“Placing the energy transition at the centre of COVID-19 recovery will enable us to overcome the current economic downturn and tackle the climate crisis,” he said, and added that the sector had the potential to create up to 100 million jobs.
“Renewable energy solutions not only bring socioeconomic gains and create much needed jobs. They are also central in combating desertification and land degradation, providing for climate and community resilience by boosting energy access, water security and food sustainability. A green recovery based on renewables can put the world on the path towards a safe, just and sustainable future,” Le Camera said.
African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina has been announced as a champion of Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative. The appointment was made at a forum held in the margins of the One Planet Summit 2021 to mobilise support for the ambitious project to plant an 8,000 km swathe of trees and other vegetation across the Sahara and Sahel regions of Africa.
Washington, D.C. (December 16, 2020) – Recognizing the Adaptation Fund’s tangible and effective adaptation actions on the ground for the most vulnerable and its growing portfolio of work, several contributor governments came forward with new pledges to the Fund totaling nearly US$ 116 million.
The Adaptation Fund received new pledges from several contributor governments totaling nearly USD 116 million. The pledges coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement and Climate Ambition Summit 2020….
Millions of poor farmers living in the world’s most climate-impacted parts of the Sahel have cause for hope today because of their governments’ support for accelerating Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW), an area covering 11 countries from Senegal and Mali in the West to Ethiopia and Djibouti in the East. A new investment programme is planned to support Sahelian governments through a partnership between the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in order to boost climate finance for these rural populations.
The ambitious Great Green Wall for the Sahel and Sahara Initiative has received at least 14.326 billion United States Dollars in new funding. The funding will fast track efforts to restore degrading land, save biological diversity as well as create green jobs and build resilience of the Sahelian people. Emmanuel Macron, President of France, made the announcement at the just concluded One Planet Summit for Biodiversity on 11 January 2021, co-organized by France, the United Nations and World Bank.
The negative image of the Sahel is a stranglehold on the great potential for development in the region. A more balanced narrative can trigger action for a productive Sahel and can be based on innovative approaches and a conducive policy environment to value natural resources.
On 21 December, 2020. the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a resolution on the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), forwarded for consideration by its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) at the conclusion of its session in December.
Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification Ibrahim Thiaw welcomes the announcement that the Government of Canada is set to invest up to 55 million Canadian dollars in the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund. The Fund supports private sector projects in developing countries that use sustainable land management techniques to restore degraded ecosystems and adapt to green economies.
This publication outlines the GEF’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a snapshot of progress toward operational goals, and in support of enhanced fiduciary oversight and safeguards of environmental projects.
GEF-convened civil society consultations focused on the need to prioritize voices of indigenous peoples and to integrate traditional knowledge into efforts to conserve biodiversity, address climate change, and combat other threats.
In collaboration with the Forest is life scientific team from the Faculty Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège), Nature + published at the end of 2020 a book entitled "Development and implementation of a management plan de la fauna - Technical guide for managers of production forests in Central Africa ”.
Since the landmark Paris Agreement of 2015, there has been a dramatic increase in private sector interest and action related to climate change. In just five years, hundreds of companies have set targets to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and have outlined science-informed plans to achieve them.
The Sino-African Sustainable Timber Online B2B Meeting jointly organized by China Timber & Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA) and the International Tropical Timber Association (ATIBT), was successfully held on 17-18th December.
Organized on the sidelines of the 8th Meeting of the CBFP's Governing Council, the Side Event on "Experiences in taking into account human rights in the processes of sustainable management of forests and protected areas in the COMIFAC area" was an appropriate opportunity for the different programs, projects and non-governmental organizations involved in biodiversity conservation activities and protection of indigenous heritage, including REPALEAC, GIZ-BGF, GIZ-COMIFAC and GIZ-COMIFAC-BSB-Yamoussa to share success stories, key challenges and work sites they are facing.
Here, we describe how the crisis creates a perfect storm of reduced funding, restrictions on the operations of conservation agencies, and elevated human threats to nature. We identify the immediate steps necessary to address these challenges and support ongoing conservation efforts.
In this festive season at the end of the year 2020, we are pleased to get back to you to express our appreciation, because from our interactions during this year 2020 that is drawing to a close, we have benefited from your diverse and rich contributions and proactive engagements that have enriched and enhanced our joint partnership. Together, we have moved forward and the successful implementation of the CBFP meetings in Kinshasa has confirmed this conviction. This is our joint success! Together, we have moved forward! Together, we have raised the standard of the Congo Basin and its peripheries.
