Calling for a « Fair Deal » for the Congo Basin and its vicinity, Berlin, Germany…

Please download :

In French: Déclaration d'engagement des Etats membres de la COMIFAC pourles forêts d'Afrique centrale et appel pour un financement équitable

 

In English: Declaration of commitment by COMIFAC member states to the forests of Central Africa and call for equitable financing and Fair Share

 

Forest Day Aide-Mémoire:

In French

In English

In German

 

Berlin, Germany, 07 September 2021 - Congo Basin Forests Day: Presenting the Statement, Common Position on a "Fair Deal" for the conservation of tropical forests and signing of a Memorandum.

 

Presenting the Statement on a “Fair Deal " for the conservation of tropical forests and signing of a Memorandum.

Under the high patronage of His Excellency the German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr Gerd Müller, a “Congo Basin Forest Day” was held in Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany on 07 September 2021, on the sidelines of the Tropical Forests Symposium.

 

The ceremony took place today with eight ministers from Central African countries from the following countries attending: Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad. Rwanda was represented at the meeting by the Director General of Forests.

 

During the ceremony, the "Statement of Commitment of the Member States of COMIFAC to the Central African forests and call for equitable financing" was presented and a Memorandum on the Congo Basin Forests Day signed by Germany and COMIFAC.

Minister Müller’s signature stands as a promise on Germany's part to campaign on the international political scene for the Congo Basin’s tropical forests to receive a fair share of climate and biodiversity funds. In return, the Congo Basin signatories agree to take more responsibility for forest protection. The “Fair Deal” encapsulated in the Statement was presented by the Current Chairman of COMIFAC and the Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany to a large audience connected digitally from Germany, the Congo Basin and beyond.

 

A “Fair Deal” for the Congo Basin

Through this Statement, the Central African signatories recognize the services provided by the Congo forests (CO2 storage capacity, genetic heritage, habitat and economic space) as a global public good and declare their shared commitment to preserving its natural resources, notably by:

  • Strengthening the role of Congo forests in global climate debates;
  • Increasing privatization of protected area management;
  • Creating more opportunities for civil society and indigenous peoples to participate in decision-making processes;
  • Establishing a platform of supra-regional exchange to bring transhumance under control (increase in numbers of cattle herds that are devastating the forests);
  • And implementing more reforestation measures where forests have already been wiped out.

 

In return, the African signatories expect more technical, political and financial support from the global community and call for better coordination of international funding mechanisms and policy initiatives, as well as '' adequate and equitable access to climate and biodiversity finance as well as global tropical timber markets and greater promotion of high value-added timber products.

 

A major focus of this COMIFAC Statement document flows along the lines of Minister Müller's call for a "fair deal": An international commitment to the Congo Basin, commensurate with the services it provides to the global society. There is a need to assess how effective existing protection instruments are (e.g.  REDD +).

 

The importance of the Congo Basin

The African Congo Basin is second only to the Amazon as the largest contiguous tropical forest region on the planet. With a unique array of biodiversity, its forests are home to countless animal and plant species. They also provide livelihoods for millions of people in the region and, serve as carbon reservoirs, significantly helping to stabilize the world’s climate. Their importance to the world’s climate cannot be overstated! Compared to the rainforests of South America and Southeast Asia, they remain very much intact – though they have seen a greater increase in deforestation rates in recent years than any other part of the world. The main reason for this upsurge is, among other things, the conversion of forest areas to arable land as well as rising demand for land and firewood from growing populations.

 

The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) was founded in 2002 to address alarming forest loss and development challenges in the region. Its 121 members include not only the surrounding forest-rich states, but also donors such as Germany, France, USA, Belgium, UK and EU, international (non-governmental) organizations, research institutes and actors from the private sector and civil society. In January 2020, the BMZ took over the rotating presidency of the CBFP and appointed Dr Christian Ruck to its helm.

