CAFI - On May 30 in Kinshasa, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the DRC, Eva Bazaiba, the Minister of Finance, Nicolas Kazadi, and the German Ambassador to Kinshasa, Dr. Oliver Schanzenberg, together with the CAFI diplomatic corps, inaugurated the new 10-year partnership between the DRC and CAFI.
During this ceremony, the government signed the partnership agreement (the Letter of Intent), which had been endorsed at the highest level last November. On this occasion, a call for expressions of interest was launched with CAFI to build a new portfolio of programs, based on the $500 million committed from the CAFI Fund for the period 2021-2026.
The new partnership is based on the DRC's National REDD+ Strategy and its investment plan. These promote sustainable land use and management to address in an integrated manner the various drivers of deforestation and forest degradation to stabilize forest cover, while ensuring economic growth, increased incomes for populations and improved living conditions, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable.
"Climate change is one of the most important macroeconomic risks today," said Nicolas Kazadi, Minister of Finance, during the ceremony. "CAFI is an innovative financing mechanism for the entire region, and for the DRC in particular. Mobilizing domestic climate finance is one of the government's priorities to accelerate the path to a green transition for Africa and the world.
His Excellency Dr. Oliver Schanzenberg, Ambassador of Germany in Kinshasa, and representing the Presidency of the CAFI Board of Directors on this occasion, gratefully expressed that "The forests of the Congo Basin are finally at the center of the international climate agenda. The Letter of Intent should be used as a roadmap to align international and national funding.
The UN Resident Coordinator in the DRC, Bruno Lemarquis, emphasized that "The CAFI partnership is an excellent example of cooperation and joint efforts between the government of the DRC, financial partners, the United Nations and the people of the DRC. UN agencies, currently account for nearly 70% of the program portfolio of the first partnership (2016-2020) in terms of funding.
This first partnership between CAFI and the DRC has demonstrated tangible results such as the successful accompaniment of historic reforms in land use, land tenure, agriculture, and energy, and field activities that concretely benefit local communities and indigenous peoples. For example, it was recently estimated that nearly 30,000 households are already being supported in pilot activities for forest-saving subsistence and cash crop agriculture, that support for community forestry already covers 380,000 hectares, and that 3.8 million hectares of rural land are under land use plans developed by some 1,200 inclusive local committees. The new partnership builds on, and will expand, these early successes.
In her closing speech, Her Excellency Eve BAZAIBA welcomed all the partners involved in building the new partnership: "I welcome with great satisfaction this partnership with CAFI and the signing of the Letter of Intent. I thank all CAFI donors for their support and encourage others to join the Initiative. I am also deeply grateful to my colleague the Minister of Finance for his collaboration. We will work hand in hand to foster the link between nature's potential, sustainable development, the economy and the well-being of the Congolese people. I wish this new partnership every success.
At the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, the new partnership was endorsed by the President of the DRC, His Excellency Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, and the British Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Boris Johnson. With this official signing ceremony, the Government of the DRC and CAFI are reinforcing an important political will to preserve the country's high forest cover by fighting poverty, and to achieve its international commitments on climate and biodiversity.
Originally published on www.cafi.org