Over 11% of Gabon’s land is forest cover and the Central African nation has shown the path in preserving its rainforest and has received financial rewards for the protection of its forests. It has created 13 national parks since 2000 backed by international efforts fighting to stop climate change.
The environment ministry of Gabon revealed that the nation has received $17 million as compensation for its success in bringing down carbon emissions and reducing forest degradation and deforestation.
The payments are directly linked to verification by independent experts which have shown that the country has succeeded in bringing down its carbon emissions in 2016-17 when compared to the period between 2006 and 2015.
The Central African Forest Initiative delivered the funds. CAFI is an initiative launched by the UN in 2015 and is financially backed by donors from around the world.
Gabon Major Beneficiary From Initiative To Conserve Forests
Gabon has successfully limited the annual deforestation rate to below 0.1% in the past 3 decades. This has been partially possible as its oil reserves have supported the economy. But the reserves are dying out and Gabon is intent on diversifying its economy to benefit from its forests, but not at the cost of green cover.
Norway has committed $150 million and the first installment of $17 million is a sign of its success under the result-oriented scheme to reduce emissions.
The Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Gabon are part of CAFI and are backed by 6 partners – France, Germany, Norway, the EU, the Netherlands, and South Korea.
These nations are members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The basis behind the idea is that emerging nations should also profit from the ecological service they provide to the planet as a whole. Benefits include acting as biodiversity reservoirs and as a repository of carbon. The REDD+ has met with various amounts of success since it was initiated in 2005.
Gabon has one of the densest forest covers that extends right to the seas. The country has more species of plants than the rest of Africa combined. They have a positive rate of emissions, with their forests absorbing over 100MT of carbon dioxide more than their annual emission.
Low population density, a thick forest cover, and its oil economy have all contributed to Gabon’s success story. The nation has been trying to increase its food yield without reducing its forest cover.