Over 120 world leaders and delegates from across the globe are gathered in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP 26 Conference. For close to two weeks, world leaders, climate and environmental international governance actors will debate, take stock and drive ambition towards addressing the global climate challenges. In one of the first deals achieved at COP 26, leaders from over 100 countries agreed to end deforestation by 2030. Part of this agreement includes a pledge of £14bn ($19.2bn) of public and private funds required to support land restoration and provision of support to indigenous peoples. An additional £1.1bn fund will be established to protect the world’s second largest tropical rainforest, in the Congo Basin.
The University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) welcomes this landmark agreement and supporting pledges to protect and save the world’s forest.
Prof Aurelian Mbzibain of the University of Wolverhampton, said:
“This is a crucial milestone towards achieving the global climate goals. We must now work to ensure that these pledges are translated into actions on the ground given that similar pledges in 2014 have not yielded reductions in global deforestation. In fact, global deforestation has continued with close to five million hectares lost between 2010 and 2020.”
Ms Ella Haruna (Associate Professor of International Development Cooperation at CIDT) is the Director of the PASGOF-SNOIE project, which seeks to fight illegal deforestation and wildlife trafficking in the Republic of Congo. Welcoming the substantial commitment, she stated that “The Congo Basin Fund if delivered will help protect the world’s second largest tropical forest with global biodiversity and environmental benefits for humanity. With China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia and Brazil signing up to the agreement, this sends a strong message.”
CIDT’s work in the Congo Basin over the last three decades has focused on strengthening the capacities of indigenous peoples, their associations and civil society organisations to monitor illegal forest logging and more recently wildlife trafficking. Our work demonstrates that indigenous peoples are the best guardians of forests and so everything must be done to ensure that funds reach these communities. Independent forest monitoring organisations will have a key role to play in monitoring that these commitments are realised while continuing to investigate, report and expose illegal deforestation, wildlife trafficking, non respect of forest legislation and deforestation commitments.
CIDT will host a panel at the COP 26, COMIFAC Pavillion on the 11th of November 2021 to debate the role of independent forest and wildlife monitoring and civil society in saving Congo Basin forests. Please register here to join the debate.