On 16 November, during an event at COP22 in Marrakesh, the Netherlands signed the CAFI Declaration and thus became the 6th CAFI member. “CAFI has the potential to trigger action against deforestation by linking this problem to the investment in Central Africa for sustainable development. As developed nations, we need to work together with the private sector to combat negative impacts from the supply chain of agricultural products which we buy in the supermarkets in the Netherlands and elsewhere”, declared Pieter Terpstra, Climate Policy Coordinator at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With their signature, the Netherlands have joined the five other organizations that have “committed to better coordination and harmonization with other donors in the Central African region, and to mobilizing resources for the implementation of national investment frameworks developed by Central African countries.”
During that same event, France formalized its funding agreement of EUR 3 million to the CAFI Fund. "We are facing two challenges", declared Anne-Marie Descotes of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. "The challenge of mobilizing all stakeholders - the state, territorial entities, the private sector, NGOS and forest communities - and the challenge of mobilizing finance for REDD+". "The Central African Forest Initiative", she added, "is growing step by step, and will always be supported and encouraged by France. Our financial contribution today is living proof of our commitment."
CAFI supported partner countries to sign the Marrakesh Declaration on Sustainable Palm Oil in Africa.
On the basis of the findings of the mapping of sustainability-focused investment funds interested in the Central African region, the CAFI Secretariat, accompanied by Norway, met with selected investors in Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland. These discussions provided input into the private sector engagement strategy that is expected to be developed in 2017.
Outreach and dialogue with civil society continued with the organization of a meeting in Geneva, in January 2016, with International NGOs on the topic of the Letter of Intent with DRC and the Investment Plan, at their request. This allowed clarification of number of issues, and a clear understanding of their position on certain issues. The CAFI Secretariat continued regular dialogues with the Rainforest Foundation Norway, FERN and Transparency International on an ad-hoc basis to clarify matters or be alerted on concerns. One specific example was the alert from a coalition of international NGOs about concessions granted in DRC in direct breach of the country’s moratorium. This alert triggered numerous discussions between the CAFI Secretariat, members of the Executive Board and the DRC government, that facilitated the prompt cancellation of these illegal concessions (see DRC section here).