The November 2022 Climate Change Conference (COP27), held in Egypt was the last milestone before the first Global Stocktake (GST) scheduled for 2023. The GST aims to assess the progress made in implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which detail countries’ efforts to reduce their national emissions and adapt to climate change. It will also encourage countries to strengthen their NDCs and set out on a path of ambition consistent with the temperature limitation targets set by the Paris Agreement.
This note, supported by civil society organisations from the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, shows that these countries’ NDCs are not ambitious enough to halt forest degradation and loss and achieve the global warming limitation targets set by the Paris Agreement. However, the same is true for other countries: a recent report from UN Climate Change pointed out that current efforts are still insufficient to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
This begs the question of what complementary instruments and tools could preserve the world's largest carbon sink. These may include the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), or the Forest Partnerships under development. A systematic integration and coherence regarding these different tools could ensure that NDCs become key levers to deliver commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Thus, civil society organisations in the countries covered recommend that countries:
- Integrate rights-based approaches and forest governance in the NDCs in order to strengthen their level of ambition;
- Strengthen civil society participation to ensure greater transparency, integrity, accountability, and social inclusion, and to prioritise key sectors and issues related to forest ecosystem protection, and loss and damage in the implementation of the NDC roadmaps;
- Include more consideration of human rights, gender, youth and community rights, and Indigenous Peoples’ needs in the implementation of NDCs;
- Improve multi-sectoral coordination under the leadership of a senior government body;
- Implement an effective monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system to assess the achievements of the NDCs and prepare for future global reviews;
- Ensure that climate finance is transparent and truly benefits local communities and Indigenous Peoples.