From 6-8 October 2021, Mozambique hosted in Maputo, in hybrid format (part physical presence and part virtual) the 11th General Assembly of the Consortium of African Funds for the Environment (CAFÉ). Participating in the event were 32 countries from four continents – 16 countries from Africa, six from America, nine from Europe and one from Asia. The meeting was financed by German cooperation, through KfW, and by FFEM.
32 countries participate in the 11th General Assembly of the Consortium of African Funds for the Environment
The opening ceremony was chaired by the Mozambican Minister of Land and Environment, Ivete Maibaze, who stressed the preponderant role that CAFÉ has played in commitment for conservation in Africa, since it was set up in 2011.
In his opening speech, the President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND), which organised the conference, stressed that the environmental funds supplement the funds from the Government, ensuring the sustainability of specific activities in the Conservation Areas. They also attract new sources of finance for conservation in the country.
The three days of the conference were marked by a series of presentations given by 59 speakers, notably the members of CAFÉ and national and international conservation partners who shared motivating experiences about their performance in the conservation sector, the operation of environmental funds, and about access to financing opportunities, among other themes.
During the first day of the conference, ten members of CAFÉ presented their progress, challenges and opportunities since the last General Assembly of CAFÉ, held in 2019, in Benin. In this first session, there were inspiring presentations about conservation work in the Gorongosa National Park, and in the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park among others.
On the second day, the funds stressed the need to improve coordination at national and regional level and the diversification of mechanisms of financing to ensure effective support for the conservation of biodiversity, in thematic discussions held in parallel sessions that ran to the end of the day.
On the third day of the event, Jorge Ferrão, the Vice-Chancellor of the Pedagogic University stressed the role of the development of the academic world through the training of new leaders and researchers, capable of working for the conservation of biodiversity in Mozambique and throughout the world
Final considerations at the meeting were given by Carlos Manuel Rodriguez the CEO of the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) who shared a realistic perspective on the role of Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) in supporting the conservation of biodiversity and the global agenda for the environment, stressing the relevance of governments having consistent and coherent policies as well as the need to mobilise resources more efficiently. “In 25 years of work in conservation, I have never seen a strong tool such as the CTFs, as true complementary partners for an effective conservation of biodiversity” – Carlos Manuel Rodriguez.
Participants at this meeting also discussed specific matters about the functioning of CAFÉ. The 11th formal session of the General Assembly of CAFÉ was held in virtual format on the last day of the event, with the participation of the executive directors of all the environmental funds present.
For the first time, the CAFÉ Assembly could also count on an absorbing Virtual Photographic Exhibition, produced by BIOFUND with images provided by collaborators, partners and friends of conservation. This exhibition is still available to be visited through the link https://tinyurl.com/BIOFUNDvirtualexhibition
This conference had a large national and international reach. 601 people attended on the first day, 236 on the second day, and 231 on the third day, giving a total participation of 1,068. For further information on the 11th assembly of CAFÉ 2021, see: https://www.biofund.org.mz/projects/11a-assembleia-geral-do-cafe/