Mar 21, 2017 9:01:00 AM
Today, 21 March 2017, is International Day of Forests, a day to "celebrate the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and the ways in which they sustain and protect us".
This year’s theme, “Forests and Energy”, happens to resonate with the agenda of the 6th meeting of the Technical Committee of the DRC National REDD+ Fund taking place today. Indeed, technical experts from ministries, multilateral agencies, civil society and donor organizations will have frank technical discussions to shape the next round of calls for proposals, including terms of reference to reduce the consumption and find alternatives to wood-energy, notably in urban areas, complementing the sustainable production of such energy. These calls for proposal guide the programming of funds agreed to under the Letter of Intent between CAFI and the DRC. This 6th meeting is part of a multi-stakeholder governance framework for REDD+ in DRC that has already proven efficient, transparent and collegial, and that has already allowed 8 programmes to start implementation in 2017.
In Gabon, forests will be at the heart of the discussions of CAFI's mission that begins today. The presentation of the Gabon National Investment Framework to CAFI, to initiate a dialogue, has been a crucial milestone in the partnership. Understanding the country’s ambition with its forest cover, in line with its NDC, is one objective of this mission.
Meanwhile, in Equatorial Guinea, Congo, CAR and Cameroon, stakeholders are organizing swiftly to develop politically ambitious national investment frameworks that reconcile development goals with preservation of forests.
Interest for the climate change mitigation potential of Central African forests – that span over 240 millions hectares of forest, or the size of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and California combined - has recently increased even further. That’s because, last January, scientists discovered peatlands in the DRC and the Republic of Congo that contain an estimated carbon store of 30 gigatons - the equivalent of 15 years of United States emissions at current rate. A mission led by UN Environment last week sought to explore how existing policy instruments and related investment plans may be adapted to prioritize this area, and how possibly additional funding might be secured to preserve them.
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