The country of Gabon, Africa is set to receive $150 million of international funding provided by the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) in a greater effort to preserve Gabon’s massive forest population, and to reduce the overall threat of climate change.
“The 150 million US dollars agreement announced today between Gabon and Norway via the Central African forest initiative (CAFI) is historic in many ways. For the first time, an African country will be rewarded in a 10-year deal for both reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation, and absorption’s of carbon dioxide by natural forests. The partnership provides Gabon with a major incentive for cutting greenhouse gases by setting a carbon price floor at 10 US dollars per certified ton,” according to CAFI’s official statement regarding the deal.
The announcement was made at the United Nations Climate Action Summit held in New York this past week (September 23rd), in a discussion over how the world can help collectively reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Norway pledged to help the country Gabon specifically due to it being made up of 80% forest. CAFI as a whole is a collaborative organization which combines the efforts/uses the resources of the United Nations Development Program, six Central African countries, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank, and a coalition of donors including the United Kingdom, Norway and South Korea. This time around Norway stepped up to help.
As the quote above stated this is a decade long deal, meaning the $150 million is distributed evenly throughout the next ten years to ensure that it’s spent wisely, and on a fixed scheduled budget with plans of what it will go towards. The budget also came about due to the efforts that Gabon has made throughout the past decade to reduce its carbon footprint without a major budget.
“I am very pleased with this results-based partnership through CAFI, which includes a historic carbon floor price to further encourage Gabon to continue to preserve its rainforest. This is a major breakthrough for REDD+ in Africa,” Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s minister of climate and environment, said in an interview with CNN.
The overall goal is to preserve, maintain, and rebuild 98% of the forest in Gabon. Gabon is the number one country in Africa that has successfully preserved their forests and wildlife; at least as much as they could given the atmospheric conditions. The country and its forests alone hold 50% of Africa’s entire forest elephant population!
Although the country seems to be one of the few places on the planet successfully sustaining itself and its natural environment, they’ve still had their share of troubles. Illegal deforestation has been a huge epidemic for the country and due to the massive importance of the forests multiple ecosystems and dense wildlife population, it’s important for the entire planet that Gabon works hard to maintain and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions even further.
In addition, the country has a goal of creating more jobs and boosting its economy through a more sustainable means of clearing forest space. Their goal is to have a more strict enforcement of the law in regard to illegal deforestation, and create a more conservative and sustainable exploitation of the forests resources to benefit the lives of the Gabonese population. The deal is meant to create a better country for its residents, while also successfully preserving the many ecosystems within the forests.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.