Congo Basin Forest Fund : The British Government makes an initial donation of 100 Million U.S Dollars

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In March 2007 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the British Government’s intention to contribute an initial £ 50 million (US$ 100 million) to a Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBF), as a part of a global Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF), to which a further £750 million (US$ 1.5 billion) is to be committed. The CBF allocation was made in response to representations from leading African figures involved in the conservation of the Congo Basin rainforest.

The intention behind the allocation to the CBF programme is to slow the rate of deforestation by developing the capacity of people and institutions in the Congo Basin countries to manage their forests, and help local communities find livelihoods that are consistent with the conservation of forests. The CBF is established to last until 2018 unless decided otherwise by the Board of Governors.

In February 2008 in Tunis, AfDB, in partnership with the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and DFID, organized an International Conference on "Funding Mechanisms for Sustainable Management of the Congo Basin Forest". The need was recognized to collectively support efforts made in the conservation and the management of Central Africa forest by Governments, technical and financial partners and the civil society.

Financial partners agreed to reinforce their coordination and dialogue efforts through the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) and to support COMIFAC and its sub-regional partner institutions in implementing their activities under the Action Plan so-called "Plan de convergence".

AfDB responded positively to the request of both the UK Government and the Central Africa Countries to create and host within the Bank a "Special Fund for the Congo Basin Forest" (CBF).

The CBF is intended to support innovative and transformational activities/projects which tally with particular aspects of the COMIFAC Convergence Plan in accordance with the stipulated criteria of the Fund, and endorsed by the Governing Council and AfDB. The CBF will work closely with Central African governments, regional institutions, COMIFAC, Congo Basin technical partners, international donors, NGOs and the private sector.

The British Government initial contribution is expected to be followed by that of other donors in bilateral and/or multilateral frameworks, including special organisations.

The African Development Bank will host the CBF as a Special Fund within the Department of Agriculture & Agro-industry on terms similar to the African Water Facility (AWF), the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), and the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility. The CBF will have a Governing Council, a Coordinator, and staff deemed necessary to carry out the activities of the Fund. Some of the CBF’s staff will be posted in the Bank’s regional offices in Cameroon and DRC.

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