CBFP's Facilitators on the road to China (April 20 to 27)

The Congo Basin Forest Partnership’s Facilitation has often confirmed its commitment to promoting the dialogue with Asian partners operating in the Congo Basin forest sector. A recent invitation, issued by the IUCN China office and asking COMIFAC and CBFP to attend the 4th meeting of the Round Table Discussions on China and the Global Forest Products Trade, has thus been acknowledged with considerable enthusiasm! Having received mandate from the COMIFAC, Hans Schipulle and Samuel Makon were able to represent the Congo Basin Forest Partnership throughout the workshop at the Beijing Oriental Garden Hotel on April 21-22, 2009.  Website IUCN China.

The Facilitators’ presentation offered a broad overview of CBFP’s objectives, and its foundations in the regional institutional structure supporting COMIFAC's impementation of the Convergence Plan. They later focused on the sheer scope of timber trading between China and the Central African region: reasons enough to shape a regular dialogue! According to Mr Schipulle, CBFP will continue to respond to the goodwill expressed on various occasions by private sector companies and will strive to preserve the spirit of the IFIA-CBFP-COMIFAC meeting in Libreville (May 2008) by presenting itself as a platform for dialogue. But the CBFB might also be able to play an important role within the new setting of trilateral cooperation between the European Union, Africa and China. Putting forth the multi-actor structure of the Partnership and its well established communication network, Samuel Makon underlined CBFP’s capacity to support the implementation of collaboration strategies that reach beyond beaten tracks.

In addition to the participation at the Round Table workshop, the Facilitators' mission also served to strengthen relations with Chinese forest sector stakeholders from the administration and the private sector on a personal level in order to prepare an official visit from the COMIFAC President and its Executive Secretary. They also took up the opportunity to exchange on a rather informal basis on Chinese forestry expertise and learned about the handbooks with guidelines for Chinese companies operating outside the country.

All the resource persons the Facilitators were able to meet throughout their visit to China, from forest administration to private sector companies, NGOs and CBFP members with offices in China, quasi-unanimously encouraged the Facilitation’s approach and pledged them to continue their efforts. The Partnership’s appreciations concerning the issue, lastly discussed during the CCR meeting in Brazzaville, have definitely fallen on fertile ground! The contact persons also expressed their ardent wish to see direct formal relations evolve between COMIFAC and the Chinese authorities, without having to recur to a go-between as the CBFP.The Facilitation will prepare a project for a road map that lies out the next steps to attain these objectives and seeks to imply all those who can contribute to successful cooperation.  The document will be presented to the members of the Partnership during the next meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee (May 18-19 in Douala, Cameroon)

Photo (Hans Schipulle): Visiting the Beijing Forest Department / Beijng Forest Society
LUAN Shenqiang (GTZ), WANG Xiaoping (BFDIC/BFS), Samuel Makon (CBFP), Hans Schipulle (CBFP), WANG Yingchong (translator), LI Hao (BFDIC)
docs/news/mars_avril2009/beijing_forestdepartment_forestsociety_pic.JPG

The proceedings of the IUCN/Forests Trends Round Table on "China and the Global Forest Products Trade: 4th Meeting" are available on  Forest Trends. Posted here-below are the official mission report of CBFP's Facilitators as well as a selection of documents related to topics that have been treated throughout the multi-party consultations. 
 
Official mission report of PFBC Facilitators' visit to Beijing (April 20 – 27, 2009), English translation 
"Congo Basin Forest Partnership – Options for Fostering the Dialogue on Sustainable Forest Management and Trade between China and the Congo Basin", presentation by Hans Schipulle and Makon Samuel, CBFP.
CBFP Flyer in Chinese
"China-Africa Timber Trade – Surveys of Chinese Enterprises and Trade Chain Analysis", presentation by Li Hong Fan, China Wood International.
Communication from the European Commission: The EU, Africa and China: Towards trilateral dialogue and cooperation (COM(2008)654 and SEC(2008)2641 (17.10.2008)
EU-China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) (30.01.2009)
A Guide on Sustainable Overseas Silviculture by Chinese Enterprises

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