New York, September 19, 2022 – The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD in partnership with Afreximbank, co-launched the AUDA-NEPAD Energize Africa initiative on the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Energize Africa initiative recognises that Africa’s youth and women – making up more than half of the continent’s populations - must be at the core of Africa’s economic growth and inclusive development strategies.
Review of the points of debate and reflection on the draft European regulation on imported deforestation – ATIBT
The ATIBT continues to be involved in the European negotiations on this regulation, particularly on those elements that appear to be of concern, while reiterating its overall support for the Commission's proposal and its objectives.
With the adoption of a new European regulation on wood, soy, coffee, cocoa, beef and palm oil, European companies will soon be faced with new obligations. As such, the ATIBT participated in two events that took place last March: the Preferred by Nature webinar, and the CST Forest workshop organized by CIRAD in collaboration with the French Ministry of Ecological Transition (MTE). To allow you to learn about this draft regulation and identify the risks and opportunities it represents for the tropical timber industry, we propose to review these two events. The ATIBT has also written a FAQ on the draft regulation, do not hesitate to read or reread it.
The French version of this webinar, held on March 18, was moderated by Preferred by Nature's responsible sourcing specialists, Elena Sosa and Chloé Viala, who provided an overview of the key elements and requirements of the proposed regulation to help companies in the relevant sectors prepare for it. Alessandra Negri, LCB's Markets and CSR Manager, also spoke about the French timber industry's experience in implementing due diligence under the EU Wood Regulation and sustainable forest management certification. Finally, Laure d'Astorg, from the Alliance for the Preservation of Forests, presented the self-assessment tool available to companies for the evaluation of their responsible purchasing program.
An English version of this webinar is also available (with other speakers).
Although changes may be incorporated before the final version of the text is adopted, Preferred by Nature wanted to present the key elements contained in the European Commission's proposal. Indeed, the objective of the regulation and the basis of the mechanisms that are proposed will likely remain unchanged. PBN recalled that the EU regulation will establish obligations on the European market to "minimize the consumption of products from supply chains associated with deforestation or forest degradation - and to increase the demand for and trade in legal and zero deforestation products”. This new regulation will therefore replace the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR). The key elements of the project can be summarized in 4 points:
- Prohibition of import and export of non-compliant products
- Due diligence obligation for operators
- Obligation of member states to ensure its implementation
- Implementation of an information system
Preferred by Nature also presented the main definitions contained in the EU Commission's text (deforestation, degradation, sustainable harvesting operations), the products concerned and the actors involved. These elements are open to discussion within the framework of the European negotiations in the Council of the EU, as they may appear to be of concern from the point of view of the text's operationality and effectiveness. The ATIBT is also very vigilant to the good cooperation with the producer countries for the construction of this new regulation.
Organized on March 28 within the framework of the CSTF (Scientific and Technical Forest Committee, a body created by AFD and in charge of supporting the implementation of the French National Strategy on Imported Deforestation -SNDI), the workshop brought together some thirty civil society actors identified as key (representatives of the sector, NGOs), experts and researchers, and representatives of the French ministries concerned (Ministries of Ecological Transition, Agriculture and Food). The ATIBT was present to represent the tropical wood sector. The purpose of the workshop was to highlight and discuss the points of concern raised by NGOs, private sector representatives and French delegations, in order to reach a shared understanding of the issues and avenues for compromise.
Five points contained in the EU proposal were discussed:
- Definitions of forests, deforestation and forest degradation
- "Cut off date" of deforestation by December 31, 2021
- Integration of other ecosystems than forests
- Risk classification by country (benchmarking)
- Traceability operability
You can read the full report of the workshop by clicking here (in French).
Among all its recommendations, the ATIBT supported the idea of using the definition contained in Annex 1 of the EU delegated act on taxonomy: "forest means land corresponding to the definition of forest as set out in national legislation or, where this is not available, is in accordance with the FAO definition of forest". Indeed, this definition allows harmonization of EU regulations and avoids the pitfall of imposing a universal definition of forest without taking into account the diversity of forests. To make the definition of forest degradation clear and adapted to the timber sector, the ATIBT supported the idea of linking the definition of degradation to the concept of sustainable forest management.
