As reported in Le nouveau Gabon, the Gabonese Minister of Water and Forests Prof. Lee White announced during the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), held on February 22, 2021, by videoconference, that Gabon would strengthen its commitment to contribute to the fight against climate change.
The United Nations Environment Assembly meets every two years to set priorities for global environmental policy and develop international environmental law. The decisions and resolutions taken by member states at this meeting define the programme of work of the United Nations Environment Programme. Organized on the theme "Strengthening Action for Nature to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals", the last meeting addressed priority issues and called for stronger action to protect and restore biodiversity, as well as nature-based solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its three complementary dimensions (social, economic and environmental).
"We will renew and revise our nationally determined contributions. This is to maintain our outstanding forest cover as a nature-based solution to combat climate change and deal with the current biodiversity crisis," said Lee White. According to the Minister, part of this commitment is to involve the entire Gabonese population in sustainable development, taking advantage of a green circular economy and transforming Africa's development model to develop certified wood processing.
Gabon is one of the few countries that absorbs more CO2 than it emits. This can be explained by the fact that Gabon is a country with high forest cover and low deforestation rate (HFLD), as well as by the implementation of protection measures on 88% of the forest area. By relying on technologies for adding value to wood products and by-products and optimising carbonisation, wood energy can also represent a real asset in helping to combat climate change.