The CAFI Executive Board and the Government of Gabon are negotiating mutual commitments to implement the Gabonese National Investment Plan that will help deliver the country’s forest-based commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Statistics  about Gabon’s forests are remarkable. The forest cover 88% of the territory (the highest percentage in Africa excluding islands). These forests boast an average of 700 tons of CO2eq. per hectare. Deforestation is one of the lowest in the region (less than 1000 ha per year) but the country is facing new pressures.

It is with these reminders and a final version of a National Investment Framework that a Gabonese delegation, led by the Ministry of Economy, Sustainable Development and Promotion of Investments, recently met with the Board of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). The discussion concluded with agreement to initiate negotiations on a Letter of Intent.  Such Letter will include commitments from the government of Gabon -  on a national land use plan, a national system to monitor forests and forest governance -  and funding commitments from CAFI. This Letter would also be the second one between CAFI and one of its partner country (the first one was DRC in April 2016), less than two years after the Initiative was launched.

"Gabon started protecting its forest 50 years ago, reminded Mr. Gahouma of the Ministry of Economy , and has not waited for international negotiations to do so. Our carbon stocks represent a third of all global emissions: we are aware of our responsibility for the future of the planet". "We need to find opportunities for economic growth", he added, "including with agriculture, while respecting our climate commitments."

The CAFI Board is entering these negotiations with the intention of supporting the country to protect forests with high carbon stocks and high conservation value, considering carbon-neutral approaches, and principles relating to transparency, civil society participation, land tenure rights and gender equality, in line with Gabon's international commitments.

The CAFI Board also declared willingness to support attracting new private investments, in line with its newly-stated intention to engage with the private sector in the region to help Gabon develop an inclusive, green, deforestation-free economy, and to develop a submission to the Green Climate Fund

 

Gabon Fast Facts

 

The CAFI meeting was also an opportunity to meet with the DRC’s Ministry of Finance, that leads, together with the Ministry of Environment, the implementation of the DRC REDD+ Investment plan. The partners took stock of the progress in DRC, one year after the signing of its USD 200 million Letter of Intent with CAFI. With eight programmes already approved by a high level governing structure that includes six ministers representing various sectors affecting forests in the DRC, progress was deemed undeniable in spite of a challenging political context. Issues, risks and solutions were also discussed openly.

 

DRC National Fund

 


 

By Estelle Fach - Programme Specialist (REDD+), UNDP