France, others pledge $65m to preserve Congo rainforest

APA - Brazzaville (Congo) By Leon Charles Moukouri

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed a letter of intent pledging, on behalf of his country and several partners of the international community, to bankroll the conservation of the rainforest in the Republic of the Congo to the tune of $65 million.

The signing of this agreement happened on Tuesday as Congolese president, Denis Sassou N’Guesso embarks on a state visit to Paris.

The disbursement of CFA38.9 billion is distributed as follows: France, which this year assumes the chairmanship of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), Norway and the European Union will contribute US$45 million (CFA26.9 billion), where the French Development Agency (AFD), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) will give $20 million.

In Congo, forests cover nearly 23.9 million hectares, or 69.8 percent of the national territory. 

This represents Greece and Portugal combined and is therefore an invaluable source of biodiversity and an important stock of carbon.

The agreement between Congo and its partners provides for the implementation of land use plans promoting the protection and sustainable management of peat bogs in the Congo, prohibiting drainage.

Discovered in 2017 in the Congo Basin, these peat lands are vitally important in the fight against climate change because they contain nearly three years of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Thanks to this agreement, Congo should keep its rate of deforestation as low as possible by diversifying its economy.

This is the third letter of intent linking CAFI to a partner country, after the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016 and Gabon in 2017. 

Extending over nearly 240 million hectares, the forests of Central Africa are considered the second lung of the planet after the Amazon.


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