Meeting in Kinshasa calls for action to protect Congo Basin forests-Xinhua

Meeting in Kinshasa calls for action to protect Congo Basin forests

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-06 22:05:15

KINSHASA, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The 20th meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) concluded late Wednesday in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with the participants calling for preserving and developing Central Africa's forest ecosystems.

The Congo Basin, spanning about 3.7 million square kilometers, is the world's second-largest rainforest after the Amazon. "The Congo Basin, this lung of humanity, is facing degradation, desertification and drought. Therefore, we must invest in concrete solutions," said DRC Minister of Environment and Nature Conservation Eve Bazaiba during her closing remarks.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Congo Basin is rich in natural resources such as timber, diamonds and oil. However, the current volumes and methods of extraction are unsustainable and threaten the region's future.

"The DRC is increasingly strengthening its capacity for rainforest protection," said Bazaiba, noting that cooperation must go beyond mere assistance. "We aim for win-win partnership projects," she added.

The Congo Basin, covering six countries, is the world's largest carbon sink and provides food, water, and shelter for more than 75 million people, according to the WWF. "We must reconcile the need for oxygen and the need for bread, which represent the survival of our populations who live in the forests. The forests are their pantry, their health, their pharmacy," Bazaiba said in her opening remarks Monday.

Since its creation in 2002, the CBFP has grown to include nearly 126 partners working for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of the Congo Basin's forest ecosystems.