Opportunities and barriers for synergy between adaptation and mitigation in the congo basin
Opportunities and barriers for synergy between
adaptation and mitigation in the Congo basin
A.M.Tiani, F. Kengoum, A.S.P. Teran, E. Chia, B. Tchatchou, R. Sufo et D.J. Sonwa
Thursday, November 14, 2013, 11:00 – 13:00 at Cracow, second Floor, Warsaw stadium
1. The COBAM project:
A CIFOR research project in the Congo Basin on forests and
the synergies between adaptation and mitigation, funded by
AfDBand Economic Community of Central African states
(ECCAS) under PACEBCO.
Research includes CC policy analysisand participatory action
research in 5 pilot projects. We have analyzed CC policy in 5
countries, discussed vulnerability and adaptation with local
people in 5 Conservationlansdcapesthroughout the Congo
, with of the5 pilot projectsare anattempt to integrate
carbon issues in adaptationprojects. They are all led by
women and are targeting mainly women. The two others
arecommunity forestry projectsaiming at implementing
microzoningand integratingsustainable agriculture and
agroforestry in traditional forest activities.
2. The context of the Congo Basin:
1. Rich forests, high biodiversity, huge carbonsink(up to 40
gt),abundance of natural resources, ideal settings for the
implementation of SFM, CBD, UNFCCC, but growing internal
and external pressureson natural resources (logging, mining,
poaching, demographic growth, development needs such as
dams, railways, agro plantations, mining, urbanization, with
State fighting to meet MDG.
2. People’s vulnerability to CC, due to high dependence of their
livelihood to climate variations and other threats; Low
development and poor governance. However, few
adaptation projects are also being developed in the region.
3. Governments are putting priority on mitigationrather than
adaptation, focusing ondry and costal zones, meanwhile
REDD+ policy targets forest areas.
Why? Probably because of the interest of the international
community for REDD in the region. Also because humid
forests are perceived as more relevant to mitigation (because
of high carbon stocks) than to adaptation (because climate
variations are not as striking as in the dry tropics).
4. However, mitigation initiatives (Reduction of Emissions from
Deforestation and forest Degradation) are taking place at the
national level supported by World Bank, AfBD and UNREDD,
but few pilot projects in the field
3. Our questions in the COBAM project and for
Are there opportunities to link adaptation and
mitigation in the Congo Basin region?
What are the barriers?
4. opportunities to link adaptation and mitigation in
the Congo Basin region
The analysis of national and regional policy showed that there are
4 areas where adaptation and mitigation could be pursued
First. COMIFAC (the regional forest institution) and several
national institutions are extending their mandates and
political agendas to include both adaptation and mitigation.
Second. Several policies and initiatives related to sustainable
forest management contribute to mitigation through reduced
deforestation and degradation. They also put emphasis on
the livelihoods of forest populations and have the potential
to integrate adaptation actions.
Third. As there is a regional focus on REDD+ rather than on
adaptation, REDD+ can be tailored to integrate adaptation
issues. One promising avenue is the REDD+ safeguards,
particularly the social aspectsthat consider livelihoods and
could contribute to reducing the vulnerability of forest
populations. Moreover, the vicious circle between
vulnerability in one hand, and deforestation/forest
degradation in the otherin the Congo Basin makes it difficult
to design an efficient and sustainable REDD+ policy and
projects without thinking of reducing people vulnerability.
Fourth. Discussions around benefits sharing mechanism in
REDD+ are also an opportunity to bring adaptation into
5. Barriersto link adaptation and mitigation in the
Congo Basin region
The implementation of adaptation and mitigation face similar
First.Unclear land and forest tenure is a major
constraint to REDD and may also lead to the exclusion
of local people from land. This land insecurity is also a
major source of vulnerability.
More generally insecurity and political instability in
some places in the region are major barriers to any
Second.Competition between actors and conflicts of
leadership, at local or national scales, impede the
development of REDD or adaptation initiatives.
Third.Thelack of capacity and knowledgeis also a
major barrier to both REDD+ and adaptation. During
our interactions with national actors involved in
climate change issues, we have observed serious
Our work in the region has shown that an effective and
sustainable reduction of deforestation/degradation cannot
take place without reducing the vulnerability of local people.
Adaptation will be also needed to ensure the permanence of
carbon stocks in the Congo Basin, which call for an increased
space to adaptation in REDD+, as well as building synergies
and negotiating trade-offs between adaptation and REDD+.
However progress in adaptation planning is limited in the
region and REDD+ can represent an opportunity for doing so.
More generally, sustainable development has to take into
account climate change as a crosscutting issue and as an
integrated part of the fight against poverty at all levels.
More action research is needed toprogress on the integration
between adaptation and mitigation and
More research to better understand the link between climate
change and development policies and practices,using
landscapes as an operational level of work.
Thanks you !