Posted on February 1, 2021 3:44:00 PM
In a difficult year for Cameroon, marked by the persevering security crisis in the anglophone regions and in the Far North Region, the spread of COVID-19 and a heated public debate about land-use, culminating in the cancellation of a controversial logging concession planned in Ebo forest, the high-level leadership of the CBFP Facilitator opened up new perspectives on how the Cameroon-CAFI partnership can be driven forward.
The joint mission was organized at a critical timing, shortly before Cameroon’s historic first regional elections on December 6 and just in time to participate in the launch of two new and decisive planning strategies, the National Development Strategy 2030, operationalizing Cameroon’s vision of becoming an emerging and industrialized economy by 2035, and the Rural Sector Development Strategy (SDSR), determining the use of the country’s lands and natural resources for at least the next decade.
A diplomatic highlight of the joint mission was an lunch organized by Germany’s ambassador in Yaoundé to convene the CBFP Facilitator, the Ambassadors of France, United Kingdom and Japan, and deputy Representatives of the European Union and the United States. Discussions bore on a new approach to build a long-term political partnership with Cameroon on sustainable land-use and the upcoming international conferences on biodiversity (Kunming, China) and climate change (Glasgow, UK), during which Congo Basin countries are to take a united negotiation position and highlight the region’s importance in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change. The diplomats clearly emphasized the need to still improve the cooperation in the environmental sector and conveyed their willingness to jointly plan their approaches in the green sector.
Face to face, the CBFP facilitator, the representative of the CAFI Secretariat, and high-level decision makers from several key ministries (agriculture, mining, infrastructure, land tenure, economy and planning) discussed how to better streamline climate objectives into development planning and to mitigate the impact of development on forest cover. CAFI was encouraged to support the revision, alignment and harmonization of sectoral planning strategies.
Both government and donor representatives agreed on the importance of a well-coordinated implementation of these strategies. This is indeed in line both with CAFI’s multisectoral approach and with the government’s willingness to establish a unique planning and coordination mechanism that will be in charge of planning, implementing and monitoring government policies in 2021.
Altogether, the joint CBFP-CAFI mission was perceived by most stakeholders as a way to give new political momentum to the partnership between Cameroon and CAFI. Furthermore, the mission convinced many donors and government partners of the added value that CAFI can bring in a time of increasingly controversial land-use decisions, not the least through its unique focus on investments in local land-use planning and as a platform for dialogue on policy reforms.
Cameroon news article