Tuesday, 16th march 2021 | Environment
Marco Arezio - Consulente materie plastiche - Carbon Balancing and Forestry in the Democratic Republic of Congo

For many decades, starting from the era of slavery up to modern times, Africa was too often seen as an ATM from which one could withdraw at will and without expenses, the labor force, the raw materials of the subsoil, the products of the forests and the trade of animals.

Furthermore, non-disposable or little waste was left in the country cheap prices of the most advanced countries, opaque trade in arms and polluting industrial production no longer accepted in other countries.

Today, even in Africa, some steps are being taken towards a different consideration of the continent, without however deluding ourselves that the problems related to money and, therefore, and its distortions continues.

From an environmental point of view, Total tells us about a forestation initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo which aims to offset the carbon footprint that its mining activities they impress on the continent's environment.

Indeed, Total and Forêt Ressources Management have signed a partnership agreement with the Republic of Congo to plant a 40,000-hectare forest on the Batéké plateau.

The new forest will create a carbon sink that will sequester over 10 million tons of CO2 in 20 years, to be certified in accordance with Verified Carbon Standards ( VCS) and Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB).

The project, funded by Total, includes agroforestry practices developed with local communities for agricultural production and sustainable wood energy. By 2040, responsible management through selective logging will promote the natural regeneration of local species and supply timber and plywood to Brazzaville and Kinshasa.

“With this project in the Batéké highlands, Total is engaging in the development of natural carbon sinks in Africa. These activities build on the Group's priority initiatives to avoid and reduce emissions, in line with its ambition to achieve full carbon offset by 2050.

They will also help show the natural potential of the Congo and extend our long-term partnership with the country, where we have been present for fifty years, "he said. Nicolas Terraz, Total Senior Vice President Africa, Exploration & Production.

"We want to develop these projects with recognized partners, such as FRM, who have a lot to teach us, focusing on relevant regions to develop our long-term commitment and contribute to local development, ”added Adrien Henry, Vice President of Nature-Based Solutions at Total.

The project is designed to produce multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. Planting Acacia mangium and auriculiformis trees on sandy plateaus exposed to recurring fires will create a forest environment that will ultimately help expand ecosystem biodiversity.

The project will create job opportunities, with a positive impact on several thousand people. In addition, a local development fund will support health, nutritional and educational initiatives for the benefit of neighboring villages.

"The more than 10 million hectares of reserves on the Batéké plateaus in Congo offer a fantastic way to combat climate change globally and a unique opportunity to sustainable socio-economic development in the isolated regions of the country ", noted Bernard Cassagne, President and CEO of Forêt Ressources Management.

"This ambitious and exemplary project is part of PRONAR, the national afforestation / reforestation program launched in 2011 to expand the country's forest cover and increase the capacity to carbon storage, create new wood-based businesses to diversify the national economy and foster the emergence of a green economy in the Republic of Congo ”, concluded Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy of the Republic of Congo.

Information on forest resource management

The Forêt Ressources Management Group (FRM) is a major player in the wood, forestry and agroforestry plantation sector in Africa.

FRM has more than 30 years of experience in forestry, tropical forests and consultancy services for the timber industry. The CEO and his engineering team have forged strong ties with the companies

forestry, forest products and wood industries, local authorities, civil society and international credit institutions in numerous countries with major forestry challenges to manage existing resources or develop new resources through tree planting programs.

About Total Nature Based Solutions

In line with its ambition to reach zero emissions by 2050 and in parallel with its initiatives to avoid and reduce emissions, Total announced the creation of its new Nature Based Solutions (NBS) unit in June 2019 to develop natural carbon sinks to intercept the remaining tons of CO 2 from its industrial activities.

Backed by an annual budget of $ 100 million, Total's goal is to participate in the development of a capture seizure capacity of at least 5 million tons of CO2 per year starting from 2030, contributing to the time spent on the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of local communities.

Automatic translation. We apologize for any inaccuracies. Original article in Italian.

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