 

The Statement expresses the willingness of stakeholders to take more joint responsibility for conserving the species-rich tropical forests of the Congo Basin. It was prepared jointly by the members of the CBFP under the German Chair. The large regional and international circle of supporters bolsters the Statement in demanding a "fair deal" at the forthcoming United Nations climate and biodiversity conferences: Improving forest governance in the region in exchange for global recognition of vital ecosystem services provided by Congo's forests – at the political and financial levels.

 

After the BMZ event, the Ministers among the guests were received by parliamentarians during a Congo Basin Day at the German Bundestag and met German non-governmental organizations such as WWF or Nabu, the Ministries of the Environment and Development, representatives of GIZ and KfW, the African Association of German Companies, ATIBT, the sustainable forestry company Interholco or the CAFI donor alliance to exchange views on project approaches and assistance needed in protecting tropical forests.

 

Federal Minister Gerd Müller explains:

“The forests of the Congo Basin are invaluable – not only for people, but also in stabilizing the global climate. Together, we must do everything we can to ensure that the people in the region are able to meet their basic needs and enjoy economic development opportunities, without further destroying the forests. I am very grateful to Dr Christian Ruck for his tremendous commitment to the region. And I commend Mr Doret Ndongo and the Ministers of the Central African region for making the trip to Germany to discuss with German experts, NGOs and politicians, ways of getting German support in protecting tropical forests. "

 

Dr Christian Ruck - Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership adds.

"I am delighted with the healthy cooperation and strong joint commitment of the CBFP stakeholders and the fact that we were able to come to an agreement on this joint Declaration. The viewpoints of civil society, national political representatives, the private sector, experts and the global community are quite varied and contradictory because of the different interests involved. Which makes me even prouder that we are able to adopt this joint statement today. This sends out a strong message for the UN negotiations on climate and biodiversity – to ensure that the Congo Basin gets more attention!”

 

Jules Doret Ndongo - Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife and Chairman of the Central African Forest Commission COMIFAC, concludes.

"Allow me to thank the Federal Republic of Germany of the CBFP, its Federal Minister for Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Dr Christian Ruck, the CBFP Facilitator for recognizing the importance of Congo forests for all of humanity as a carbon sink which is set to become the world’s largest and whose care cannot be left entirely to the States that host and guard it, on top of the challenge of meeting their citizens’ basic needs. Hence the need to underscore that the Congo Basin needs to receive substantial financial support for the services it renders to the whole world in promoting conservation, sustainable management, the fight against climate change and community development.

 

The Declaration that has been signed and presented, akin to a charter of commitments made by COMIFAC member countries,  firstly reiterates the host countries’ awareness of the challenges associated with managing this good, and demonstrates to the International community the Congo Basin States’ willingness to go to extra lengths to protect this good and especially brings to bear on the international community, that the Congo Basin’s countries’ good will alone can no longer suffice to meet the challenges of managing this good. Joining forces and resources remains the best policy to follow in supporting and regenerating this large ecosystem. That’s where the concept of a "Fair deal" came into play. We are introducing the concept to win the international community over to our approach of strengthening the Congo Basin’s role as the lung of the world ... "

 

Please download the Kinshasa Declaration "Long version of the Declaration" below:

In French: Déclaration d'engagement des Etats membres de la COMIFAC pour les forêts d'Afrique centrale et appel pour un financement équitable

In English: Declaration of commitment by COMIFAC member states to the of Central Africa and call for fair financing

 

Please see the photos of the day...

Go back

Partners News

Field Trip Registrations prolonged until Sunday!

Registration for field trips for the CBFP MoP19 has been prolonged until Sunday, 26 June 2022 at 6pm CEST. These exclusive field Trips will kick-off the diverse and ambitious technical and political discussions that will take place during the MoP19. They will offer great scenery and expert inputs on a variety of relevant themes. Field trips will take place before the beginning of the official meetings, between July 02 and 04, 2022.

