The CBFP International NGO College launched at the 2016 World Conservation Congress




Honolulu (Hawaii), 7 September, 2016 – The CBFP International NGO College was launched a meeting held in the Congo Basin Pavilion at the 2016 World Conservation Conference. The meeting was attended by some twenty participants.



The CBFP International NGO College launched at the 2016 World Conservation Congress This session provided an opportunity for members of the CBFP International NGO College and others to exchange, debate and collaboratively build prospects for the college and its work plan. It was an opportunity for international NGOs engaged in CBFP to work together and share ideas for their future collaboration and organisation in support of the protection and sustainable management of the Congo Basin forests. 



The session address inter alia: how do we organize ourselves and work actively together to improve the technical and financial contributions of international NGOs to the Congo Basin forests? What are the priority actions to be put in place to ensure the effectiveness of our college and the interventions of its members in the Congo Basin?



The CBFP International NGO College launched at the 2016 World Conservation Congress Presentations were followed by engaged discussions. There was widespread support among participants for the creation of CBFP colleges and reinforced cooperation within CBFP.



After introductions by Martin Tadoum, the Deputy Executive Secretary of COMIFAC, and Maxime Nzita Nganga, the Deputy Facilitator of the EU Facilitation of CBFP, three speakers from partner organisations in this college made presentations.



Andrea Athanas, Program Design Manager at AWF, spoke about the value of the CBFP to conservation and development work in the region and the importance of the proposed governance structure to ensuring the sustainability of the CBFP.



The CBFP International NGO College launched at the 2016 World Conservation Congress Marc Languy, Deputy Regional Director for Africa, WWF, presented the vision of a college that contributes to the thematic substance of CBFP processes and is a piece of the governance structure of the Partnership. 



John Calvelli, Vice President for Public Affairs at WCS, provided an overview of WCS’s work in the region, how it links to the zoos in WCS’s portfolio, and the funding that WCS brings to the table.

The following discussion centred on the role that this college could have in guiding content of discussions and work of the CBFP, the role it could have in sharing information and facilitating coordination between International NGOs active in the region, and the anchoring of CBFP work in the COMIFAC Convergence Plan.



The CBFP International NGO College launched at the 2016 World Conservation Congress There was a lot of enthusiasm for making CBFP collaboration more relevant to private sector actors, including to investors (including multilateral banks such as the ADB), to ensure that the Partnership is able to influence the evolving development agenda in the region in a way that safeguards wildlife, wild lands and forests. Participants called for an enlarged membership of the CBFP Private Sector College and encouraged all CBFP partners to engage businesses in order to get them involved in CBFP. The importance of designing CBFP meetings and events in ways that attract private sector actors and provide value to their engagement was underlined.



Land use planning and management, wildlife trafficking and poaching, new economic models, protected areas management and species conservation, landscape restoration and biodiversity offsets were highlighted as priority thematic issues to be addressed in CBFP cooperation.



The CBFP International NGO College launched at the 2016 World Conservation Congress Participants also used this session to deliver some key messages regarding the future of the Congo Basin forests and their concerns regarding current political changes in both the USA and in Europe.  One proposal put forward concerned the idea of giving the CBFP Council a lobbying role aiming to regain the interest of Western governments in supporting the conservation work in the Congo Basin. A particular concern was raised regarding the need to  remedy a perceived vacuum of information about the Congo Basin in the US Congress on key challenges and success stories of investments already made in the region.



Finally, in terms of the plans for organizing college interaction, Marc and Andrea proposed a dual strategy of engaging individuals from college members to solicit their views and convening groups over WebX or Skype to discuss structures and operational modalities ahead of the 16th CBFP Meeting of Parties in Kigali in November. The plan is to present in Kigali a Memorandum to the CBFP Facilitator on how the International NGO College plans to practically organise its work.



The CBFP International NGO College launched at the 2016 World Conservation Congress For more information, please consult the following documents:







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