Gabon has become the first country in the African continent to get paid for reducing its carbon emissions and forest degradation.
The payments are part of a 10 year agreement between Gabon and the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). This could see the country receive a grand total of nearly €126 million if it meets targets to slash its carbon emissions in half by 2025.
The Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) was launched in 2015 by the United Nations and is a collaborative partnership between willing donors, six Central African partner countries and Brazil.
With Gabon's forests covering 88% of the country, this scheme demonstrates the sheer necessity of emissions reduction in the Congo Basin forest. To add context, its trees absorb 127 million tonnes of CO2 every year, which is equivalent to removing 30 million cars from the face of the earth.
Since 1990, Gabon's deforestation rates have been historically low and the country has even established 13 national parks since the early 2000s.
Lee White, Gabon's Minister of Water and Forests, the Seas and the Environment, indicated that the first instalment can be used to fund further sustainable-oriented projects. It will also help in creating the systems required to sell carbon credits in the future.
The country's efforts to stabilise its forests and curb deforestation instead of simply slowing it down has become a global reference to use these kinds of payment agreements.
Published: 6th July 2021 | 1:13