Democratic Republic of Congo accepted into World Bank Carbon Fund “pipeline” to advance REDD+ work

Posted on 15 April 2014    
Aerial view of Mai-Ndombe region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), future site of a REDD+ emissions reductions programme.
© Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell/WWF
15 April 2014 – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Emission Reductions Program Idea Note (ER-PIN) was provisionally approved last week in Brussels, Belgium by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) Carbon Fund, administered by the World Bank. DRC’s program would be one of the first jurisdictional-scale REDD+ programs in Africa, including approximately ten million hectares of forest and two and a half million hectares of mixed agricultural lands and savannah.

Joining the Carbon Fund’s “pipeline” will now make available up to US$650,000 to support the World Bank’s “due diligence” process and development of a full program proposal worth up to US$60 million to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in western DRC. As a next step, DRC was asked to revise its proposed approach to measuring emission reductions before moving forward with full program development.

The program will focus on Mai-Ndombe, a region on the front lines of deforestation and degradation in the Congo Basin given its proximity to the rapidly growing city of Kinshasa. It includes the world’s largest Ramsar site as well as critical habitat of the endangered bonobo – a great ape that lives only in DRC. WWF has supported many initiatives to improve livelihoods and support conservation goals in this critical region, including working with local communities in participatory mapping of lands and land use.

“This represents an exciting new approach to forest management in the Congo,” said Raymond Lumbuenamo, WWF-DRC National Coordinator. “It will set up a long term program for protecting forests across an area the size of Greece, and, more importantly for improving livelihoods and indigenous tenure and dealing with issues related to illegal logging.”

The Mai-Ndombe program was designed by the government REDD+ agency CN-REDD, with support from WWF, Wildlife Works Carbon and the local NGO umbrella group, the “Groupe de Travail Climat REDD” (GTCR).

“The implementation of the REDD+ process is an important opportunity for the DRC to embark in a long-term economic and social low-carbon development process without sacrificing our forest resources,” said Victor Kabengale, REDD+ National Coordinator for CN-REDD. “The innovative lessons that we have learned and will learn in this very exciting process will be shared with other developing tropical forest countries, especially those in the Congo Basin region.”

While there are major challenges to advancing conservation and sustainable development in DRC and the Congo Basin more broadly, including limited governance, illegal trade in timber and limited law enforcement capacity, WWF views this as a unique opportunity to support an initiative that, if successful, can improve livelihoods and advance conservation in the Mai-Ndombe region.

“The Mai-Ndombe program represents an unprecedented scale of climate action and protects one of the most important areas for biodiversity in Africa. We are thrilled that we can continue to support the DRC government and collaborators in this important work,” said WWF REDD+ Landscape Director Paul Chatterton.

Learn more about our work in the Congo Basin and around the world: 

WWF gratefully acknowledges the support of our donors in this work, especially the Government of Norway and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

Aerial view of Mai-Ndombe region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), future site of a REDD+ emissions reductions programme.
© Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell/WWF Enlarge

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