Mombasa: The question of who will pay for the preservation and reforestation of lands that are home to some of the most diverse species in the world and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is expected to take center stage at a summit on how to protect the world’s largest forests currently taking place in Gabon.
The One Forest Summit is taking place this week in the country’s capital, Libreville, and is being attended by officials and environment ministers from all over the world to talk about protecting the world’s major rainforests.
The summit’s momentum is likely to be dampened by the absence of leaders from important countries like Félix Tshisekedi of the Congo and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil.
Macron and his Gabonese counterpart Ali Bongo Ondimba hope that despite some countries’ claims that protecting the forests must be profitable, the summit will promote cooperation between the world’s three largest tropical forests, which are the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia.
“Simo Kilepa, the environment minister for Papua New Guinea, said on Wednesday night that “finance has not materialized at the necessary scale. “We must be able to make money off of preserving wild forests.
Following disagreements over funding for preserving forests at the UN summit on biodiversity in Montreal last December, the summit in Gabon is taking place. In a last-minute protest to the now-approved framework, Congo argued that wealthy, industrialized nations should pay less developed nations to help protect forests. Congo’s requests were denied due to a legal quirk. A smaller delegation from the nation is traveling to Gabon.
Major environmental organizations, led by Global Witness, are increasing the pressure on France to use its influence to restrain major European banks that have been accused of funding deforestation.
Giulia Bondi, a senior EU forests campaigner at Global Witness, said that it is “extremely depressing” to see that French and other EU-based financial institutions are still pouring millions of euros into the destruction of climate-critical forests. Global Witness previously discovered that France’s asset managers hold bonds and stocks with a forest risk exposure worth 966 million euros ($1 billion).
Indigenous peoples, local communities, and the environment were all called for in a report released on the sidelines of the summit. The International Institute for Environment and Development and the Global Environment Facility recommended that “Ambitions could be raised by “biodiversity-positive carbon credits,” which reward businesses and governments for their conservation efforts.
The competing interests of economic infrastructure development needs, environmental protection demands, and climate action continue to put more pressure on Africa’s protected areas and forests.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are essentially two sides of the same coin, according to marine scientist David Obura. “Together, they must be solved, and the financial flows to each one must be combined and given dual purposes.