International Forest Conservation Finance Flowing to Africa
International financing for conservation efforts in three key African forest countries — the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, and Liberia — has increased steadily since 2009, according to a trio of new reports.
International financing for forest conservation in three key African forest countries — the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, and Liberia — has increased steadily since 2009, but each country faces unique challenges going forward, according to a trio of new reports.
The Congo Basin in Central Africa is home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world after the Amazon. The Congo rainforestis famous for its gorillas, chimpanzees, and elephants, but is under severe threat from commercial agriculture, logging, and subsistence activities like small-scale agriculture and firewood collection.
The DRC contains more than half of the total area of Congo rainforest, so it’s no wonder that as the world has started to take climate change seriously, the DRC’s forests are receiving increased attention. International commitments to the DRC under the UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) program grew to more than a quarter-billion dollars by the end of 2014, according to a new report by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Forest Trends.
Of the $264.3 million committed to the country, 57 percent, or $151.3 million, had been paid out by the end of 2014, Forest Trends found. Over the six-year period between 2009 and 2014, the DRC moved from preparatory and capacity-building activities to more advanced implementation of forest conservation initiatives.