In 2019, Norway committed to pay $150 million to Gabon to protect its forests under the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). After independent verification of the country’s deforestation rates in 2016 and 2017, Gabon recently received its first $17 million payment, making it the first African country to receive a results-based payment for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). “I think it’s good news,” said Denis Sonwa, senior scientist for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Cameroon. “It shows that REDD+ is technically possible, but for it to become a reality we need some sort of dynamic domestic policy.” CAFI was founded in 2015 as a collaborative agreement between six central African countries — the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon — and six financial partners: the European Union, France, Norway, Germany, South Korea and the Netherlands. CAFI is based around the REDD+ mechanism developed by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The idea that underpins REDD+ is that developing nations should be able to financially benefit from the ecosystem services that their forests provide, such as carbon storage and as reservoirs of biodiversity. The REDD+ concept has been around since 2005 and trialed in various forms, with varying degrees of success. With 88% of the country covered in tropical rainforest and an average deforestation rate of less than 0.1% over the last 30 years, Gabon is what’s known as…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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