Norway to pay Gabon to protect its tropical rainforests

As part of a 10-year deal announced on Sunday (Sept. 22), Norway will pay $150 million to the African nation of Gabon to battle deforestation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a huge deal considering Gabon is home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, a thriving home to biodiversity.

The deal is part of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), which was launched by the United Nations in 2015 to link European donors with countries in Africa. The partnership sets a carbon floor price of $10 per certified ton and will be paid on the basis of verified results from 2016 through to 2025.

While the Gabon-Norway deal is historic, it isn’t the first time an African country has promised to protect its natural resources for financial benefit. In 2014, Liberia was promised $150 million by Norway to completely stop cutting down its trees in return for development aid with the hopes of stopping deforestation by 2020.

Years later in a 2018 deal with the US-headquartered charity The Nature Conservancy, Seychelles agreed to swap part of its debt for a plan that designated nearly a third of its waters as protected areas.

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