Regional Wokshop about Scenarios of Biodiversity Change in Africa in Libreville, Gabon, March 25-27, 2013
The French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB) in partnership with the FFEM and with the Central African Protected Areas Network (Réseau des Aires Protégées d’Afrique Centrale - RAPAC) initiated the organization of a regional workshop to support the emergence of research projects on scenarios of biodiversity change in sub-Saharan Africa, with the support of the French scientific community.
Its aim: Anticipation of the future of biodiversity and ecosystemic services and global change
This workshop is under the patronage of the Ministry of Economy, Employment and Sustainable Development of Gabon, and mobilizes the French Embassy in Libreville and many French, African, and international partners.
Over 150 participants are expected from 19 African countries and several French research institutions. Researchers from northern and southern countries, non-governmental organizations, Parks' managers, businesses and administrations will participate in a plenary session followed by thematic working groups. The workshop will be opened and closed by several Gabonese ministers.
This workshop aims at generating and strengthening partnerships between African and French researchers, as well as between researchers and African stakeholders involved in the management or use of biodiversity. It has two main goals:
- Stimulate scientific research on possible future trajectories ("scenarios") of African biodiversity and associated ecosystemic services, and
- Foster the growth of innovative science-policy-management networks to develop and use biodiversity scenarios at the interface between men and nature systems.
It will address a broad array of interests such as protected areas, agriculture, forestry, fishery, industry and mines, medecine and cosmetics, and ecotourism.
The research projects that will emerge from this workshop should eventually result in scenarios and practical tools that are adapted to fit the needs of African stakeholders, toward a sustainable management of biodiversity.
This workshop takes place within the dynamics of IPBES* toward the development of capacities and the anticipation of outcomes to support public policies.
Projects resulting from this workshop will have the opportunity to respond to the call for research proposals organized by FRB and FFEM on the theme: "Scenarios of Biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa." Within the FRB/FFEM partnership, this call for research proposals has a 600,000 euros allocated budget which could be increased by new partnerships.
* IPBES : Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
The FRB and the FFEM have joined efforts to launch a call for research projects on scenarios of biodiversity change in Sub-Saharan Africa.The aim of this call is to identify projects that have the potential to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, by increasing the understanding of future plausible changes of biodiversity and ecosystem services and by strongly linking research to policy and management.
Two specific goals:
- generate excellent scientific research at the interface of the human and natural systems targeting the future plausible trajectories of biodiversity
build, reinforce and extend North-South and South-South partnerships to create networks of innovation in science, policy and practice in the development and use of biodiversity scenarios
- Launch of the call for proposals : 5th March 2013
- Information concerning the application procedure will be posted on the FRB our website shortly after publication of the call.
Deadline for pre-registration of proposals (compulsory): 30th of May 2013, 5 p.m (Central European Time).
Prior to the submission of a project proposal, applicants are requested to pre-register their proposal, by giving the title, keywords, and abstract of their project, as well as the composition of the consortium. These will not be evaluated, they are only meant to help the FRB staff anticipate the evaluation process. This information may evolve between pre-registration and submission of the proposal, with some restrictions with regard to the consortium, which must be nearly finalized by the time of pre-registration.
- Deadline for submission of proposals : 20th June 2013, 5 p.m.
- Information on the list of proposals selected by the programme committee : October/November 2013
- Announcement of funding decisions: End 2013 – early 2014
- The call is open to proposals for scientific research projects within the following scope and themes:
Projects must target Sub-Saharan African countries.
Angola, Bénin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Cap Vert, République centrafricaine, Tchad, Congo, République démocratique du Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Guinée équatoriale, Érythrée, Éthiopie, Gabon, Gambie, Ghana, Guinée, Guinée-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibie, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tomé-et-Principe, Sénégal, Sierra Leone, Somalie, Afrique du Sud, Soudan, Swaziland, Tanzanie, Togo, Uganda, Zambie, Zimbabwe
- Project partners from other countries may participate with their own funding.
This call covers projects that assess plausible future changes in biodiversity. In particular, projects should analyze and compare a range of plausible futures and evaluate the dynamics of the ecological and human systems being studied over temporal horizons of one to many decades. Proposals are strongly encouraged to explicitly address issues of uncertainty that arise from differences between socio-economic scenarios, uncertainties in projections of pressures on biodiversity, underlying uncertainties in models of the impacts of global change pressures on biodiversity, etc.
This call covers all levels of biodiversity ranging from genes to ecosystems and including genetic resources, all spatial scales from local to global, and all environments including terrestrial, inland water, coastal and marine ecosystems.
