21 July 2020 - Led by the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Planning and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests and Environment, Equatorial Guinea has officially launched its REDD+ National Investment Plan (REDD+ NIP) as part of the framework of its National Sustainable Development Plan for 2020-2035, in the virtual presence of (among other high dignitaries) the Ambassador of France in Malabo, the Vice Minister of Environment and the Secretary of State for Planning.
The REDD+ NIP, elaborated with CAFI funding and FAO support, is a tool to mobilise and coordinate initiatives and funding to improve land and forest management and reduce land-use emissions.
This Plan is contributing to the re-direction of the national development model of the country towards a more sustainable path, in which economic development and conservation of natural resources are reconcilable objectives, even in a context of multiple challenges such as the 6 year recession and COVID19 pandemic.
Equatorial Guinea is at a unique and transformational point in time: the country is currently defining its new National Plan for Sustainable Development 2020-2035 (PNDS 2035). For the first time, environmental sustainability and territorial development are among its priority areas. There are strong synergies between the PNDS 2035 and the REDD+ NIP. They share a common vision for sustainability and land management, with special attention to active stakeholder participation as well as social and gender equity. (The latter is unsurprising considering that the CAFI-funded programme to develop the REDD+ NIP has been one of the few to receive a full score in the recently undertaken gender assessment.)
In its National REDD+ Strategy, Equatorial Guinea committed to maintain its forest coverage at its 2014 level, i.e 93% of its territory, and to halve its forest degradation rate to 0.45%. This PNI-REDD details the means and actions needed to achieve this vision, and demonstrates how forests can be a key part of the country’s path towards sustainable and green development. The PNI-REDD+ includes investments programmes at the national level that are linked to land-use planning, agriculture, forestry, mining, energy, construction and governance; as well as local investment programmes in the Litoral province, Niefang municipality, KieNtem province, Bioko island and Annobon island.
“The country is moving towards a model of sustainable development. We now need to focus on creating without being destructive. The current transformational process towards sustainability is a clear expression of the country’s high commitment and political leadership, which also requires international support”- indicated Mariluz Eseng Osa, State Secretary of Planning and Territorial Development.
The PNI-REDD+ has been developed on the basis of several studies, including “Historical analysis of deforestation and forest degradation 2004-2014” (2019), ”Study on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation 2004-2014” (2019) and the National REDD+ National Strategy (2019). It also emerged from a highly participatory planning process that included over 450 people, including representatives of the government, civil society, private sector, academic and research institutions and rural communities. All stakeholders will be called upon to support the future implementation of the REDD+ NIP.
This article was adapted from an article on the FAO website here.