Handing over at COMIFAC Ministers’ Council: His Excellency Mahmat Bechir Okormi, the Chadian minister for Environment and halieutic resources takes over COMIFAC chairmanship
Ministers renew the mandate of COMIFAC statutory staff, call on States to settle their delayed and current equal contributions – They adopt COMIFAC activities report, their action plan and the biennial budget (2013-2014), as well as the sub-regional Directive document concerning forest and environmental training. The ministers suggest that the third Heads of States Summit be held in October 2013.
N’djamena, Chad Republic, 21 November 2012 – Holding of the seventh ordinary session of COMIFAC Ministers’ Council at Kempinski Hotel in N’djamena - This session was chaired from 19 to 17 November 2012 by the experts consultative Commission. The meeting was open by his Excellency Mr. Emmanuel NADIGAR, the Chadian Head of Government.
The following countries attended: Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad. Were also present representatives of sub-regional and international organisations, and the following donors: COMIFAC, RAPAC, CEFDHAC and its affiliated networks (REPAR, REPALEAC, REJEFAC, REFADD), OCFSA, ADIE, RIFFEAC, CBFP Facilitation, GIZ, WWF, JICA, AFD, CIDA, UICN, CIFOR, PACEBCo, REDD+ regional Project, as well as representatives of the Chadian civil society.
In his speech during the opening ceremony, CBFP Facilitator, Mr. Gaston Grenier, first of all asserted CBFP determination in favour of the sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa. He then pointed out that the sub-region's forests are water reserve which partly supplies Lake Chad. He acknowledged that despite the difficulties encountered, COMIFAC is part of the only international institutions of Central Africa which is open internationally for effective dialogue on forest sustainable management. He concluded his address by mentioning the many challenges awaiting countries and development partners to maintain COMIFAC as an example of sustainable development support and green economy. Concerning CEFDHAC, Mr. Grenier recalled that the 7th Regional Forum or the 1st reformed CEFDHAC held recently in Kigali, from 13 to 16 November 2012. He advocated for the outcome of this meeting to be examined by the COMIFAC 7th Ministers’ Council. Taking the floor, His Excellency MAHAMAT BECHIR OKORMI welcomed his guests and wished them a pleasant stay in Chad. He declared their presence at these meetings is an evidence of their interest in and attention for COMIFAC activities. He stressed the importance of such meeting holding in accordance with COMIFAC statutory provisions, at a crucial stage in the life of this sub-regional institution. He went on to express his wish that at end of the Ministers’ Council meeting, deliberations outcomes would be positive in order to enable the revamping of COMIFAC, our common instrument, for the welfare of populations and future generations. He eventually wished a successful meeting.
His Excellency Emmanuel NADINGAR, the Chadian Prime Minister and Head of Government opened the ministerial segment meeting. With a brief historical review, he highlighted the middle geopolitical position of Chad between forest and savannah zone. According to him, this position confers Chad the pivotal role she intends to play within COMIFAC. He also reaffirmed Chad commitment to hold the torch of COMIFAC chairmanship high during the two years to come, in the sense continuity and in line with spirit of COMIFAC Treaty. In the context of serious poaching in the sub-region, he expressed his worry about this alarming situation. In order to deal with this plague, he added, COMIFAC needs a mechanism with adequate human resources, and material and financial means.
Following the official opening ceremony, including three high points, the Ministers examined 15 points, based on the meeting agenda: From “Activity Report of COMIFAC and partner institutions (December 2010-November 2012)”to OCFSA Reform: Audit Report and Reorganization Plan (OCFSA member countries)”.
After intense deliberations in camera, the Council of Ministers, among other things, made remarks, formulated recommendations and resolutions: The Ministers adopted COMIFAC and partner institutions’ activity report, the biennial Action Plan (2013-2014) - Call on countries to pay their overdue and current egalitarian contributions – Also call on technical and financial partners to further support COMIFAC Executive Secretariat - Call on member states to integrate the CNCs in their national programming and budgeting instruments - The ministers suggest that innovative mechanisms, such as REDD+, environmental tax, the green climate fund, be explored. - They recall the decision on the collection of a percentage on sub-regional projects by COMIFAC as a funding opportunity for the institution - The ministers think it is not relevant to increase the contributions of member countries with regard to the prevailing situation of important pending overdue payments - The ministers also recommended that the possibility of mobilizing funding through voluntary donations by developed countries be explored - Announcements were made by Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Gabon, DRC, to inform about the actions taken in their countries in order to settle their overdue contributions - The ministers adopt the biennial budget (2013-2014) which amounts to 1,249,906,269 CFA francs, including income and expenditures, for operation and 1,961,000,000 CFA francs for the implementation of the biennial action plan - They call on the serving chairman to resume consultations with all stakeholders in view of the operationalization of COMIFAC secure funding mechanism - The ministers adopt the sub-regional Directive document concerning forestry and environmental training in Central Africa and encourage countries to involve in the updating process of the Convergence Plan while considering new stakes - The ministers instruct the Executive Secretariat to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the survey report on gender considerations in the Directives and other COMIFAC Decisions - They suggest that the third Summit of Central African Heads of States on conservation and the sustainable management of forest ecosystems be held in October 2013 and that consultations should be conducted by Chad, serving chairman, in order to confirm the venue of the Summit - The ministers adopt the conclusions and recommendations of the 7th Conference on Moist Forest Ecosystems of Central Africa (CEFDHAC), specifically on the following points: Land allocation at national and sub-regional levels, Securing land tenure and the continuous drying up of Lake Chad - They renew the mandate of the Executive Secretariat, the Deputy Executive Secretariat-Technical Coordinator and of the Administrative and Financial Director for four years. - Congo announces her availability to host an OCFSA extraordinary session to decide on the reorganisation of this institution – the Ministers showed concern about the recurring problem of COMIFAC headquarters. Concerning this point, they were briefed by Cameroon, host country, on the status report of this issue. The rehabilitation works on the building to host the headquarters should start very soon.
For enquiries and further information, please download the official documents of COMIFAC 7th Council of Ministers
@Photo - COMIFAC
Provisory Document send by the Executive Secretary before the Ministers Council to Participants (available in French only):
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