Posted on May 6, 2017 6:31:00 AM
Last week the CAFI Executive Board and the Government of Gabon took a major step in their partnership to advance and implement the Gabon National Investment Plan, a plan seeking to implement the country’s forest-based commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Following a detailed discussion with Ludovic Ngok Banak, Advisor to the Minister of Economy, Sustainable Development and Promotion of Investments, Tangy Gahouma, Director of the Gabonese Space Agency (AGEOS) and Lee White, Forests and Agriculture co-ordinator at Gabon’s National Climate Council, the CAFI Board agreed that the National Investment plan was “a good basis to initiate negotiations on a Letter of Intent (LOI)”, and mandated Norway, on behalf of the Board, to lead such negotiations with the Gabonese government.
"Gabon started protecting its forest 50 years ago, reminded Mr. Gahouma, 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 negotiations with the intention of protecting 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.
"We congratulate you for the work already undertaken. The National Investment Framework [you presented] is a good starting point to continue discussions", said Silje Haugland of NORAD.
The CAFI Board also declared its willingness to provide assistance to attract private investments to help Gabon develop an inclusive, green, deforestation-free economy, and develop a submission to the Green Climate Fund.
It is hoped that the LOI negotiation mission are concluded by the end of May. A Letter of Intent – including funding commitments - with Gabon would mark the second Letter of Intent agreed upon between CAFI and a partner country (the first one was DRC), and thus a major milestone for CAFI.
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