The ATIBT has also expressed its views on the limits of country risk classification (Benchmarking) and the need to conduct these risk assessments at sub-national levels, or at the operator level to take into account individual good practices (such as sustainable management certification).
Concerning traceability, the ATIBT recalls the experience acquired by the timber sector through the implementation of chain of custody certification and agrees on the importance of a robust and efficient traceability. However, she pointed out that wood processing can combine many sources of these products. A pragmatic solution would be to verify traceability from the first infrastructure of collection or processing (crusher, factory, cooperative ...), and a transparency of all the parcels of supply of it, without having to link a product placed on the European market to a specific parcel.
Through its interventions, the ATIBT has widely highlighted the interest of forest certification to meet the challenges of traceability and sustainability of forest management, and advocates for an unequivocal recognition of this process as a reliable tool for analysis and risk reduction in the future EU regulation.
In addition to this news, the ATIBT is co-publishing a manifesto with E. Groutel (Wale) to recall the historical commitment of the tropical forestry and timber sector to sustainable management and traceability of timber through certification and its experience with due diligence through the application of the EUTR (FLEGT process).
ATIBT will continue to share its position and make proposals for amendments to the text to ensure that the objective of the future regulation is met: "to reduce the consumption of products from supply chains associated with deforestation or forest degradation, and to increase the demand for and trade in legal and "deforestation-free" products in the EU”.
Press Release: Climate Finance to Address Global Challenges on Climate Change, Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss - NEPAD
New York, September 20, 2022 – Climate financing will play an important role in unlocking Africa’s potential to combat climate change. It is estimated that Africa requires about 2.5 trillion dollars of climate finance between 2020 and 2030 averaging about 250 billion dollars each year. However, the total annual climate finance flows in Africa for 2020 were only 30 billion dollars, which is just about 12 percent of the amount needed.
Global Leadership Council unveiled to scale up clean, reliable energy and stop global warming - AFDB
22-Sep-2022 - The battle to stop global warming from rising above the catastrophic 1.5 degree Celsius received a boost on Wednesday as the newly launched Global Leadership Council got down to business during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
As the world faces multiple crises dominated by new conflicts, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, economic shocks, and growing inequalities, development has been halted or even reversed across several domains, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).
The African Union (AU) Youth for Peace Africa Programme, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) have launched a serious game known as “Mission55 Conflict in Anaka”, to commemorate the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) 2022. The game, which the AU and GIZ developed, aims to raise awareness, educate and inform the public, particularly youth, on the mandate of the AU to promote good governance, peace and security in Africa.
African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in eastern and southern Africa have been prompted to support and promote the implementation of the African Union’s Free Movement Protocol (FMP) and the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA). The call to action to CSOs was made during the opening of the second Regional CSO Sensitization Forum on the Continental Free Movement Protocol organized by the AU Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
September 15, 2022 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today launched the IGAD Regional Trade Policy 2022-2026 in Nairobi. Representatives of IGAD Member States from Ministry of Trade and Heads of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representatives of partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) attended the one-day event.
New biodiversity commitments announced as world leaders declare nature summit COP15 a priority - GEF
New commitments aimed at catalyzing biodiversity finance and conservation were unveiled today at a high-level event convened on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to showcase action and support for a nature-positive world. New initiatives announced include €0.87 billion of new funding from the German government; a 10 point plan for financing biodiversity, endorsed by 16 initial countries; and the next phase of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC for Nature and People 2.0)...
Nancy Karigithu is Kenya’s Ambassador and Special Envoy for Shipping and the Blue Economy. In an interview, she explained how the maritime sector can reduce pollution, rein in carbon emissions, and combat wildlife trafficking on a global scale.
Patricia Zurita is CEO of BirdLife International, a leading conservation organization that works with 115 national partner organizations and 13 million members to protect birds and their habitats worldwide. In an interview marking BirdLife’s 100th anniversary, she shared her vision for how the world can create a healthy environment for healthy societies in the coming century.
Media Release: Governments Meet on Science and Evidence to Address Global Biodiversity Crisis - ipbes
Bonn, Germany – Representatives of almost 140 Governments will begin a week-long meeting on Sunday in Bonn, Germany to advance the science and evidence necessary to address the global biodiversity crisis. The ninth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (#IPBES9) will be the first in-person meeting, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, of the global body tasked with presenting decision-makers with the best-available science and expertise, to inform policy and action on nature.
