Gabon first country ever to conserve 30% of its natural capital With Bezos, Waltons support (Bloomberg)

The agreement on the conservation of 30% of Gabon's natural capital was concluded this Saturday, December 17, 2022 on the sidelines of the COP 15 © Twitter/Ministry of Forestry of Gabon

On the sidelines of the Cop15, Gabon’s concluded on Saturday 17 December a memorandum of understanding with the international NGO The Nature Conservancy, at the end of which it undertakes to conserve 30% of its entire maritime land territory (ocean and freshwater) by 2030 in exchange for a financial contribution, the amount of which has not yet been revealed. An agreement supported by some of the world’s largest fortunes such as Jeff Bezos (Amazon) or the Walton family (Walmart). Here’s the article published by Bloomberg on this occasion.

Some of the world’s richest families have entered a financial arrangement that will help the planet’s second-most forested nation conserve 30% of its natural capital.

The agreement with Gabon is backed by Enduring Earth, a partnership that includes The Nature Conservancy, Pew Charitable Trusts and Zomalab, which is the office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton of the family that founded Walmart Inc. Money has also been provided by the Bezos Earth Fund, backed by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Inc. The financial details of the deal weren’t made public.

Under the agreement, known as a Project Finance for Permanence, the central African nation will bring to 80,000 square kilometers (30,888 square miles) the amount of forest under protection, 60,000 square kilometers of ocean and 19,000 square kilometers of rivers by 2030, the country said in a joint statement with its funders on Friday.

About 22% of Gabon’s land is already under protection, as is 27% of its ocean territory. The nation is home to large populations of endangered forest elephants and lowland gorillas and its waters host a number of whale and dolphin species.

We plan to develop innovative “sustainable finance mechanisms to protect our lands, oceans, and freshwater resources,” Lee White, Gabon’s environmental minister, said in the statement. “We are committed to developing this PFP as a step-change for Gabon’s approach to financing nature.”

Gabon will be the first nation to commit to protecting 30% of its natural capital, according to White.

It’s the latest in a string of measures enacted by Gabon with a view to protecting its natural assets.

Earlier this year, White said the country was in talks with the Nature Conservancy to reorganize as much as $700 million of its Eurobond debt to fund marine conservation. The US-based conservation nonprofit would buy the bonds and then sell debt to Gabon at a lower interest rate and with a longer maturity, according to White. The differential would be used to fund marine conservation at around $5 million a year for about 15 years, with the rest going toward a fund to finance programs after that date.

Source : Bloomberg