Renewed clashes between herders and farmers have reportedly left 11 dead in southern Chad. Eleven people were killed in fresh clashes between herders and farmers in southern Chad, which is gripped by deadly conflicts between the two communities.
A side event was organized on Thursday 10 December, in room Panorama 3 of the Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa. Held on the sidelines of the 8th CBFP Council and its related meetings, the side event was entitled 'Community conservation as a possible solution to the sustainability of conservation and local development actions: Standard-setting tools for managing PAs, the experience of ICCAs in the DRC '. Moderated by Ms. Sarah Mam-bu, participants in the event discussed community conservation approaches that can help reconcile biodiversity conservation with local development.
For the third time this year, over 80 people - donors, partner countries, agencies and technical experts – met online from November 9 to 13 for CAFI’s 17th Board meeting. Assessing progress and charting a path towards a new phase for CAFI phas...
Convened by the Cameroon Minister of Forests and Wildlife, Acting Chairman of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany, Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), an extraordinary session of the Council of Forestry and Environment Ministers of the COMIFAC member countries was held on 10 December 2020 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the wings of the 8th CBFP Council meeting.
The Executive Secretary of the Sahel G5 took part in the 39th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), held on 1 December 2020 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and chaired by Mr. M. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
A side event entitled “Sustainable forest management in the DRC”, was held on 10 December 2020 within the framework of the 8th CBFP Council and its related meetings, with a view to exploring specific themes with stakeholders active in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest management.
In 1994, Cameroon became the first Congo Basin country to adopt the concept of "community forestry" in its legal framework, allowing rural populations to secure land as a non-permanent forest domain for income-generating activities, based on a simple management plan validated by the administration. In conducting these activities, most of the community forests have opted for timber production, which is often favored by rural populations as the fastest route to significant income.
From 1 to 2 December, the city of Brazzaville hosted an in-person and video conference, the 4th Steering Committee meeting of the Congo Basin Blue Fund’s preliminary study (F2BC) and ministerial segment during which the results of the study and the roadmap for the operation of the Blue Fund were presented for validation by the Environment ministers of the CCBC-F2BC countries.
On 8 December 2020, the second edition of the special Civil Society College Day of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) was held at the Pullman Hotel in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At the invitation of Mr. Jules Doret NDONGO, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife of Cameroon, Acting Chairman of the N’Djamena Anti-poaching Tripartite Agreement of (N'Djamena AT6LAB of 2013) between Cameroon, CAR and Chad, the expert meeting in view of the second session of the Tripartite Supervision and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) of the N’Djamena AT-LAB between Cameroon, CAR and Chad took place on 8 December 2020 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Members of civil society organizations in the Congo Basin sub-region met Wednesday 09 December in Kinshasa to discuss relevant strategies and resolutions that will go into their common position during the Conference of the Parties on the Climate next year in Glasgow, England.
ARTICLE 1. - (1) This decree shall lay down the terms and conditions for the use of wood of legal origin in public procurement. (2) It shall apply to public procurement initiated by the State and other legal persons governed by public law.
The fourth ordinary session of the Tri-national Supervisory and Arbitration Committee (CTSA) was organized on December 9 in Kinshasa, on the sidelines of the 8th Council meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). Please download the Final press release of the meeting…
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 10 December 2020: A High-level dialogue was held between the members of the CBFP Regional College (member States, COMIFAC and ECCAS) and the Technical and Financial partners who belong to the CBFP Donor College.
Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) - 11 December 2020 – the CBFP Council held its eighth meeting. The gathering was chaired by the Honourable Dr Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany, co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Jules Doret Ndongo, Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Acting Chairman of COMIFAC and hosted by: His Excellency Barrister Claude NYAMUGABO BAZIBUHE, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The "Transhumance Day" side event was held on 9 December 2020, in the Kinshasa meeting room of the Congo River hotel. The day was devoted to strategic reflection on the topic of peaceful transhumance and gathered experts from the different geographical blocs established as part of the implementation of the N’DJAMENA Declaration. During the meeting, participants were presented a roadmap and a logical framework, which had been developed during previous working sessions.
There’s a saying in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that refers to “Article 15,” a nonexistent paragraph of the country’s constitution during the Mobutu Sese Seko dictatorship in the 1970s. It stands for “figure it out yourself” and acknowledges the wide spread of corruption, implying that people cannot rely on the state to survive.