The recent Dakar meeting of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FCSA) 2021 marked an important milestone in collaborative efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade and develop nature-based solutions to support an African green economy and fight against climate change.
The China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) is the most important platform for China-Africa trade and investment dialogue. Created in 2000, it includes African countries which have diplomatic relations with Beijing. It meets every three years and agrees action plans and related work programs for the next three years.
This year's Ministerial Conference identified nine program of work areas that fall under the commitment to tackle illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade while supporting improved investment and trade-driven trade. principles of social and environmental sustainability.
As the engagement between China and Africa matured through FOCAC, the collaboration gradually recognized the need for effective management of biodiversity in which mutually complementary measures were taken. taken to address the challenge of illegal wildlife trade.
Taye Teferi, Coordinator of TRAFFIC policies and partnerships for Africa said that "The Chinese government decision to close the local ivory market is one of the measures that benefited the conservation of elephants in African countries. We hope that similar action will be taken to address the enormous challenge the pangolin is currently facing. "
One of the four main documents, the Dakar Action Plan of the FOCAC (2022-2024), describes how the two regions would promote trade and sustainable development guided by the principles of social and environmental sustainability.
The two sides agreed to raise public awareness and jointly tackle the illegal wildlife trade. In addition, the two sides pledged to build the capacity of professionals in the conservation of wildlife, improve exchanges and cooperation between customs authorities as well as establish an anti-smuggling cooperation mechanism to crack down on abuses. crimes of smuggling endangered wildlife and their products.
"With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the African Union Commission (AUC) and TRAFFIC, the organization has already committed to provide the AUC and its Member States, latest evidence-based technical guidance for implementing sustainable natural resource management strategies. These must ultimately support national economies and the development of local communities in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We appreciate the commitments made by China to support green projects in Africa and hope that this will provide greater opportunities for community engagement , ”Teferi said.
Emphasis was also placed on improving the maritime industry, including strengthening maritime law enforcement, protecting the environment and improving management of marine fisheries. two parties also agreed to establish an information exchange mechanism to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
“Tackling illegality and corruption in the maritime industry has the potential to improve food security in many African coastal countries ,” Teferi said.
Across China and Africa, climate change is recognized as one of the most serious current challenges and a threat to nature and to social and economic development. In Dakar, China and Africa issued the Declaration on China-Africa Cooperation in Combating Climate Change. They called on developed countries to respect the commitments they have made in the multilateral framework to provide financing, relevant technology and affirmed support to African countries in order to strengthen their capacity and resilience to respond to the adverse effects of climate change. .
"TRAFFIC and our collaborating partners will continue to work in support of the effective implementation of the FCSA Dakar Action Plan with a clear focus on social and environmental sustainability in order to promote inclusive and sustainable green recovery," in line with the African Union Commission Green Recovery Action Plan , ”Teferi concluded.