Building social and ecological resilience in the Durban Port through solid waste reduction – IUCN

Currently, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Rapidly growing populations and increasing urbanization are already influencing the move to a consumer-driven lifestyle, resulting in the generation of epic volumes of waste globally that will leave a toxic legacy for years to come. When this waste is not disposed of or managed properly, it enters natural and man-made catchments and ultimately ends up in the marine ecosystem, disrupting healthy habitats and killing millions of animals each year.

 

There is a growing global movement of people who are appalled by this, and are mobilizing to address these issues both at critical intervention points as well as at source. It is no longer possible to plead ignorance in the production, use and irresponsible discarding of problematic waste materials.

 

Globally, ports are highly important trade and transportation networks, and have major significance in the development of surrounding coastal and urban areas. The Durban Port, situated on the east coast of South Africa, is a modern, highly industrialized port and the busiest in Africa, handling 32% of all ships calling at South African ports.  Whilst the port remains significant from an ecological perspective, it is considered a highly transformed and degraded system due to the influx of pollution, runoff from the city and other industrial activities, becoming a hotspot for pollution that impacts environmental and social sustainability.

 

There is, however, a silver lining, as this presents an opportunity for a co-ordinated project to restore a clean and healthy environment that further stimulates nature-based industries as well as improving efficiencies of all activities in the port and providing much needed job opportunities. It also creates an opportunity for action-based research that generates environmental awareness.

 

In 2019, the WILDOCEANS Blue Port project was established with the specific goal of progressively cleaning up the Durban Port ecosystem and returning it to a healthy, natural state.  With support from Grindrod Bank, the Blue Fund and the National Youth Employment Services (YES) programme, funded by Nedbank, WILDOCEANS has enabled capacity building and work experience in the Blue Port project for 50 local unemployed youth annually. Addressing a remarkably high youth unemployment rate of 42% in South Africa, the YES programme aims to expose youth to the blue-green economy, and enable future employment through education and training received while employed on the project. Although the project is currently delayed due to Covid-19 implications, the Blue Port crew will continue their work when it is safe to do so.

 

The project has also begun trialing low-cost, waste-trapping interventions to manage waste input from its three main catchments, and has created a mobile app for port users/stakeholders to openly communicate in the port. The app serves as a platform for transparent reporting of waste accumulation, spills or other pollution events, to create a cooperative, well-maintained resilient system benefiting all its users.

 

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Partners News

Sub-regional forum of traditional chefferies and local actors of the transfrontal transhumance in favour of the construction of a dialogue (Nigeria, Central Africa, Chad, Cameroon), Rey-Bouba (Cameroon) from 25 to 28 October 2021

The GIZ Support Project to the BSB YAMOUSSA complex, in collaboration with the Lamidat of Rey Bouba, proposes to organize a sub-regional forum of direct local actors of transboundary transhumance and traditional stakeholders from the grassroots communities, with a view to exchanging, sharing experiences and reflecting on the construction of dialogue in favour of a peaceful transhumance.

42 NGOs alarmed at the EU for possibly abandoning the fight against illegal logging and failing forested countries - FLEGT

In this letter to the Slovenian and French Presidencies of the EU, 42 civil society networks and organisations from countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America call on the European Union (EU) to strengthen support to the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation and its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), the EU’s key legal instruments to fight illegal logging, and the associated trade.

Global Forest Watch: perspectives from the developed (Northern) and developing (Southern) countries

This is a second polite reminder to let you know we are conducting an anonymous evaluation funded by the World Resources Institute (WRI) of forest monitoring information and tools, and their usefulness, with a particular focus on Global Forest Watch (GFW), and stakeholder perspectives.

CBFP Study Package - Publications available for download

The German CBFP Facilitation has commissioned a package of 6 thematic studies on pertinent issues in Congo Basin forest politics (namely REDD+ in the Congo Basin, Land Use Planning, Transhumance, Ecotourism, Sustainable value chains, China´s role in Central African forestry) as well as an overarching synthesis study. Each study consists of a full study report as well as a short policy brief. Please download the CBFP Study Package…

Protecting the forests of the Congo Basin: Synthesis report of studies conducted during the German Facilitation of the CBFP in 2021

...In addition to this effort at the global policy level, the facilitation commissioned six thematic studies related to specific opportunities and challenges for the forests of the Congo Basin and the people who depend directly on the products, biodiversity and ecosystem services the forests provide. The six studies and a policy brief for each study were prepared between December 2020 and August 2021. They focus on the following topics...

Advancing Sustainability in China´s Engagement in the Congo Basin - CBFP

Over the last 10 to 15 years, China has increasingly taken note of the potential environmental and forest impacts of its overseas trade, investment and other economic activities. However, timber trade between China and Africa has so far not met the requirements of international legality and sustainability standards. Furthermore, China is highly involved in investment and construction of infrastructure projects that may have caused forest conversion due to a lack of comprehensive, effective management measures and a lack of environmental impact analyses.

Tourism in the Congo Basin Rainforests: How to accelerate tourism and make it regionally sustainable- CBFP

This study was performed with the intent of understanding the challenges to developing eco-tourism in the Congo Basin, and of identifying actions and recommendations to overcome these challenges. A background study of the existing literature, research articles, reports and national strategies (where available) was performed to ascertain the political strategies and academic understanding of ecotourism in the region.