Hindou, a Mbororo Indigenous pastoralist woman, is the founder of the Association of Indigenous Peul Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), a community-based organization focused on promoting the rights of girls and women in the Mbororo community and inspiring leadership and advocacy in environmental protection. She is an influential climate leader in Africa, advocating for the importance of traditional knowledge for building resilience of Indigenous and forest communities to cope with the climate crisis.
Enforcement officers new to the fight against wildlife crime have put a suite of TRAFFIC resources and newly developed materials to the test in a series of trainings in Southeast Asia. The face-to-face trainings with newly designed materials have been critical in bringing up-to-date information and tools to frontliners in some of the region’s major wildlife trade hotspots. However, staff turnover, regulatory changes, and evolving trends in wildlife crime mean there is a constant need for training.” Renee Yee, TRAFFIC’s Training and Capacity Building Officer in Southeast Asia
UN Women and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) issued a report, which presents evidence on gender equality across all 17 SDGs. Emphasizing the pivotal role of gender equality in driving progress on the entire 2030 Agenda, the report warns that global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, violent conflict, and climate change have exacerbated gender disparities.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional offices for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published the results of a regional assessment of progress towards SDG 4 (quality education). The report highlights the urgent need for more investment and social participation to enable a systemic transformation of education.
On the occasion of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, 9 August 2022, we reflect on the important role of indigenous women in the preservation and the transmission of traditional knowledge.
COP 15 PRESIDENCY: latest news from Huang Runqiu, President of the COP 15 and Minister of Ecology and Environment of China – CBD
On September 12, Huang Runqiu, President of the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) and Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, had a video meeting with Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. The two sides had in-depth exchanges on the second part of COP 15 and key issues related to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) .
From 19 September to 20 November 2022, learn to develop a step-by-step ecosystem restoration plan and apply effective restoration solutions in your national and sub-national context. Now is the time to restore our damaged ecosystems. Join a FREE MOOC on Ecosystem Restoration on the Learning for Nature platform.
We, the representatives of Central African civil society who participated in-person and virtually in the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), which was organized by the Federal Republic of Germany and took place from 5 to 8 July, 2022, in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, came together on 6 July 2022, as part of a strategic workshop of civil society organizations working to ensure effective management of natural resources in Congo Basin countries…
Berlin, 12th September 2022, the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), has officially joined the 124 members of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). INBAR has submitted its application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework to promote sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
CBFP RDP 19: Main conclusions of Streams of the 19th Meeting of the Parties of the CBFP: Strong messages and recommendations...
Please download the recommendations, conclusions, messages coming out of the deliberations of Streams 1a, 1b, 2 and 3, Technical Segment of the MOP 19 of the CBFP of Libreville towards sustainable development for Central Africa’s countries, people, forests and biodiversity...These conclusions also serve as a roadmap for the partners to implement the "Declaration of commitment of COMIFAC Member States to the forests of Central Africa and call for equitable financing" and the “Joint Declaration of the Congo Basin donors of COP26”…
MoP 19 - CIFOR - USFS: Peatlands, mangroves, and other wetlands: climate responses in the Congo Basin
Please kindly consult the main conclusions of the two side events organised by CIFOR and USFS in the margins of CBFP MOP 19 on: Slot 1: Current scientific activities on peatlands (and other wetlands) in the Congo Basin and Slot 2: Early responses to protect and manage peatlands in the Congo Basin.
A new member of the great CBFP family: Welcome to the Republic of Korea (ROK) represented by the Korean Forest Service (KFS)!
Berlin, 12th August 2022, the Republic of Korea (ROK), represented by the Korea Forest Service (KFS), has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). ROK has submitted their application and consented to the CBFP members’ cooperation framework in promoting sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.
The UN Global Compact published its China strategy seeking “to unlock the potential of business and other stakeholders to maximize their impact on the SDGs and contribute to sustainable development in China and the rest of the world.” The document recognizes China’s local priorities while striving to align itself with the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles and global ambition.
Participants at the 2022 World Water Week, which convened against the backdrop of the flooding in Pakistan, the food crisis in Africa, and the drying rivers of Europe, highlighted the need for investments and political will to implement available water solutions.
