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Press Release: TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative 5th Regional Meeting

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Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative 5th Regional Meeting – From Principles to Practice: Implementing Deforestation Commitments in Africa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Brazzaville, 8 October 2018

Summary

  • The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI) aims to help transition the palm oil sector in West and Central Africa to become a sustainable driver of long-term, low-carbon development in a way that is socially beneficial and protects the tropical forests of the region.
  • African governments made history when they signed the Marrakesh Declaration for Sustainable Palm Oil in Africa at COP 22 in 2016, agreeing to protect over 70% of Africa’s Tropical Forests. The meeting will focus on the practical approaches to implementing the ambitious commitments made at the signing of the Marrakesh Declaration two years ago.
  • Since then, all ten country teams engaged in the Africa Palm Oil Initiative have developed national principles and are now making progress towards developing and implementing their action plans.
  • Country teams and regional partners of Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 will meet, from 8 – 11 October 2018, at The Ledger Hotel, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, to plan the next phase of the Africa Palm Oil Initiative.
  • The meeting will focus on sharing experiences and lessons learnt between the ten APOI countries and beyond; advancing high-impact partnerships; increasing understanding of jurisdictional approaches and their potential for impact in the region.

From Principles to Practice: Implementing Deforestation Commitments in Africa

Commitments to deforestation-free palm oil production in Africa will move a step closer to realization next week, as 10 African countries gather in Brazzaville to plan for the next phase of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI).

Organized by Proforest on behalf of the TFA 2020 in close conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Republic of Congo, as well as our implementing partner the World Resources Institute, this fifth regional meeting of the APOI will take place on 8 – 11 October 2018 at The Ledger Hotel, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

The meeting consists of a series of interwoven events – all related to responsible palm oil production as well as other forest-risk commodities associated with regional production landscapes, such as rubber and cocoa.

“Africa’s rich tropical forests represent around 20% of the global total and provide a livelihood to millions of people. But they are under increasing pressure from agricultural production. In order to achieve deforestation-free commodity supply chains, whilst balancing economic development in the region, it is vital that we act collectively: bringing in voices from government, the private sector, civil society and indigenous and community groups. The work of the TFA 2020, such as the Africa Palm Oil Initiative, is an important step towards this, ” said Abraham Baffoe, Africa Regional Director of Proforest.

Drawing on learning from previous meetings that have taken place across the continent, the Fifth Regional Meeting of the APOI will take place on the 9 October, bringing the focus to the practical approaches to implementing the ambitious commitments made at the signing of the  TFA 2020 Marrakesh Declaration two years ago. Delegates will discuss the challenges and successes of the APOI, and how the initiative plans to move from principles to practice in the implementation of the national action plans. Sessions will include panels, presentations and group working sessions led by experts from around the world.

On 10 October, a full-day working meeting on Understanding Jurisdictional Approaches will introduce the concept of jurisdictional approaches. Jurisdictional initiatives aim to bring together stakeholders in a particular region, at the scale of a jurisdiction or landscape, to agree on goals, align their activities and share monitoring and verification. This working meeting will present delegates with case studies of such approaches that are in progress and identifying potential programmes and applications of the jurisdictional concept in West and Central Africa across relevant commodities. The week will finish on 11 October with the Partnership Dialogue – a valuable opportunity for connecting donors, capacity builders and technical organisations to the APOI country teams to support the implementation of national action plans.

The Africa Palm Oil Initiative is the first signature initiative of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020. The APOI’s vision is a prosperous palm oil industry that brings jobs and wealth to local communities in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable and protects the rich tropical forests of the region. The initiative is currently engaged with 10 countries from across Western and Central Africa, of whom seven publicly committed to placing sustainability and human rights at the heart of Africa’s oil palm sector when they signed the TFA 2020 Marrakesh Declaration at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2016.

The pledge made by governments at the Climate Conference in Marrakesh, to develop their palm oil sector in a way that would protect their rich tropical forests, was a great sign of hope and commitment, but one that needs to be continually renewed through action. The Fifth Regional Meeting of the TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative is a great opportunity to take stock of the progress of the national action plans, and of the real benefits, they bring to local and indigenous communities and the forest itself. The meeting is also an opportunity for building better partnerships among donors, technical experts, governments and APOI country teams; and to pool resources and work towards sustainable development of palm oil as well as rubber and cocoa in the region,” said Marco Albani, Director Tropical Forest Alliance 2020

The Fifth Regional Meeting of the Africa Palm Oil Initiative celebrates the accomplishment of all ten countries engaged in the Africa Palm Oil Initiative, who have now developed national principles which will guide the sustainable development of oil palm in their respective countries.  This feat represents a significant leap in the APOI’s progress towards the implementation of deforestation commitments in Africa.

The Republic of Congo offers the ideal backdrop from which to discuss the future of Africa’s rich tropical forests – which represent around 20% of the Earth’s total and provide a livelihood to millions of people. The Congo Basin is the world’s second largest contiguous tropical forest zone, after the Amazon. Africa’s tropical forests boast a rich biodiversity of over 23,000 plant and animal species, including three of the world’s four great apes: bonobos, gorillas and chimpanzees.  But Africa’s forests are under increasing pressure from agricultural production: rubber and especially palm oil and cocoa.

The APOI brings together voices from government, the private sector and indigenous and community groups in a unique collaborative effort to address the challenge of achieving deforestation-free commodity supply chains whilst balancing economic development across the region.

Event summary

  • Field trip and welcome dinner hosted by the APOI | Monday 8 October 2018
  • Fifth Regional Meeting of the TFA 2020 Africa Palm Oil Initiative | Tuesday 9 October 2018
  • Understanding Jurisdictional Approaches – A Working Meeting | Wednesday 10 October 2018
  • Partnership Dialogue | Thursday 11 October 2018

Senior politicians from West and Central Africa will be in attendance including:

  • Honorable Henri Djombo, Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Congo
  • Honorable Biendi MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU, Minister of Agriculture and de l’Agriculture et de l’Elevage, Gabon

 

About Proforest

Proforest is a non-profit group that helps companies, governments and others to implement their commitments to the responsible production and sourcing of agricultural commodities and forest products. The group works through a combination of programmes and consultancy services in order to provide cutting edge support to its partners and clients. www.proforest.net

 

About TFA 2020

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 is a global platform for public-private cooperation, working to help organizations achieve their deforestation-free commitments. The mission of TFA 2020 is to help producers, traders and buyers of forest- risk commodities achieve their commitments to deforestation-free supply chains. It also helps governments of tropical forest countries to realize better growth through sustainable rural development in partnership with civil society and indigenous peoples. TFA 2020 works by convening stakeholders at the global and regional level to form partnerships, which are designed to transform land use practices and supply chains. www.tfa2020.org

Read the Commodities and Forests Agenda 2020: Ten priorities to remove tropical deforestation from commodity supply chains

 

Media

Briefing Note 7: From Principles to Practice: Implementing Deforestation Commitments in Africa

Note de synthèse 7: Des principes à la pratique : Réalisation des engagements de lutte contre la déforestation en Afrique

 

Photograph and video

CONTACT

Regis Ismael YEMBE-YEMBE, World Resources Institute (WRI)  Regis.ismael@wri.org  (+242) 068511311

Angel Cibemba, World Resources Institute (WRI)  Angel.Cibemba@wri.org

Nadia Goodman, Proforest, nadia@proforest.net

Sharon Anderes, TFA 2020, World Economic Forum Sharon.Anderes@weforum.org



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