CAFI to Conserve Forests, Peatlands in Republic of the Congo
UN Photo/Eva Fendiaspara
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The letter of intent establishes a long-term partnership to implement the Republic of Congo’s national REDD+ Strategy under CAFI.

Under the agreement, the Republic of Congo commits to avoid conversion of over 20,000 hectares of forest annually, to implement measures to improve forest governance, and support the protection of peatlands by prohibiting their drainage and drying.

3 September 2019: President Emmanuel Macron of France has signed a letter of intent committing US$65 million dollars to support forest conservation and conserve peatlands in the Republic of the Congo. The commitment is part of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), of which France holds the Presidency for in 2019.

According to the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), the Republic of the Congo’s forests cover 23.9 million hectares. The country’s peatlands, which were discovered in 2017, can play a critically important role in addressing climate change and maintaining biodiversity. The Republic of Congo’s vision is to maintain a low deforestation rate while diversifying its economy. In 2018, a ministerial decree restricted agro-industrial exploitation to savannah areas, as part of the country’s broader efforts to promote sustainable forest and peatland management and to contribute towards sustainable development and efforts to combat climate change.

The letter of intent establishes a long-term partnership to implement the Investment Plan of the Republic of Congo’s national REDD+ Strategy under CAFI. The agreement identifies an opportunity to address biodiversity loss and climate change and work towards the achievement of the SDGs, including SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), through strengthened international cooperation on conserving the Republic of Congo’s forests. Under the agreement, the Republic of Congo commits to avoid conversion of over 20,000 hectares of forest annually and to implement measures to improve forest governance, including tackling illegal logging. The agreement will also support the protection of peatlands by prohibiting their drainage and drying.

France, Norway and the European Union (EU) will contribute US$45 million to the agreement. In addition, the French Development Agency (AFD), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the German Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU) will contribute US$45 million.

This Letter of Intent with the Republic of Congo is the third signed between CAFI and its partner countries. CAFI signed a Letter of Intent with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016 and with Gabon in 2017. CAFI supports national investment frameworks based on Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) and focuses on six high forest cover countries in the Central Africa Region. The UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF) manages CAFI, with UN agencies, the World Bank and other development partners acting as implementing agencies to support the partner countries. [CBFP Press Release]

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