The Dynamics and Impacts of Transhumance and Neo-Pastoralism on Biodiversity, Local Communities and Security: Congo Basin - CBFP

This study was carried out to shed light on issues related to this activity and provide basic knowledge of various aspects relating to livestock rearing, neo-pastoralism and unsustainable transhumance. The study area covers the Sudano-Sahelian region of Africa – specifically, the area stretching from the northern fringes of the Congo Basin (Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic) and the south-eastern part of the southern Lake Chad Basin, namely the Sudano-Guinean savanna mosaics. The methodology adopted was to collect data from various sources, including from key stake-holders and literature review.

Promoting sustainable value chains in the Congo Basin: An analysis and set of recommendations based on three case studies in producing and importing countries – CBFP Study

The first case study is dedicated to the spectacular policy announcement by Gabon that it would make FSC timber certification mandatory from 2022 onwards for all concessionaires willing to keep operating in the country. Such certification is relatively advanced in Gabon and this unprecedented policy stands as an intriguing and promising example in the region. The second case study relates to a prominent approach that has emerged and grown over the last decade, namely corporate zero-deforestation commitments. This is complementary to the first case study as it refers to a process initiated by the private sector itself, and we apply it to the oil palm sector in Cameroon. For the third case study, we move to the importation side of things with the most advanced policy effort to take action in consuming countries, namely the French National Strategy against Imported Deforestation (SNDI).

Current State, Barriers and Perspectives for REDD+ in the Congo Basin - CBFP

The report draws on a thorough review of the available literature. It is complemented by 21 semi-structured anonymous interviews with key REDD+ experts. The authors conducted the interviews between November 2020 and February 2021. Interview partners include represent-atives of Congo Basin countries, donor states, academia, NGOs and independent technical experts. Instead of going to lengths in elucidating the entire range of options for reducing deforestation and forest degradation, the study report lists concrete courses of action which might be pursued in the future.

Full NDC Synthesis Report: Some Progress, but Still a Big Concern – UNFCCC

UN Climate Change News, 17 September 2021 – UN Climate Change today published a synthesis of climate action plans as communicated in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The NDC Synthesis report indicates that while there is a clear trend that greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced over time, nations must urgently redouble their climate efforts if they are to prevent global temperature increases beyond the Paris Agreement’s goal of well below 2C – ideally 1.5C – by the end of the century.

World Religious Leaders and Scientists Make pre-COP26 Appeal – UNFCCC

UN Climate Change News, 5 October 2021 – Faith leaders representing the world’s major religions yesterday joined scientists at the Vatican to call on the international community to raise their ambition and step up their climate action ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November in Glasgow. Almost 40 faith leaders signed a joint Appeal, which was presented by Pope Francis to COP26 President-Designate, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma, and the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Luigi Di Maio.

SEI Report Assesses Transboundary Climate Risks in Commodity Flows - IISD

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has published a report providing a global assessment of transboundary climate risks in agricultural commodity flows. Its authors explain that the material risk posed to food security, particularly in low-income, import-dependent countries, is such that adaptation to transboundary climate risk becomes a matter of public policy.

Responding to Crises Starts Years in Advance: 2021 Goalkeepers Report - IISD

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released its annual Goalkeepers Report, which tracks progress on 18 SDG indicators and reflects on trends influencing the Goals. In the introduction to the 2021 Goalkeepers report, titled ‘Innovation and Inequity,’ Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates write that the past year has shown that “progress is possible but not inevitable. The effort we put in matters a great deal.” The report aims to highlight learnings from the successes and failures of the pandemic so far.

Poor charcoal production techniques fuel tree cutting in Kenya – CIFOR

A new study conducted by scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), and partner organizations shows that charcoal producers have little or no support to engage in the replanting of trees, which could lead to a lower rate of deforestation in the already tree-scarce areas where most charcoal is produced.

Vienna Convention, Montreal Protocol Offer Lessons for Climate Agreements -IISD

The latest ‘Still Only One Earth’ policy brief from IISD looks back at when “the world was struck with fear” in 1985 after scientists discovered a massive hole in the ozone that forms a protective layer over the Earth. The brief reviews the steps taken to heal the ozone layer through two intergovernmental agreements – the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – and what else must be done. It also highlights lessons for addressing climate change.

Appeal made for international commitment to protecting the Congo Basin ecosystems and their vicinity at the IUCN World Conservation Congress

Jointly organized by COMIFAC, CBFP, GIZ, CAFI and IUCN, as part of the Congo Basin Special Day at the World Conservation Congress, a high-level session on the Congo Basin, was held from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m on 05/09/2021., at the SPACE CENTER, Exhibition HALL 3.

Geopolitics of the World’s Forests: Strategies for Tackling Deforestation – IFRI

Deforestation continues at a worrying pace worldwide, except in temperate and boreal countries. It is caused by the race for land, underpinned by population growth and rising global demand for “deforestation-prone” products. Moreover, with climate change, mega-fires are now posing unprecedented threats to forests.

A second high-level session on the protection of the Congo Basin: Representatives of bilateral donor countries come together to help protect forests and wetlands in the green heart of Africa at the World Nature Congress

Jointly organized by COMIFAC, the CBFP, GIZ, CAFI and the IUCN, as part of the Congo Basin Special Day at the World Conservation Congress, a second high-level session on the preservation of the Congo Basin’s ecosystems took place on 05/09/2021 at 6:00 p.m. local time at the PAVILLON NATURE BASE SOLUTION, Exhibition HALL 3.

IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020 – IISD Report of main proceedings for 7 September 2021

Following four busy and inspirational days of work, the Forum concluded its deliberations. During another bustling day, participants attended thematic sessions and high-level dialogues during the morning. In the afternoon, seven thematic plenaries outlined the main take-home messages from the Forum’s discussions, followed by the official Forum closing plenary.