One Forest Summit: Protecting Tropical Forests with the Libreville Plan

On 1 and 2 March 2023, more than 20 countries representing the major forest basins met in Libreville, Gabon, in the heart of the African forest, for a One Forest Summit dedicated to seeking solutions to protect tropical forests.

At this Summit, we advanced and renewed our collective ambition regarding the conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests. These forests are essential to the local population and all human beings as they provide many resources and biodiversity, in addition to storing carbon.

Commitments made during the One Forest Summit under the Libreville Plan aim to reconcile the international community’s desire to preserve carbon sinks and diversity with the legitimate wishes of forest countries seeking a balance between environmental ambition and their peoples’ economic prosperity.

The main objectives are as follows:

  • A fair agreement between forest countries and the international community, to reconcile environmental ambition with economic development;
  • A hallmark initiative to protect the most vital carbon and diversity reserves: Positive Conservation Partnerships (PCPs), with an initial budget of €100 million, and a mechanism to remunerate exemplary countries via “biodiversity credits”;
  • An emblematic scientific project called “One Forest Vision”, to measure the net balance of carbon sequestration and accurately map the most vital carbon and biodiversity reserves in the Amazon, Africa and Asia over the next five years
  • A 10by30 strategy for business leaders in the three forest basins to generate 10 million jobs by 2030 in activities related to sustainable exploitation of tropical forests, and a series of tangible corporate commitments.

This agreement is based on five pillars:

  1. Political engagement
    We cannot win the fight against climate change without tropical forests, which are one of the world’s main carbon sinks. We must urgently stop and revers deforestation by 2030.
  2. People cohabitating with nature
    Protecting forests requires a wide range of tools, from strong protection such as national parks to methods to sustainably manage natural resources. A protected forest, which maintains and increases its carbon sequestration rate, remains open to people. A protected forest is one that is sustainably managed and benefits local populations.
  3. Environmental ambition working for people
    Protecting forests also provides economic opportunity: the potential of the bioeconomy and local and sustainable transformation of forest products is huge. But deforestation is currently a threat to people: destroying forests upsets the water cycle, degrades land and diminishes genetic diversity, an inestimable source of innovation and knowledge.
  4. Protecting what is vital
    Certain vital carbon and biodiversity reserves warrant a high level of protection because their degradation would have irreversible consequences. This is case for mangroves, peat bogs and certain primary forests, home to what are called umbrella species because they alone support ecosystems (gorillas, orangutans, elephants, jaguars, etc.).
  5. Remunerating forest countries for providing services to the rest of the world
    Developing forest countries that have high aims for nature and are working to achieve these aims should be remunerated by the international community.

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Last updated on: 9 March 2023