NewsHighlights and new developments for CAFI at the 20th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership

CAFI News picture 21 June 2024

June 21, 2024 (Kinshasa, DRC) – CAFI participated actively in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership’s 20th Meeting of Parties, held in Kinshasa, DRC June 3-5, 2024. As a major actor in the region, promoting forest-positive sustainable development, CAFI was highlighted in several workshops and side events, featuring ministers and high-profile investors, leaders and civil society representatives from across the region.


Three eventful days of high-level interactions

The CBFP meeting was a renewed opportunity for bilateral exchanges with ministers working closely with CAFI in the framework of CAFI’s partnerships in the region, including H.E. Eve Bazaiba, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the DRC and H.E. Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy.

CAFI News picture 21 June 2024 2

CAFI contributed to several events (see posts on XFacebook and LinkedIn) including: 

  • Accelerating the development of innovative financing mechanisms”, a panel during the African Development Bank’s thematic workshop, featuring H.E. Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Minister of the Environment, Sustainable Development and of the Congo Basin, H.E. Diosbado Obiang Mbomio Nfono, Minister of Forests and the Environment of Equatorial Guinea and representatives of the African Development Bank. During this event, CAFI noted the increase in fund mobilization for the Congo Basin in recent years, while insisting that building capacity and inclusivity in sustainable development is still needed. For example, CAFI has been diversifying its implementing agencies by encouraging accreditation of national entities and other non UN-organizations. 
  • "Status, achievements, lessons learned, and challenges of civil society in the REDD+ agenda in Gabon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Republic of Congo", led by the European Forest Institute (EFI). Two Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) supported by CAFI in DRC and in Gabon described how the Initiative allows to strengthen the voice of civil society in governance mechanism and offers a reassuring institutional framework that recognizes the importance of CSOs in the governance of their countries' natural resources. See our posts on XFacebook and LinkedIn
  • "Financial & Digital Instruments for Tropical Forests", a panel discussion  led by UNDP, inviting CBFP Co-Facilitator from the Republic of Gabon, Ms. Flore Koumba Pambo; CAFI Head of Secretariat, Ms. Berta Pesti; and the General Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of DRC, Mr. Benjamin Toirambe, to reflect on the importance of a collaborative tool between eight tropical countries, which could catalyse responsible investments to protect the world's tropical forests.  See our press release and posts on XFacebook and LinkedIn.
  • An in-depth discussion on the 2016-2022 trends and direct drivers of deforestation in all six of CAFI’s partner countries. The event was based on the comprehensive study funded by CAFI and implemented by the FAOSee our posts on XFacebook and LinkedIn.
  • A thematic workshop on "Promoting dialogue and scientific and academic cooperation on the forests of the Congo Basin" organised by the Scientific and Academic College of the CBFP.

Major funding announcement

Amongst the many high-profile announcements made during the Meeting of Parties, the government of France articulated its intention to double its contribution CAFI. During his announcement, Christophe Gilhou, French Director of Global Affairs at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, stated: "We are happy with the discussions that have been taking place in the past months between CAFI and the Central African Republic on one hand, and CAFI and Cameroon on the other, which I am sure will enable us to support more projects focusing on forest preservation and economic development in these countries.”

In addition, CAFI witnessed the announcement of the upcoming inauguration of the Congo Basin Climate Commission to be headquartered in Brazzaville. The Commission demonstrates the collective commitment of all actors in the Congo Basin to work closely together on regional efforts, including a climate financing strategy.

Research at the forefront of evidence-based policy making

With the political announcements taking up much of the headlines over the week, participants were also urged to remember that a large part of the work in sustainable development depends on scientific research. CAFI was pleased to announce that it would be supporting the creation of a “Scientific Network/Platform” in the amount of approximately USD 6.5 million. This new initiative aims to provide financial support to contribute to a better understanding of key scientific questions that can inform policy decisions, so that the forests of the Congo Basin, the peoples and economies that depend on it can be better protected. Such data is much needed to effectively preserve biodiversity and combat the negative effects of climate change. It will also serve to inform policy reforms supported by CAFI and others making a positive impact in the region.

What’s next?

CAFI will continue to participate in crucial discussions focused on safeguarding some of the world's most fragile ecosystems that vital for populations, biodiversity and climate regulation.

In this vein, CAFI will participate in the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum (OTFF) to be held in Oslo, Norway next week from June 25-26 and will organize an event on deforestation-free agricultural investments in Central Africa for forests and people.