An international partnership for Congo Basin

Thinking about Congo Basin the first thing that comes to our minds will probably be the wonderful heritage that this place represents for our world. Reflecting about the wonderful landscapes this place contains, I realized that it is not only a touristic destination, but it represents something more crucial to all of us, and for that it should be protected from the commons dangers of pollution and deforestation, and  in this article I will show you who is taking care of its survival.

It is a common knowledge that Congo Basin, with its natural network of forests, that spain six countries : Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo is one of the most important place for the climatic equilibrium of  Earth.  It is this amazing extension that makes Congo Basin second in size only to the Amazon Forest in South America.

According to the previous reasons, Congo Basin’s importance for Earth can’t be denied. Despite of, as a study reported by the University of Endiburgh, the increasing demand of food, shelter and fluel, coming from the near zones is creating a great cost for the forest. Many acres  were cut in order to respond to this demand, and this is one of the main reasons, together with agriculture, that made of the deforestation in Congo one of the most debated facts in our society.

In the forests of the Congo Basin can be found the greatest number of mammals, amphibians, birds and other wildlife species in Africa. Furthermore a lot of indigenous groups are currently living there, and deforestation is a great danger for their survival. These are the  reasons that , in 2002, persuaded Colin Powell to launch the CBFF (Congo Basin forest fund).

Thanks to the efforts made by Colin Powell, CBFF is now able to bring together more than 70 partners, including not only African countries but also international organizations, donor agencies, NGO’s and other organizations coming from the private sector. The main aim of this fund is to sustain forest resources of the Congo Basin. All these partners cooperate a lot also in the international environment, collecting great amounts of donations.

The objective of this great partnership is to raise the effectiveness of the partners’ programs and initiatives, following the spirit of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which is the basis of the fundamental principles of the partnership implemented by Congo Basin Forest Fund.

CBFF members are working in order to implement international initiatives that will aloud to:
- Harmonizing forest policy and taxation
- Resource knowledge and inventory
- Ecosystem management
- Biodiversity conservation
- Sustainable use of forest resources
- Alternative income generation
- Capacity development and training
- Research
- Innovative financing mechanisms
- Regional cooperation and partnerships

The initiative concerning these objects is realized not by playing a direct part in the program but, in order to emphasize regional  and international cooperation, CBFF plays the role of a medium connection between donors and implementing agencies, which are the major actors in the project proposed by CBFF who remains focused on improving dialogue and collaboration between its partners, who constantly increase.

Silvia Pennazzi Catalani