New York, USA, July 7, 2020, Everland, the exclusive representative of the largest portfolio of high-impact, forest conservation projects across the globe launched its inaugural webinar event REDD+, A Force of Nature, presenting the Wildlife Works Mai Ndombe REDD+ Project in the DRC highlighting the critical importance to protect the Congo Basin Rainforest.
REDD+ is an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, a climate change mitigation strategy introduced by the United Nations that is an essential part of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The REDD+ mechanism was designed to help stop the destruction of the world’s forests which is contributing massively to the climate crisis. REDD+ allows local landowners in the developing world to monetize their forest and biodiversity assets whether they are governments, communities, ownership groups, or private individuals.
The Congo Basin Rainforest is the second largest intact tropical forest on earth and left standing, offers the world an immediate low-cost climate solution that also protects habitat for threatened wildlife and a way to bring sustainable development benefiting the local the forest community.
Leading sustainability and corporate social responsibility executives, impact investors, policy makers and media from 26 countries were in attendance.
Expert speakers explained how REDD+ offers one of the most effective tools we have right now to combat the climate crisis.
June 30th is significant as it is Independence Day in the DRC which had experienced a long history of colonial oppression and post-colonial exploitation and put the country in a position of dire need of development.
Today, a progressive new coalition government in the DRC is focused on meeting the needs of its people, eager to find ways to address extreme poverty and to preserve the country’s natural resources for the benefit of all.
REDD+ as a market-based mechanism offers the DRC an approach to solve both the needs of its population and the environment.
To address the climate crisis, the DRC has demonstrated longstanding leadership in UN Climate negotiations, representing Africa and advocating for the importance of forest conservation.
Since 2011, Wildlife Works has been working with the DRC government on the country’s national and subnational REDD+ program.
Her Excellency Madame Jeanne Ilunga Zaina, Vice Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development for the Democratic Republic of the Congo discussed the DRCs ambition for a green new future and praised Wildlife Works for its numerous achievements to stop deforestation and bring much needed benefits to the local forest community.
Basabo Boot’Ombala, Chief of Batwa Pygymy Village of Ikita, one of 23 villages in the project area, was interviewed and she spoke about life in Ikita and what the Mai Ndombe REDD+ Project means to the Indigenous Batwa Pygmy community.
Chief Basabo said:
“Here in my village, the forest is our main source of everything. Our livelihood is highly dependent on the forest. That is the reason why we are saving the forest. We can’t survive without the forest. The forest is my and the whole (Ikita) populations survival.”
Other speakers included:
- Armin Sandhoevel, Chief Investment Officer Infrastructure Equity, Allianz
- Mike Korchinsky, Founder and President, Wildlife Works
- Jean-Robert Bwangoy, DRC Country Director, Wildlife Works
- Anna Lehmann, Global Climate Policy Director, Wildlife Works
- Naomi Swickard, Chief Program Officer, Verra
- Filip Agoo, Documentary Impact Photographer, Create The Change
- Josh Tosteson, Chief Operating Officer, Everland
- Moderated by Pamela Brazier, Vice President of Business Development, Europe, Everland
See the full story and videos here:
African Eye Report