The Blue Congo Basin Fund is a financial mechanism promoted and invested by 16 Central African countries in view of preserving the biodiversity of the Congo Basin region, the second largest rainforest of the world. The NDC Support Programe supported the design of a pre-feasibility study for the Congo Blue Fund, which was presented at the COP25. The fund would facilitate a shift from a forest-based economy to a sustainable water-based economy, reduce deforestation, increase the carbon sequestration, and help stabilize the region in terms of peace.
The Blue Congo Basin Fund Fund aims at mobilizing the necessary resources, from African States, public and private funders, to finance the implementation of programs and projects which contribute to the sustainable development and the promotion of the Blue Economy in the Congo Basin region.
The goal is to shift Congo Basin economies from reliance on forest-based resources to much greater use of renewable river and water-based resources. It would thus offer an environmentally sustainable way of economic development, benefitting the countries and peoples of the Congo Basin. And, by helping to preserve the forests of the Congo Basin, the Fund will contribute to international efforts to mitigate climate change. The Fund would also encourage regional peace and stability through enhanced cooperation and collaborative projects.
The Congo Basin is second only to the Amazon Basin as one of the world’s carbon sinks. Preserving the forests of the Congo Basin has a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change whereas continuing deforestation will only exacerbate global warming. At the same time the countries and peoples of the Congo Basin must have the right to economic development and improved standards of living.
The aim of the fund is to reconcile these two objectives by seeking to shift the focus of the Congo Basin economies from the exploitation of forests to a new form of sustainable development based on making much greater use of the renewable resources represented by the waters of the Congo and its tributaries. The Blue Congo Basin Fund would contribute to Africa’s Blue Economy (Economic Commission for Africa ) and deliver both economic and environmental sustainability.
The Blue Congo Basin Fund would focus on creating economic assets such as:
- improved river navigation and transport, including dredging and small ports infrastructure
- hydro-electric projects/small dams
- irrigation projects to increase productivity of existing arable and agricultural land
- fishing and fish farming
- water and waste water treatment
The Congo Blue fund is one of three regional initiatives launched by the Moroccan King Mohamed VI during COP22 in Marrakech in 2016. Morocco’s NDC Support Programme activities are a contribution to south-south collaboration and has been channeled through the 4C (Centre Compétence Changement Climatique) Maroc Project, which UNDP and the Government of Germany have been supporting since 2015.
The establishment of the Congo Blue Fund is spearheaded by UNDP Morocco and UNDP Republic of Congo, under the oversight of the NDC Support Programme.
Experts from Ernst and Young/EY and Innpact were hired to help the Congo Basin Climate Commission develop a pre-feasibility study of the Blue Fund, which was supported by the NDC Support Programme. The study, which was completed in 2019, included both a pipeline of potential projects as well as an analysis of the legal structure, governance and management model of the Fund.
The pre-feasibility study was reviewed at two stakeholder meetings in October and November 2019 in Brazzaville, where representatives from all participating countries met: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Republic of Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.
On 3rd December 2019 at the COP25 in Madrid, Innpact and EY presented the design of the Congo Basin Blue Fund initiative in a side event organised by the Congo Basin Climate Commission.
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