AfriquEnvironement-Plus April-May 2018 Edition: Congo Basin Climate commission and Congo Basin Blue Fund now operational
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Editorial: An important part of the world’s future played out at the Brazzaville summit
Central Africa, with its Congo Basin, which harbors the world’s second largest ecological lung establishes a financial instrument, the Congo Basin Blue Fund which is expected to fund integrative projects.
Following the establishment of COMIFAC in March 1999 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, by the Central African Heads of State, the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Congo Basin Climate Commission and the Congo Basin Blue Fund held in Brazzaville in late April 2018 ratified the institutionalization agreement of the two instruments. This was not only a true victory, but also a major challenge given that many other sub regional institutions still struggle to operate in their intended capacities.
By institutionalizing the Blue Fund, the Heads of State provided an opportunity for financial partners who can and should henceforth rely on these instruments to finance various projects in the Congo Basin. The Brazzaville Summit was a tremendous success in terms of the conclusions and decisions made, and the increased awareness of the States, not only of those that are members of the Congo Basin Climate Commission but also Morocco, which is a major player in the implementation of these instruments, which were launched at the November 2016 COP22 in Marrakech.
There was unanimous agreement and awareness that climate change and environmental issues need to be tackled through the concerted and combined efforts of the Congo Basin member States and the rest of the planet. The Congo Basin Heads of State seized the opportunity to recall the urgent need to sustainably safeguard the sub region’s forest and aquatic ecosystems. With a population of 152 million inhabitants in 2015, according to UN estimates, and close to 10,000 tropical plant species, a third of which are endemic to the region, over 400 mammal species, 1000 bird varieties and 700 types of fish, the Congo Basin is home to 220 million hectares of forests.
The huge forest area thus shelters forest elephants, bonobos as well as lowland and mountain gorillas. Given this situation, the management of this specific area calls for a sense of responsibility on the part of the Congo Basin countries, in line with their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. An important part of the planet’s future, in terms of climate change and the preservation of the Environment, has played out in Brazzaville, in the heart of Africa. In essence, the Congo Basin has once more confirmed its status as a region that serves the interests of the whole world.
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