Six heads of state attended an international summit on forest conservation, climate protection, and biodiversity in Libreville, where they adopted a document known as the “Libreville Plan.” The plan, inspired by the main resolutions of the COP27, commits policies to stop deforestation as an effective solution in the fight against climate change. The plan aims to create a fund with €100 million to finance a mechanism for rewarding countries that exemplify forest conservation and the preservation of their vital stocks of carbon and biodiversity through “biodiversity certificates.” The certificates can be exchanged with sovereign states or the private sector for “contributions to nature conservation.” The French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced that France would contribute €50 million, while the Walton Foundation and Conservation International would contribute €20 million and €30 million, respectively. Researchers also launched the One Forest Vision project, which seeks to map the three major forest basins worldwide, while business leaders pledged to create ten million jobs in activities related to sustainable forest management by 2030.
The Libreville Plan aims to empower local populations who live around the forests, and the Gabonese President, Ali Bongo, hoped it would not be a mere summit before COP28 in Dubai. Macron suggested that the One Forest Summit becomes an annual event, held in an African country or another continent to assess the commitments and results obtained. The fund established will provide resources for countries seeking to accelerate their vital carbon and biodiversity reserves’ protection within the framework of partnerships. The plan also offers an alternative to the “defunct model” of the carbon market, which has degraded to voluntary markets and devalued the price of carbon with greenwashing practices in recent years. By promoting forest conservation, the plan represents a critical step toward mitigating climate change and preserving global biodiversity.