Norway Leads Global Effort to Protect Congo Basin
An agreement between nations in Africa and Europe will set for a comprehensive plan to protect the Congo Basin, the second biggest rainforest in the world.
Leading the way is Norway, the first donor to the project, giving up to 400 million crowns, or roughly $47 million over the next five years. The effort is called the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), a joint effort among nations from three continents as well as the United Nations and the World Bank.
“Addressing issues concerning unsustainable agriculture, wood energy use, forestry and infrastructure development will be the main challenges,” the UN Development Programme said in a statement on Wednesday.
The CAFI has been created with donor nations Germany, Britain, France, and the E.U. What’s more, Brazil, home to the largest rainforest in the Amazon Basin, will participate as an advisor. The basin runs across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo.
The move, which comes as part as a lead-up to the UN Climate Change Summit this December in Paris, looks to curtail illegal burning and logging of forest, protecting the habitats of both people and animals, endangered and threatened. “The biggest potential threat to central African forests is palm oil,” Per Pharo, head of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, told Reuters.
Slowing greenhouse gases emissions can be done by preserving the forest, which stores tens of billions of tons of carbon. This looks to be a major step leading up to the anticipated conference in come the end of the year.
“We cannot succeed (in Paris) without large-scale action to protect forests in the world,” said French development minister Annick Girardin,