Proposals should focus on the development and utilization of scenarios to analyze the relationships between drivers of change, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to guide policy and practice.
As such, projects addressing the impact of economic activities on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and/or the effect of biodiversity-related governance mechanisms on socio-economic activities are encouraged. However, proposals may include sub-projects that focus on more fundamental issues that must be resolved in order to improve scenarios.
Applicants are particularly encouraged to use a range of socio-economic scenarios to explore policy- or management-relevant options for mitigation or adaptation, and to account for important socio-economic activities such as fisheries, agriculture, forestry, transport, energy, tourism, handicraft, etc.
As such, the mobilization of skills from both natural and social sciences is essential, and a strong link to stakeholders, including fieldwork professionals/organizations, (eg. conservation or development NGOs, regional organizations, etc.) is expected.
Eligibily of projects and partners
The call is open to proposals that target the above aims, scope and themes and meet the following eligibility criteria.
- The duration of the proposed research should be 2 to 3 years, with an additional period dedicated to the transfer of knowledge and tools to end users.
- The total financial support requested for an individual project proposal should not exceed 150 000 to 200 000€. Projects on a smaller scale are also welcome. Applicants will have to guarantee a co-financing contribution of 50% of the project total cost (see guidelines for submission).
- Projects must include at least one partner belonging to a French research organization (including their representations or research centres abroad).
- Projects must include in their consortium at least one local or regional stakeholder concerned by the issue of biodiversity conservation, management or use.
Participation of scientists belonging to African research institutions is strongly encouraged and will be positively considered in the evaluation.
Scientific responsibility for the project may be borne by a participant from the North or from the South, or can be shared. A single partner must support financial responsibility. Project coordination and management should be well explained and will be evaluated.
Procedures and evaluation criteria:
- Evaluation procedure
Each proposal will be sent to several (three) external referees, including high-level scientists in the field of biodiversity scenarios and experts familiar with the context of biodiversity policy, conservation and sustainable use in Sub-Saharan Africa. The “modelling and scenarios” programme committee will then meet to evaluate the proposals on the basis of the external reviews. The committee will select a list of excellent proposals on the basis of the criteria listed below.
The selected proposals will subsequently be presented to potential financial partners, including private companies. Once the discussions and decision-making process with those partners are completed, a final decision will be reached on the list of projects to be funded.
- Each proposal will be evaluated against the following sets of criteria:
• match with the scope and theme of the call, especially with regard to the focus on scenarios of biodiversity (development and use of qualitative or quantitative methods and models to explore a range of plausible future changes in biodiversity) ;
• degree of innovation and scientific quality of the project and consortium and potential to generate new knowledge and insights to address challenges in environmental management and policy;
• capacity to stimulate interdisciplinary research within the biodiversity scenarios community (note that interdisciplinary research covers two or more research disciplines including ecology, agronomy, climate science, informatics, mathematics, economics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ethnology, law, etc.).
• potential of the project to build capacity to use scenarios and models for biodiversity management in Sub-Saharan African countries and to strengthen North-South scientific partnerships
• relevance for stakeholders (including field managers, business and/or Civil Society Organizations, regional organizations…) and/or policy makers : all projects must involve stakeholders directly in project conception and activities (i.e. stakeholders can not be involved simply as targets for knowledge transfer)
• quality of the plan to facilitate the transfer of new knowledge and tools to end users, for real use in policy and practice;
• credibility of the partnership and project management plan (ideally projects will involve partners in France, institutions in African countries and between African countries). The stakeholders in a project must be more then ‘sleeping partners’, in terms of the work and the budget.
- Contact: email@example.com
One million euros in funding for the FFEM was formalised by contract with l’Office National des Forêts (ONF) [the French Forestry Commission], at the l’Agence Française de Développement (AFD) [the French Development Agency] in Cayenne. It aims to support the development of technical skills in the forestry services in the countries of the Guiana Plateau, with the purpose of providing tools to support local policy making on the REDD-plus mechanisms.
Regional cooperation for the sharing of resources and expertise of forestry administrations
The ONF and the FFEM, represented by the Agence Française de développement (AFD), France’s development agency in Cayenne, have just signed a financial agreement of 1 million euros for the implementation of a forestry programme in countries of the Guyana Schield with the aim of reducing their carbon emissions. The countries concerned in the framework of this project are Guyana, Suriname and Brazil’s Amapá State, and France through French Guyana. It will be up to French Guiana’s ONF, the programme leader, to strengthen the technical skills of the countries while prioritising regional cooperation of the forestry services. The programme will endeavour to involve participants in the field of research, the ONG, representatives of the indigenous communities and sponsors.
