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African Union urged to tackle threat of logging in Congo leading to extreme weather events in sub-Saharan Africa

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African Union urged to tackle threat of logging in Congo leading to extreme weather events in sub-Saharan Africa

Africa will have zero deforestation and forest degradation and its forests will be protected

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 22, 2021 / APO Group / –

Industrial logging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can severely disrupt rainfall patterns in subSaharan Africa and cause more extreme weather conditions, including severe droughts and flash floods. In a letter (https://bit.ly/3jr9DY0) sent today to the African Union, Greenpeace Africa calls for an urgent discussion on the consequences that Kinshasa’s plans to lift its moratorium on logging would have for the Congolese and the Africans. in general.

The resumption of industrial logging in the DRC poses a risk “to indigenous peoples, local communities and biodiversity, as well as to all of sub-Saharan Africa,” writes Greenpeace Africa program director Melita Steele , to the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, HE Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko,

Africa’s climate is fundamentally linked to the state of the forests of Central Africa and massive logging can impact the amount of rainfall throughout the region. The Congo Basin forest is estimated (https://bit.ly/3jr9Uu0) to contribute more than half of annual rainfall in sub-Saharan Africa, already facing (https://bit.ly/3B3r0nN) a plethora of droughts and extreme heat waves.

Last July, the Congolese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment, Ève Bazaiba, decided to lift the moratorium on new forest concessions, in place since 2002. The decision was approved on July 9 by the Eleventh Council of ministers, chaired by President Félix Tshisekedi. An implementing decree would be imminent.

“Deciding whether to protect or destroy the rainforest may be within the sovereignty of the DRC, but the consequences of its actions will be felt everywhere, from Nairobi to Dakar, from Pretoria to Abjua,” writes Steele on behalf of Greenpeace Africa .

Beyond the direct implications for the Congolese and other African peoples, the decision to lift the moratorium is in contradiction with the commitments (https://bit.ly/3b2bOg4) made by the President of the Republic, Félix Tshisekedi, during of President Joe Biden’s Leaders Climate Summit, to protect the forest and increase forest cover by 8%. It also undermines the African Union’s Agenda 2063 (https://bit.ly/3vy1dTH) and its Sustainable Forest Management Framework (SFMF) (https://bit.ly/3GaOGdA), promising that “l Africa will have zero deforestation and degradation and its forests will be protected, sustainably managed and restored through collaborative, cross-sectoral and transformative efforts to ensure the prosperity, food security and resilience of its people.

Finally, it undermines Africa’s credibility in the climate negotiations of COP26, which is due to start in Glasgow in ten days, and the call of rich countries to support vulnerable countries each year with 100 billion dollars to do so. in the face of the climate crisis.

Serge Ngwato, Greenpeace Africa forestry activist in Kinshasa: “We cannot expect Africa’s demand for climate funds to be taken seriously, as our own actions worsen the climate crisis. Renewing industrial logging would pose an additional risk to both us Congolese and our neighbors – the moratorium must be extended, while management rights over the forest must be granted to its indigenous and local communities.

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