ONE FOREST SUMMIT: Arlette Soudan-Nonault confirms her presence in Libreville

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ONE FOREST SUMMIT : Arlette Soudan-Nonault confirme sa présence à Libreville

The Congolese Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and the Congo Basin, Arlette Soudan-Nonault, has just received her invitation to the One Forest Summit, scheduled for 1 to 2 March 2023 in Libreville, the capital of Gabon. Hostile to sterile speeches, the Congolese minister will be able to demand, as she did at COP27, concrete actions for the preservation of Central Africa's forests.

François Barateau, the French ambassador to Congo, was received in audience on 31 January 2023 in Brazzaville by the Congolese Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and the Congo Basin. The French diplomat was carrying a letter of invitation to the “One Forest Summit”, which his country and Gabon are co-organising from 1 to 2 March 2023 in Libreville. The invitation was accepted by Minister Arlette Soudan-Nonault, who promised to attend the Libreville meeting, which will also be attended by heads of state and government, scientists, environmental organisations, financial institutions and business leaders.

The participation of the Congolese Minister for the Environment seems above all to be a guarantee of pragmatism for this summit. Arlette Soudan-Nonault cannot stand sterile speeches. She made this clear in November 2022 at COP27 in Egypt. The Congolese woman slammed the door on the debates, believing that the speeches of the heads of state led nowhere and that the virtues of the Congo Basin were not recognised at their true value.

“Africa, which only emits 4% of the world’s emissions, has not been taken into account. We have come to talk about adaptation, we have come to talk about mitigation, we are good at mitigation, but as a responsible person, we must continue to reconcile mitigation and development, so we must move towards an energy transition with clean energy, so we need financing,” the minister had defended.

A summit on the three largest forest basins in the world

The Congolese Environment Minister, who is also the technical coordinator of the Congo Basin Climate Commission, took advantage of the audience granted to Ambassador François Barateau to inform and invite France to the summit of the three largest global basins and the summit on the global decade of afforestation, scheduled for June 2023 in Brazzaville.

Read also-COP27: Congo demands promised funds to protect Central African forests

Like the “One Forest Summit” in Libreville, the summits announced by the Congolese Minister for the Environment will be an opportunity to make ambitious progress on the preservation of tropical forests, which are at the heart of climate and biodiversity issues. It will be a question of remobilising political attention around the safeguarding of these forests, threatened by deforestation and overexploitation, and relaunching North-South cooperation.

Boris Ngounou

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