The Republic of the Congo, France and the European Union announce a $50-million partnership to support Congo’s biodiversity and climate ambition (2 December 2023)


International partners have met to support the Republic of the Congo’s commitments to protect biodiversity and the climate and its ambition to reforest its territory.

Today, at the World Climate Action Summit at COP28, the Republic of the Congo set out its ambitious vision, based on protecting its territory’s exceptional biodiversity while promoting a sustainable economic model that is compatible with maintaining the country’s forest cover and ecosystems.

The Republic of the Congo, two-thirds of which is covered by forests and which has a low deforestation rate, plays a crucial role in protecting ecosystems and capturing carbon in the Congo Basin. The protection of its forests, peatlands and mangroves helps to achieve our international climate and biodiversity targets.

Congo has made efforts to sustainably manage forest ecosystems by systematically implementing the principle of low-impact logging in its concessions, allocating 20% of its forest areas [to this] and launching a National Afforestation and Reforestation Programme, with the ambition of planting one million hectares of forest and agroforestry plantations. Congo is also committed to improving its management of marine areas and has just announced the creation of three new marine protected areas, increasing the share of its territory for protected marine species from 1% to 12%.

In view of these ambitious actions, the international partners pledge to support the acceleration of Congo’s efforts to conserve its marine and terrestrial ecosystems and establish a sustainable, long-term economic model that is compatible with maintaining forest cover.

A group of public and private partners – States, multilateral development banks, international organizations, NGOs, the private sector and philanthropic bodies – have thus decided to join forces using their financial and technical tools to support Congo’s vision, by signing a partnership for forest ecosystems, nature and the climate.

The partnership will lay the foundations for sustainable development and a diversified economy, while contributing to global efforts to combat climate change and protect and restore biodiversity.

It is based on four key priorities:

I. Increasing the material, financial and human capabilities of scientific research at national level, to improve knowledge of and develop carbon resources in vegetation and soils and the country’s biodiversity, with a specific focus on mangroves, peatlands and natural forests;

II. Supporting and extending the network of protected and conserved areas, using law-based approaches in a landscape approach, in order to protect 30% of land and seas by 2030, putting the emphasis on areas of high ecological integrity and strong biodiversity, carbon-rich zones, and sustainable development to support communities;

III. Supporting the implementation of Congo’s National Afforestation and Reforestation Programme and the adoption of an African and global decade of afforestation and reforestation;

IV. Systematically raising awareness among the Congolese population of safeguarding biodiversity and the climate and their benefits.

To achieve these ambitious goals, France, the European Union, the Bezos Earth Fund and the Country Packages Seed Fund (the Rob Walton Foundation, Conservation International and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation), with the technical support of the WCS, WWF and Noé, pledge to release an initial sum of $50 million.