CAFI: CAFI and Gabon Sign Letter of Intent
USD 18 Million deal will allow country to meet 50% emission reduction target, better plan and monitor the use of land and protect over 23 million hectares of tropical rainforest.
Paris, 27 June 2017: Today the Government of Gabon and the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) signed a Letter of Intent for 18 million US dollars to protect the country’s forests and accelerate the fight against climate change.
A few weeks after the United States’ dramatic shift in its approach to climate change, Gabon gives a strong signal to the whole world by showing its determination to honour its commitments under the Paris Agreement. With CAFI’s support, Gabon gains the means to reduce by 50% its greenhouse gases emissions by 2025, compared to 2005 (as expected in its forthcoming Nationally Determined Contribution).
- Régis IMMONGAULT, Gabonese Minister of Prospective Economy and Sustainable Development Programming, fully engaged in the sustainable economic development of his country, emphasized his country’s position: « The commitment from CAFI donor countries to support our sustainable development policy is a sign of the recognition of the efforts our Government has made for years, efforts to optimize our development while preserving ecosystems and biodiversity. Today’s agreement reaffirms once more our full adhesion to the Paris Agreement, to which African countries must maintain their engagement despite others’ positions, as reminded, a few days ago during the African Conference of Environment Ministers, His Excellency M. Ali Bongo Ondimbam, Coordinator of the African Committee of Heads of States on Climate. »
The funding from CAFI will be key not only to achieve this climate target, but also to monitor it, and this within the short time-frame the Gabonese authorities have set for themselves. The Letter of Intent is articulated around three ambitious objectives: a national-land use plan, a system to monitor forests and natural resources, as set in the country's National Investment Plan, and gains in the governance of forests.
Gabon is one of the most forested countries on earth, with forests covering 88% of its territory. The country as long committed to protect its natural resources, with notably, a vast network of national parks and protected areas, and a Forest Code that imposes sustainable management.
A national land-use plan is considered the missing piece for the country to achieve its climate target while developing sustainably. This plan will enable Gabon to meet its ambitious objective to develop agriculture - needed for both food security and economic diversification - while ensuring that forests with high carbon and high biodiversity are not converted to crops.
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