NEWS & PRESS

DRC ARTICULATES PROPOSED CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PLAN AT UN CLIMATE CONFERENCE

KINSHASA—At the UN Climate Conference in Paris, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is articulating its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) [its proposed contribution] to this global cause. Through targeted mitigation and adaptation activities, the DRC will secure means of subsistence and sustain the livelihood of rural and urban communities, manage forest resources, and protect and preserve vulnerable ecosystems in coastal areas. In its INDC, the government has committed to:

• Reducing carbon emissions by 17 percent before 2030
• Planting 3 million hectares of trees to combat deforestation
• Protecting a forest stock of 152 million hectares
• Expanding access to energy for all citizens

A detailed summary of the DRC’s submission to the UN Climate Framework Convention is below and attached:

Protecting the Environment for Security and Sustainability

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

After years of conflict, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has worked to reestablish itself as a leader in the African continent, with improved security, a growing economy and a commitment to democratic governance. The government has worked with partners to protect wildlife, unique ecosystems and resilient communities that all depend on the protection of the environment.

Climate change is a global threat whose effects are evident in Africa. Almost two-thirds of the DRC’s territory is covered by forest, though deforestation is rapidly altering ecosystems. Seventy-six percent of the population confronts food insecurity, and many communities depend on arable land for food.

Despite its history of violent conflict, the DRC has long been a leader in environmental protection. Since ratifying the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1997 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, the DRC has inventoried its greenhouse gas emissions three times, completed a 2006 climate change risks and vulnerabilities impact assessment, adopted a Forestry Code, developed plans to design a national climate change policy and to expand the nation’s electricity sector. The DRC – already a low carbon emissions country – will harness its sustainable energy potential and natural capital to improve development and growth in throughout the African continent.

This year, the DRC became the 55th country to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The commitment came well ahead of talks on a universal climate change agreement, which which are taking place at the UN Climate Conference in Paris. Through targeted mitigation and adaptation activities, the DRC will secure means of subsistence and sustain the livelihood of rural and urban communities, manage forest resources, as well as protect and preserve vulnerable ecosystems in coastal areas. Specifically, the government has committed to:

• Reducing carbon emissions by 17 percent before 2030
• Planting 3 million hectares of trees to combat deforestation
• Protecting a forest stock of 152 million hectares
• Expanding access to energy for all citizens

This dual mitigation and adaptation climate plan sets the DRC on a path toward sustainability – a low carbon emission development pathway until 2030. “If we are able to deliver, no one should have an excuse not to,” Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, the DRC’s lead climate negotiator said.

The DRC’s intended contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is ambitious – and partners from all sectors must work collaboratively to achieve agreed targets by 2030. The government plans to mobilize a multiagency approach to climate-sensitive development, involving the Ministries of Environment, Mining and Finance as well as the Sustainable Development Directorate. The plan also seeks to leverage existing projects executed by multilateral development agencies, global financial institutions, private sector partners and local nonprofits to direct stakeholders at all levels towards a common goal.

The submission of the DRC’s intended contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is a step on a path toward sustainability and growth. In collaboration with partners and domestic leaders, the DRC will first assess the state of the nation, and develop a strategy for implementation. More studies and data availability will be the cornerstone of this process. “We have a lack of reliable statistics—that is a fact,” Mpanu Mpanu explained. “It was very hard to make concrete assessments, so we made realistic assumptions but also anticipate that knowledge will be revisited.”

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