Gabon was thefirst African country o submit its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the COP21 in Paris in 2015. These commitments were reaffirmed at the Marrakech Conference (COP 22) in 2016. A commitment to preserving the environment that actually manifested very early, with the creation of a forestry fund as early as 1960 and a Ministry of Environmental Protection in 1972.
With the increasing shortage of oil resources, the use and economic development of renewable resources from forests is a major challenge for Gabon, which is committed to :
- Reduce the exploitation of its forests to 11 million ha in 2025, compared to 16 in 2018. 2018.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the sector of land use, change in land use and forests in Gabon by 50 % (2005-2025)
- Support the development of projects in key sectors for strengthening the region’s economy, providing a viable alternative to deforestation: improving waterways, building small hydroelectric dams, strengthening soil irrigation systems, developing fishing, fish farming, aquaculture, and developing ecotourism.
- Encouraging operators to implement management plans or production forests and pushing foresters to extend their rotations from 15 years to 25 years, with lower damage rates, instead of 10 years (2001 Forestry Code).
To do this, Gabon has initiated :
- The creation in the early 2000s of 13 national parks which have allowed for the sanctuary of 3 million hectares of forest, representing 11 % of the national territory.
- A National Climate Plan, the climate component of the national strategic plan “Gabon Émergent”, developed after the Copenhagen Conference in 2010 and implemented in November 2013. This Plan, formulated by Gabon’s National Climate Council, sets out short- and medium-term development strategies for sectors of activity with a strong impact on climate change, sectoral strategies for controlling greenhouse gas emissions, as well as strategies to adapt the territory to the effects of climate change (eg: rising sea levels).
- The creation, in 2014, of a Sustainable Development Fund to finance the realization of programs and projects in line with the principles of sustainable development.
- The creation, in 2014, of a Central Environmental Directorate in each ministry.