Through a regional technical platform for dialogue and exchange of experiences, this programme will offer a framework conductive to a combined approach for the development of lands and of the carbon issue in conformity with the REDD-plus mechanism2. The idea is to value the environmental capital represented by the Guyana Schield by taking into account its forestry carbon potential. The ONF will make available its methodological tools and knowledge for the reinforcement of forestry inventories, the monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon stocks in the area and the identification of drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.
The stakes are high: the Guyana Schield countries contain territory comprising tropical humid forests which are a rich resource of carbon, and the biodiversity of which is exceptional. In the eyes of the international community, these counties are responsible for sustaining a heritage of global value.
These tools assist with local political decision-making
Experiencing an economic and demographic boom, these countries are anxious to oversee their development in a sustainable manner. Political decision makers wish to procure data that allow them to combine the development of land with carbon mechanisms, and to benefit from the revenue from sales of emission reduction certificates.
The FFEM’s funding will help to define a framework for cooperation in sharing data and carbon inventory methodologies. The project will have to make it possible to quantify and analyse the factors of deforestation in each country, with a view to transnational distribution. Finally, a model for development scenarios and opportunities to avoid forest-derived carbon emissions will be established. Political decision makers will be equipped with technical, legal and administrative tools, allowing them to benefit from the REDD-plus mechanism.
An investment in the global environment and in local development
FFEM funding comes within the framework of agreements made by France with regard to REDD-plus following the 15th Party Conference on Climate held in Copenhagen in 2009. This programme has just improved the carbon storage capacity and reduced deforestation in an area of major interest as far as biodiversity is concerned. This programme will bring together local populations involved in the implementation and collection of data, even at different stages of the programme.
INNOVATION FACILITY FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN THE FIELD OF CLIMATE CHANGE – Call for expressions of interest
The FFEM is initiating a new funding operation dedicated to private sector companies, active in the fight against climate change in developing countries: the innovation facility for the Private Sector in the field of climate change - or FISP-Climat.
To fight against climate change, and adapt to its consequences, the investment needed for the development and transfer of green technologies to developing countries may be improved, through better cooperation between public funding actors and private companies.
This initiative, aimed at companies in the private sector, is intended to facilitate the transfer of innovative technologies to developing countries, which may thus benefit from innovative technologies in the fight against climate change, without going through the stage of development that contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.
The NGO ADECOL [Association for the Development of Local Communities] has carried out an inventory in the three community forests that benefit from PPI funding: the community forests of Adimbia, Adizan and Oyenga. The processing and analysis of the results have allowed the situation in these forests to be assessed, and for legal and illegal exploitation activities to be identified.
This inventory is essential in the process of obtaining annual exploitation certificates (certificats annuels d’exploitation, or CAEs) that allow forestry resources to be exploited legally. This data collection is vital for monitoring the development of forestry resources and the area’s endangered species.
The inventories have been finalised by a team of ten people. The operation took nearly 45 days in each of the forests. That represents nearly 1000 ha of forest cover, in which all the animal and plant species were located and listed. The result provides a multi-resource inventory of exploitation in the areas, which are potentially vulnerable to exploitation in 2013.
From 18 to 20 December 2012, a trip was organised, to share experiences on beekeeping, at the mutual aid beekeeping company “Ruche des Collines” (“Beehive of the Hills”), based in Yaoui (Benin).
This initiative, launched by the SSI programme of the FFEM, aims to allow an exchange of experiences on the subject of beekeeping, which represents a sustainable and profitable economic activity for these associations.
Six associations, beneficiaries of a PPI grant, got together for a beekeeping exchange trip. In total, 11 participants attended: representatives of the associations AGEREF-Bala, AFAUDEB, Impulsion (Burkina Faso), ADT and AE2D (Togo), and AFEL (Benin).
They were welcomed at the Ruche des Collines in Benin, an organisation made up of sixty beekeepers led by Alphonse Worou, 2011 winner of the mutual aid entrepreneurship prize of the Fondation Ensemble (Together Foundation). The Ruche des Collines has more than a thousand beehives and achieves an annual output of 45 litres per hive. The profits made in 2011 amounted to 2 million CFA francs (approximately 3,050 euros).
During this visit, the Ruche des Collines, accompanied by the collective interest cooperative society, Solidarité Entreprises Nord-Sud (SENS-Bénin) [North-South mutual benefit companies Benin], explored the functional aspects of a beekeeping business, from the raw honey production stage up to the marketing of honey derived products.
This exchange provided the opportunity for the different associations to understand how the hive functions, exchange views on technical aspects, but also to discuss the necessity of raising awareness among the population with regard to protecting the plants needed to feed the bees.