2021 FERN Annual Report

Firstly, the European Commission (EC) published its breakthrough proposal for a EU Regulation on deforestation-free products, which Fern and allies have been working towards for years. We also came together with partner NGOs and civil society groups from around the world to successfully campaign to stop the EU from discarding Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreements - its best weapon to fight against illegal logging.

MOP19 Libreville Field Trip: Registration Now Open!

To kick off the diverse and ambitious technical and policy discussions that will take place during the conference, we are pleased to offer several field trip opportunities exclusively for MOP19. These will include beautiful landscapes and tours led by experienced experts on a variety of topics. The field trips will take place prior to the start of the conference, between July 02-4, 2022.

Registration opens for exhibitors at the CBFP MOP 19 Exhibition Centre

We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 is open. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors are able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment. To register as Exhibitor at the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), please fill out this form online before June 10, 2022.

In the DRC’s forests, a tug-of-war between oil and aid – MONGABAY

At the COP26 climate summit, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Féelix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced a $500 million aid package to protect forests in the Central African country. Part of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, the announcement was one of the top headlines at the summit.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals – CMS

Bonn/Ventotene 26 May 2022 – Visualizing how migratory animals connect continents, countries, sites and habitats is the result of an international scientific effort under the aegis of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), in developing the first atlas of bird migration across three continents. CMS, an environmental UN treaty, will launch the Eurasian-African Bird Migration Atlas today at the Museum of Migration on the Italian island of Ventotene, as the first part of a broader initiative to develop a global atlas of animal migration.

Save the Children signs deal to lead on climate change adaptation in the Pacific where children bear the brunt of extreme weather

Save the Childrenwill deliver the Pacific region’s largest ever investment in community-based climate change adaptation in one of the world’s biggest climate hotspots, the child rights organisation announced today.

Green Climate Fund Board approves USD 325.2 million and policies for accelerated climate action

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board has closed its 32nd meeting, approving four new climate projects worth USD 301.5 million in GCF funding and USD 1.7 billion in co-financing. Including the approval of tranche two funding for an approved project, USD 325.2 million of GCF funding was approved for climate action.

Experts map matrix of certification standards at World Forestry Congress - forestsnews

Establishing certification standards for forestry and agricultural commodities is no straightforward matter, particularly for smallholder farmers. Voluntary standards of the type designed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensure timber and non-timber forest products are produced according to sustainability standards and audited by a third party. They have been used to tackle deforestation, forest degradation and ensure ethical trading practices for more than 30 years.

“Existential threats,” harsh warnings and hope in U.N. Global Land Outlook – ATIBT

“At no other point in modern history has humanity faced such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks and hazards interacting in a hyper-connected and rapidly changing world,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, the executive secretary of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in a statement on the launch of the second Global Land Outlook report (GLO2).

Relaunch of the National Forest Stewardship Standard development process in the Democratic Republic of Congo – ATIBT

FSC's Principles and Criteria set out the global requirements for responsible forest management. Chamber-balanced standard development groups (SDG’s) adapt the International Generic Indicators at the regional or national level to reflect the diverse legal, social and geographical conditions of forests in different parts of the world. The resulting adjustment is incorporated into a National Forest Stewardship Standard.

19th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration has been extended to June 01, 2022!

If you wish to attend the 19th MoP of the CBFP and related events, please register before June 02, 2022 by completing the form below and clicking on the button “register”. It will not be possible to attend the meeting without a properly completed registration procedure.

Forum ATIBT : D-7!

With just over a week to go before the ATIBT Forum, we are sharing an updated version of the conference and roundtable program.This program will be regularly updated on the ATIBT website page dedicated to the Forum.

Environment and Peace Call for Proposals

PeaceNexus is launching a call for proposals on embedding conflict sensitivity in environmental organisations. Environmental organisations are at the forefront of addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. In doing so, they grapple with conflict dynamics, face risks to their staff and partners, but also provide opportunities for divided groups to work together around issues of common concern. The deadline for application is Tuesday 21st June 2022.

