WASHINGTON, June 24, 2014—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$36.9 million climate trust fund grant to help the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pilot new approaches to improve livelihoods and forested landscape management, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
“The Government of DRC is committed to protecting the environment and sustaining the fight against climate change,” said Eustache Ouayoro, The World Bank Country Director for the DRC. “This project will contribute to addressing the challenges of food security, access to energy, and poverty reduction for the benefit of the local population.”
The Improved Forested Landscape Management Project which is part of the Forest Investment Program (FIP) will tackle the top two direct drivers of deforestation and forest degradation through investments in alternative farming methods and in improved quality cookstoves.
The project will support community-level natural resource management and finance investments to combat deforestation and forest degradation in the Plateau District of the Bandundu Province. Through the use of matching grants to private initiatives the project will help increase the sustainable production of charcoal throughout the DRC. It will also focus specifically on the city of Kinshasa to reduce charcoal consumption with the creation of a National Alliance for Improved Cookstoves. The project will also give technical support to farmers and farmers’ organizations to promote agro-forestry and test new agriculture systems in the Bas Congo Province.
These approaches will test different REDD+ policies, an international mechanism that is based on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the promotion of conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
“The project will complement the Bank’s support to increase government capacity and strengthen governance in the forest sector,” said Laurent Valiergue, The World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “In addition, it will help DRC to maintain its position as a global leader in climate change mitigation and REDD+.”
The DRC is one of the eight pilot countries currently eligible to benefit from the Forest Investment Program (FIP), a multi-donor trust fund that supports developing countries’ efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation by providing financing for investments.