French facilitation - Brazzaville Summit (4-5 February 2005) - The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)

Excerpt from France diplomatie website: "...The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) is an informal structure which comprises twenty-nine governmental and non-governmental organizations. It was created in September 2002 on the occasion of the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. It is qualified as a type II partnership, i.e. a non-binding "association" of governments, private companies and organizations civil society. It is not an institution and does not have a Secretariat. The CBFP is a mirror body intended to implement the timetable approved in Johannesburg and also to respond to the Yaounde Statement (1999) on the conservation and sustainable management of the forests. Its principal task is to coordinate the various partners, without taking part directly in the implementation or in the financing of programmes, and also to promote guidelines and actions validated by the beneficiary countries and COMIFAC. The first CFPB meeting was held in Paris in January 2003. It enabled the partners to make a review of their respective activities and to examine the future stages of the Partnership. On this occasion, it was decided to entrust the facilitation of CBFP to the United States for a two-year period. The second CBFP meeting was held in Brazzaville in June 2004. It devoted its attention to the examination of the Convergence Plan of COMIFAC and considered the financing mechanisms. To facilitate the exchange of information between partners, a website was set up on the initiative of the American facilitator ( www.pfbc.org ).

Prospects for the French facilitation (FF): France proposes, on the basis of the outcomes of the American facilitation, to provide a new impetus to the partnership, of which France will become the take facilitator on the occasion of the Brazzaville Heads of States’ Summit in February 2005. While remaining within the framework of the CBPF as it was conceived originally, France wishes to strengthen the regional dynamic by an increased presence on the ground and ensuring regular monitoring of the CBFP activities. The French facilitation would like to focus its interventions on three main principles which appear to be of high priority for the next two years: The strengthening of regional co-operation at all levels; The promotion of African staff training and capacity building as regards conservation and sustainable forest management; Strengthening governance by the harmonization and respect of forestry laws and regulations and by the conclusion of voluntary partnership agreements within the framework of the European initiative FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) and/or through the AFLEG initiative (African Forest Law, Enforcement and Governance)..."

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