Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

EU pledges €1bn to protect the world's forests

Written by Eric Apim on Wednesday, November 3rd 2021 à 09:30 | Read 777 times

Ursula von der Leyen pledges €1bn to protect forests (photo: European Commission)
Ursula von der Leyen pledges €1bn to protect forests (photo: European Commission)
EUROPEAN UNION. Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday 2 November 2021 that the European Union (EU) will spend €1 billion over five years "to protect the world's forests.

The President of the European Commission, who was speaking in Glasgow at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), said that this pledge will be financed via the new financial instrument for supporting the EU's external action, the NDICI (Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - NDICI-Global Europe).

"Forests are the green lungs of the earth. We need to protect and restore them (...) This is a clear sign of the EU's commitment to lead the global change to protect our planet, in line with our European Green Deal," stressed Ursula von der Leyen. Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: "The EU contribution announced today to sustainably manage, restore and protect forests will support sustainable growth and employment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation in our partner countries. The EU will work in partnership with governments, civil society, indigenous peoples and private actors, in a multi-stakeholder approach, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and put people and the planet first. The specific focus on the Congo Basin is a timely message about the importance of this unique area and its ecosystem."

Improving people's livelihoods

Of the €1 billion pledged, €250m will actually go to the Congo Basin. The second largest rainforest region in the world after the Amazon, it covers eight countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Burundi and Rwanda.

The EU will work with partner countries to conserve, restore and sustainably manage forests in a comprehensive and integrated manner. But also to improve the livelihoods of its people.

Between 1990 and 2016, the world lost forest cover at a rate equivalent to about 800 football fields per hour.

In October 2020, fourteen partners from seven European countries (Italy, Greece, France, Spain, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom) created the joint platform Safers (Structured Approaches to Wildland Fire Emergencies in Resilient Societies), aimed at "achieving a comprehensive emergency management system" to better combat forest fires.


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