The second Summit of the world's three tropical forest basins was held from October 26 to 28, 2023 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. It brought together leaders from the Amazon, the Congo and the Borneo-Mekong-Southeast Asia region to form a global coalition. Its aim was to implement, within the framework of the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, the first global coalition for the restoration of 350 million hectares of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
On this occasion, the Managing Director of ATIBT, travelled to the Republic of Congo to attend, with the ATIBT-Congo team for which Alain Tiotsop is responsible, and Hortense Batindek, in charge of monitoring and evaluation of the ADEFAC project, various meetings to which the association had been invited.
Below are details of the key meetings for the private sector.
A joint declaration
First and foremost, we should mention that this summit resulted in a joint declaration available here.
This declaration includes 7 important commitments:
COMIFAC made a remarkable presentation entitled "State of the Congo Basin Forests", given by Mr. Chouaibou Nchoutpouen, Deputy Executive Secretary and Technical Coordinator of COMIFAC.
The presentation is available here.
The summit was also an opportunity for the private sector to attend a number of useful side events and bilateral meetings, as detailed below.
A new co-facilitation for the CBFP
First and foremost, on Thursday October 26, ATIBT took part in the launch of the new Franco-Gabonese CBFP facilitation, an event co-organized by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC).
The launch was followed by a meeting of CBFP partners on the roadmap on Saturday, October 28.
Ambassador Christophe Guilhou acted as co-facilitator on the French side.
During these two parallel events, the CBFP co-facilitation provided detailed information on its 2023-2025 roadmap and its operational breakdown into activities. The aim was also to prepare for upcoming international and regional events. A round-table discussion entitled "How to strengthen collaboration between CBFP members to promote sustainable value chains and limit imported deforestation" was held.
ATIBT's suggestions were first and foremost at a general level:
At the level of the private sector college, for which ATIBT is responsible, the following was requested:
RIFFEAC, whose ATIBT is a partner in the ADEFAC project, attended the 2nd round table on October 28. The RIFFEAC, like the ATIBT, has set out its expectations to be taken into account in the CBFP roadmap.
The CBFP roadmap for the period 2023-2025 is available here.
A high-level dialogue organized by the CBFP in close collaboration with COMIFAC, Germany, CAFI and ATIBT
This dialogue took place on October 27, in the presence of H.E. Minister Rosalie Matondo, the Executive Director of ITTO, and representatives of Cameroon's MINFOF. The ATIBT is co-leader of the CBFP's private sector college, a position held by Jacqueline Lardit Van de Pol, who was unable to attend, and was represented by her colleagues Benoit Jobbé-Duval and Alain Tiotsop. The meeting enabled political decision-makers from COMIFAC forest countries exporting timber to China and representatives of the CBFP's private sector college to prepare Central Africa's participation in the 2023 World Forum on Legal and Sustainable Timber, to be held on November 21 and 22, 2023, in Macao (China).
ATIBT has encouraged companies to participate in this event, an opportunity to boost business activities in this period of economic slowdown.
The invitation to the Macao Forum is available here.
The Partnership for Forests, Nature and Climate. Country Packages
This partnership aims to bring together a range of public and private donors, research institutions and NGOs to support Congo's ambition to achieve its goal of protecting 30% of its maritime and terrestrial territory, and to develop an economy and land-use model that contributes to the preservation of ecosystems.
At a workshop held on October 25 at the Radisson Hotel, Congo, with the support of France and the European Union, presented the state of play for the launch of a Country Package in Congo, in order to gather recommendations and proposals from interested technical and financial partners and invite them to join the partnership.
The proposed priorities for a Congo Country Package are as follows:
ATIBT and CIB Olam were present, and stressed the importance of certification in terms of biodiversity. Country Packages should therefore focus on supporting certification.
Round table with the private sector on October 28, 2023 at the DUE in Brazzaville
Also as part of the Three Basin Summit, a delegation from the European Commission led by the Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, visited Brazzaville on the occasion of the Three-Basin Summit.
The European Union Delegation in Brazzaville organized a round-table discussion led by the Commissioner on the sustainable management of Congolese forests, particularly in the context of the EU regulation on deforestation.
The EU Ambassador to Brazzaville, Mr Giacomo Durazzo, Mrs Chantal Marijnissen, Head of Unit "Environment and Renewable Natural Resources" at DG INTPA and Mrs Helge Elisabeth Zeitler, Deputy Head Of Unit Global Resources, Deforestation, Water accompanied the Commissioner. This was a direct exchange with the Commissioner, who provided clarifications by responding to concerns about the regulation's impact on the Congolese forestry sector.
ATIBT and several of its members (CIB Olam, Interholco, Rougier, FRM, Cirad) took part in the meeting.