19th Meeting of the Parties, July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration is closing on May 20, 2022!

This is a reminder that registrations for the 19th Meeting of Parties (MoP) of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership in Libreville, Gabon, from 5 to 8 July 2022 are CLOSING IN 2 DAYS. Please note, that you can only attend with a completed registration. Please register here...

Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation - The Green Climate Fund

Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation. The project incorporates infrastructural upgrades with the formation of community action groups to improve the capital’s flood resilience . A project in Mongolia, which incorporates a wide range of initiatives and aims to build the resilience of high-risk communities, is directly confronting the burden of urban climate impacts.

 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board holds second meeting of 2022

The 32nd meeting of the GCF Board is taking place in person in Antigua and Barbuda from May 16-19. The meeting, one of four scheduled this year, follows on the heels of the first Board meeting where USD 187.7 million was approved for new climate projects and major changes to GCF’s accreditation framework were approved.  The changes aim to accelerate climate finance for developing countries and include strengthening the existing accreditation model and introducing the project-specific assessment approach (PSAA).

Expert meeting on the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products – FERN

The proposed EU Regulation on deforestation-free products aims to ensure goods cannot be placed on the EU market if they have caused deforestation, forest degradation, or violated producer country laws. The Commission released a draft proposal of the Regulation on 17 November 2021, and now the European Parliament (EP) and the Council must agree on their positions. On 24 March 2022, the EP rapporteur Luxembourgish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Christophe Hansen of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), released his draft response.

New International Maritime Organization guidelines to combat wildlife smuggling – TRAFFIC

Global shipping to focus on bringing down the illegal networks exploiting maritime supply chains to traffic wildlife. On the 13 of May 2022, the 46th Meeting of the Facilitation Committee (FAL46) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted new ‘Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Wildlife on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic’.

Brief Highlights Role for Human Rights-based Approach to Achieve SDG 6 - IISD

Fifty years after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which put “health and sanitation” on the international agenda, ensuring water and sanitation for all “remains one of the world’s biggest challenges.” A ‘Still Only One Earth’ policy brief from IISD argues that for universal access to become a reality,

UNCCD’s Global Land Outlook Calls for “Activating” Land Restoration Agenda – IISD

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has issued the second edition of its flagship report titled, ‘Global Land Outlook: Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience’ (GLO2). The publication outlines various future land scenarios, and highlights the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and human health, among other SDGs.

World Congress Urges Shared Responsibility Over Forests for Multiple SDGs – IISD

Delegates at the 15th meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) called for immediate action to protect forests, forestry, and forest stakeholders as providers of nature-based solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, hunger, and poverty. They encouraged “actions for a green, healthy and resilient future with forests” as a contribution to the SDGs, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAO Flagship Outlines Forest Pathways for Tackling Planetary Crises - IISD

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched its biennial flagship report on the state of the world’s forests (SOFO), which explores three intertwined forest pathways to achieve green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, among other “multidimensional planetary crises.”

Desertification and Drought Day Calls for New Social Contract for Nature – IISD

A high-level panel marked Desertification and Drought Day 2020 with a discussion focused on the Day’s theme, ‘Food. Feed. Fibre,” and the question, “Is it time for a new social contract for nature?” Ministers and agency heads offered recommendations for addressing vulnerabilities for land management that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and options for building back better.

The XV World Forestry Congress was held in Seoul from May 2 to 6 – ATIBT

Convening under the theme “Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests,” the Fifteenth meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) sought to define the role of forests in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other major agreements, including the Global Forest Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Ministerial call for sustainable timber at the World Forestry Congress in Seoul – ATIBT

At the end of the XV World Forestry Congress held in Seoul from May 2 to 6, 8 ministers signed a text calling for the production and consumption of sustainable wood. Sustainable production and consumption of wood promotes forest conservation, enhances the value of forests and mitigates climate change. Building and living with wood responds to an increased demand for renewable materials and provides impetus for green recovery.