Purpose of Initiative:
The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), an international association of more than forty governments, international organizations, private sector and civil society representatives, is designed to enhance the sustainable management of the Congo Basin ecosystem. The partnership promotes economic development, poverty alleviation, and effective governance through the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, including forests and wildlife. The CBFP, established at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, operates within the framework of the Council of Ministers in charge of the Forests of Central Africa (COMIFAC) and in accordance with COMIFAC’s strategic plan, the Plan de Convergence.
The U.S. objectives for this partnership are to reduce forest degradation and loss of biodiversity, and in so doing, promote livelihoods, effective governance, science-based decision-making, and stability throughout the region. We do this through a number of tools to developing local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity, including broader application of modern sustainable land management and planning practices, monitoring and verification of the forest resource base, and the strengthening of natural resources governance (institutions, policies, laws and law enforcement). U.S. partnership actions focus on 12 ecologically sensitive and biologically diverse areas and wildlife corridors called forest landscapes, which are viewed as the most vulnerable to deforestation and other threats to biodiversity. Together, these landscapes comprise more than 80 million hectares of critically important tropical forest in Central Africa. These 12 Congo Basin forest landscapes are:
- Monte Alen - Mont de Cristal Inselbergs Forest Landscape (Equatorial Guinea & Gabon)
- Gamba - Conkouati Forest Landscape (Gabon, Congo & (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Lope - Chaillu - Louesse Forest Landscape (Gabon & Congo)
- Dja - Minkebe - Odzala Tri-national Forest Landscape (Cameroon, Congo & Gabon)
- Sangha Tri-national Forest Landscape (Cameroon, Congo, (Central African Republic)
- Lac Tele - Lac Tumba Swamp Forest Landscape (Congo & Democratic Republic of Congo
- Bateke Plateau Forest Savanna Landscape (Congo & Gabon)
- Maringa/Lopori - Wamba Forest Landscape (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Salonga - Lukenie - Sankuru Forest Landscape (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Maiko - Lulunguru Tanya - Kahuzi Biega Forest Landscape (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Ituri - Epulu - Aru Forest Landscape (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Virunga Forest Landscape (Democratic Republic of Congo & Rwanda)
Partners: A comprehensive list of CBFP partners can be found on the CBFP partnership website: www.cbfp.org.
U.S. Partnership Targets:
The United States engagement includes the following objectives:
- Enlarge forest areas under sustainable management;
- Institutionalize the path-breaking State of the Forest Report as a widely-supported biennial assessment of the forest, its people, wildlife, and resources;
- Increase livelihood benefits and/or incomes of communities generated by improved natural resources management;
- Increase institutional capacity of COMIFAC, local and national NGOs, and target government agencies;
- Broaden areas monitored for forest condition/degradation;
- Boost number and types of forest resources monitored;
- Improve forest information dissemination to decision makers and advocacy groups;
- Strengthen policies and laws supporting protected areas;
- Increase community-based natural resources management;
- Improve regulation of logging concessions;
- Boost civil society participation in sustainable natural resources management.
- By the end of 2009, through CARPE, U.S. programs have improved land management of 56 million hectares; trained nearly 25, 000 people in conservation; put in place 10 forestry, biodiversity, and conservation laws; allocated $2.5 million in small grants to local NGOs; provided for logging concession monitoring in Cameroon, CAR, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, and the DRC; and completed a logging title conversion process in the DRC, with support from the World Bank and the EU.
- CBFP Partners have released the "State of the Forest Report, 2008", an unprecedented publication containing information gleaned through the efforts of all the CBFP partners with baselines and indicators to follow progress and monitor achievements.
- The region has seen an increasing emphasis on forest and wildlife law enforcement, leading to the completion of several successful prosecutions.
- Several new protected areas were approved and gazetted in DRC: Tayna Nature Reserve, Sankuru Nature Reserve, Kokolopori Nature Reserve, Itombwe Nature Reserve, Lac Tumba-Ledina Reserve, and Lomako-Yokolola Nature Reserve.
- A RAMSAR site in the DRC adjacent to ROC in Lac Tumba Tele has been approved.
- A National Parks Act was created and approved by the Gabonese Parliament.
- The Virunga Transboundary Secretariat was created.
- The National Aeronautic and Space Administration, through the University of Maryland, distributed satellite imagery of Central Africa for use throughout the basin (www.osfac.org).
- U.S. Forest Service technical cooperation with host country government agencies and partners supported capacity building for land-use planning, ecotourism policy development, reduced impact logging, multiple use landscape management, climate change mitigation methodologies, and GIS and information management.
- USFWS partnered closely with CBFP organizations to address wildlife conservation and management issues, placing an emphasis on working with national wildlife agencies. This has resulted in the development of species conservation strategies, best practices guidelines, wildlife training programs, enhanced wildlife law enforcement, new technologies such as Trailguard, and improved monitoring of key species in the Congo Basin.
- U.S. National Park Service supported Gabon's National Council on National Parks to develop legislation for a new national park service and, in conjunction with the Forest Service, helped the Gabonese Park Service develop the management plan for Loango and Lope National Parks.
- Detailed descriptions of the CBFP projects developed by U.S.-based civil society partners operating in each of the 12 forest landscapes are available at visit: www.cbfp.org and at http://carpe.umd.edu.
Next Steps: The United States looks forward to participating in the November 11-12 CBFP Plenary meeting in Yaounde.
USG Partner Contribution 2002-2008: More than $100M.
USG Primary Points of Contact
U.S. Agency for International Development:
John Flynn (Phone: 202/216-6240; E-mail: email@example.com )
United States Department of State:
Ellen Shaw (Phone: 202/647-0658; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)