BUJUMBURA January 25th (ABP) – The National Coordination of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) at the Burundi organized in Bujumbura on January 23, 2019, a popularization workshop of the Convergence Plan (PC), second generation, for members of the National Coordinating Committee and stakeholders, as part of the campaign to collect monitoring and evaluation data for its national indicators.

The COMIFAC National Coordinator and Director of Forests, Mr. Epimenie Nibizi, recalled in his opening speech at this two-day workshop that the Congo Basin is home to the second largest tropical forest complex in the world, after the Amazon Basin. These forests of Central Africa are home to a rich and original flora and fauna, he said, adding that they play several roles, the most fundamental of which is the regulation of the continental climate system.

Although trends show that forests in Central Africa are more or less well preserved compared to the other two tropical forest basins, estimates show that there are still threats to these forests, and Burundi is witnessing them.

Aware of this state of affairs and the socio-economic importance of forests, Burundi has joined other Central African States in endorsing the Yaoundé Declaration and ratifying the Treaty establishing COMIFAC. According to the Director of Forests, this put into effect its clear desire to work in concert with the conservation and sustainable management of forest ecosystems to face these growing threats to them.

For the implementation of this desire displayed by all the forest countries of Central Africa, a framework for coordinating interventions in that forest and environmental sector was needed, hence the development of a convergence plan.

The first COMIFAC Convergence Plan was drawn up and adopted with the creation of COMIFAC in 2000 at the meeting of Cabinet in charge of Central African Forests held in Yaoundé. The new Convergence Plan, as the result of a revision to integrate emerging priority themes in sustainable forest management as well as national development priorities, was the focus of that workshop and requires national ownership to priorities for conservation and development of the forest sector, he said. It is also urgent, according to Nibizi, to make it known to all national and international stakeholders because they must refer to it to develop support initiatives for the forest-environment sector.

This workshop coincides with the monitoring data collection campaign for indicators of the implementation of the Convergence Plan, said the Director of Forests, asking participants to make contributions in order to build an effective and elaborate system of monitoring and evaluation of its implementation by identifying the main national actors.

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