The latest Human Development Report, published by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), warns that due to the impacts of the multiple crises, mounting layers of uncertainty, and increasing polarization, human development has dropped to its 2016 levels, “reversing much of the progress” towards the SDGs. Yet, it argues, there is “promise and opportunity in uncertainty” to “reimagine our futures, to renew and adapt our institutions and to craft new stories about who we are and what we value.”
Berlin September 7, 2022. Honourable Dr. Christian Ruck, CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany travelled to Brussels to co-host together with the Member of the European Parliament from the Group of the European People's Party (EPP) Dr. Angelika Niebler, a casual round table on the importance of the EU’s support in achieving better protection of the Congo Basin Forests, including through a “Fair Deal” mechanism for long-term financing of the region by means of payments for ecosystem services approach.
Delegates to the fourth session of the Intersessional Process for Considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 (IP4) advanced their work on the outline for a future global policy framework to promote chemical safety.
A strong majority of Europeans think businesses are failing in their responsibility to protect the world’s forests and therefore support a new law to ban products that destroy them. On Amazon Rainforest Day, a new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Europeans (82%) believe businesses should not sell products that destroy the world’s forests and think (78%) that the government needs to ban products that drive deforestation. When informed that the European Parliament has proposed such a law, support rises to 81 per cent.
MEPs have a crucial chance to ensure smallholders around the world don’t pay the price for EU efforts to end deforestation. When the European Commission published its proposal for a Regulation on deforestation-free products in November 2021, it was hailed as a landmark in the fight against deforestation.
Will the EU biomass loophole give a lifeline to energy giant EPH’s coal power plants? “A carbon bomb in the heart of Europe” investigates the rapidly growing Czech energy company EPH’s exploitation of loopholes in the European Union’s (EU) Renewable Energy Directive. The loopholes allow Member States to offer subsidies to extend the life of power stations. EPH is using such subsidies to burn biomass from forests, thereby dangerously delaying the energy sector’s decarbonisation.
On 28 June 2022, European Union Council of Environment Ministers (Council) adopted their opinion on the Commission’s proposal for a deforestation-free regulation intended to rein in the forest destruction caused by EU consumption of coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soya, beef and wood. While the text makes certain advances, other concerns and notable omissions must be addressed by the European Parliament when it adopts its position in mid-September.
CBFP MOP19; Summary of proceedings of side Event II: Monitoring the implementation of the N’Djamena Declaration and the development of Country Investment Plans in preparation for N’Djamena 2
A side-event entitled "Monitoring the implementation of the N'Djamena Declaration and the Development of Country Investment Plans in preparation for N'Djamena 2” was held on 07 July 2022. Experts from the 3 geographical and thematic blocs of the N'DJAMENA Declaration attended the day of strategic reflection on the subject of transhumance. A roadmap and a logical framework which the experts had established during previous work sessions were presented at the meeting. Other presentations delivered during the gathering highlighted the wide range of activities conducted by conservation actors, from the perspective of peaceful management of transhumance.
MOP19 CBFP - Summary of proceedings of DYNAFAC side events: From Mbaiki to Bambidie, 40 years monitoring the dynamics of production forests
The DYNAFAC side event consisted of presentations reviewing the results of 40 years of research on forest dynamics and ended with draft recommendations for policy makers. The first presentation entitled "Structure, diversity and dynamics of Central African forests: main achievements of the DynAfFor and P3FAC projects" was delivered by Sylvie GOURLET-FLEURY (CIRAD, France) and Félix ALLAH-BAREM (ICRA, CAR), and the second presentation entitled “Population dynamics of commercial species in Central Africa: main achievements of the DynAfFor and P3FAC projects” was delivered by Jean-Louis DOUCET (Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech – University of Liège, Belgium) and Franck MONTHE (Nature+ asbl, Belgium).
Final Press Release: Thirteenth Workshop of COMIFAC Protected Areas and Wildlife Sub-Working Group (SGTAPFS)
The 13th Workshop of the Central African Forest Commission's Sub-Working Group on Protected Areas and Wildlife (SGTAPFS) took place in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, from 11 to 15 July 2022. The German Cooperation through the GIZ Regional Project to Support COMIFAC, the European Union through the ECOFAC VI Program, and WCS provided technical and financial support for the workshop, which was coordinated by the institution's Executive Secretariat.