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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in Tunis approved a US $21.50-million Forest Investment Program (FIP) grant to finance climate change mitigation activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The project’s goal is to facilitate the reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as well as help to reduce poverty in the Mbuji-Mayi (East Kasaï), Kananga (West Kasaï) and Kisangani (Orientale Province) basins.
The project stems from the DRC’s Forest Investment Plan approved by the Forest Investment Program in June 2011.
It will pilot an integrated approach to REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, maintenance and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries), in a degraded savannah area (Mbuji-Mayi/Kananga) and a closed forest area (Kisangani).
The project will address the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, related in particular to land tenure security, agriculture, forestry and biomass energy.
Relying on land-use planning and Payment for Environmental Services (PES) as the main implementation modalities, the activities will be implemented through in-kind PES, based on the communities’ compliance with agreed land-use plans. Results-based cash payments will also be used for tree planting activities instead of conventional work remuneration.
The project is aligned with the objectives of the fourth pillar of the DRC’s 2012-2016 Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP-2), which focuses on environmental and natural resource management and protection and climate change control in terms of mitigation and adaptation. The focus on green and inclusive growth aims at protecting livelihoods, improving food security, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and stimulating innovation and job creation.
It is also consistent with the cross-cutting objectives of AfDB’s 2013-2017 CSP for the DRC, in particular, capacity-building in the areas of natural resource governance and the promotion of climate resilience. The project is also in keeping with the Bank’s poverty reduction and environmental protection mission.
The total cost of the five-year project is estimated at US $22.10 million. It will be financed with the FIP grant (97.3%) and beneficiaries’ contributions amounting to US $0.60 million (2.7%). The direct beneficiaries are estimated at 50,000 households or 400,000 people.
The GHG emission reduction likely to be achieved by the project over 25 years is estimated to be about 4 million tons of CO2-equivalent.