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02.11.2021

COP26 Congo Basin Joint Donor Statement

Supporting the protection and sustainable management of the Congo Basin forests. 

With reference to the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use of 2 November 2021 and its commitment ‘to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation’, we, the Ministers and representatives from the countries and organisations listed below make the following statement, that we:

Recognise the ecosystem goods and services derived from Central Africa’s Congo Basin forests, the world’s second largest tropical rainforest region. This includes their critical contribution to global climate change mitigation, provision of rainfall to large parts of African agriculture, hydropower production, biodiversity preservation and helping meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the pursuit of efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. They provide a foundation for sustainable development and are critical to the livelihoods and culture of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Welcome the political leadership of Central African countries that have sustained forest cover in the face of mounting pressures, including but not exclusively through the  commitments set out in the 2021 COMIFAC Declaration and in national Letters of Intent signed with CAFI under the 2015 CAFI Joint Declaration, noting the need to support efforts  by working in partnership with Central African countries and regional organisations, to achieve jointly defined objectives.

Recognise that progress on tackling the systemic drivers of forest loss in Central Africa will continue to require high-level, cross-sectoral leadership from Central Africa’s forested countries, measured through reductions in forest loss whilst meeting local sustainable economic development needs and implementing principles of sustainable management of  natural resources. This will require substantial domestic resource mobilisation and long term financial support from the international community, both public and private sector, also noting the importance of business and governance frameworks conducive to investments.

Acknowledge that maintaining and enhancing protection, sustainable management, and restoration requires scaled up finance, from both public and private sources, in light of the goods and services provided by the Congo Basin forests and their critical importance in achieving local, regional, and international climate, biodiversity and development objectives. Also recognising that more effective, efficient and accessible forms of support will be required to help countries in this region implement development strategies rooted in sustaining these precious forests.

We are demonstrating our commitment to this important region today by announcing an initial collective pledge of at least $1.5 billion of financing between 2021-2025 to support  ambitious efforts and results in the region to protect and maintain the Congo Basin forests, peatlands and other critical global carbon stores. We intend to build on this in subsequent years, by seeking increased finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources while also improving coordination, effectiveness and accessibility. We also call on other donors to significantly increase their support for the protection and sustainable management of the Congo Basin forests.

Supported by:  

European Commission on behalf of the European Union

Federal Republic of Germany 

French Republic 

Japan 

Kingdom of Belgium 

Kingdom of the Netherlands 

Kingdom of Norway 

Kingdom of Sweden 

Republic of Korea 

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 

United States of America 

Bezos Earth Fund