Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment to visit DRC rainforest

Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen, will visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) next week.

During his visit he will meet with the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Environment Minister of DRC, as well as representatives from the UN and the World Bank, the private sector and civil society. He will also visit local communities in the rainforest. DRC has among the world's largest rainforest, second only to Brazil. 

- Together with our international partners, Norway intensifies our efforts to protect the rainforests of Central Africa. We wish to strengthen the dialogue with DRC's authorities and other actors in the country that are relevant for the rainforest's future. DRC faces a variety of challenges and it will not be easy to protect these vast forests, but they are of immense importance to the people in the region, for regional rainfall patterns and for the world's climate. We must therefore join efforts to make it happen, says Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.

In global relative terms, deforestation in the Congo Basin has been low for many years. These forests are therefore among the most intact rainforest basins in the world. However, international actors have raised concerns in recent years about what seems to be a significant increase in deforestation. 

In partnership with the UNDP, the World Bank, Germany, UK and the EU, Norway now strengthens efforts to protect the forest in the region. 

Norway channels its support through the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), a broad international partnership established in September 2015. DRC was the first CAFI member country to present a strategy and investment plan on how to protect its forest while also combating poverty. In April this year, CAFI and the DRC signed a Letter of intent to support DRC's investment plan.

The Congo Basin includes six countries in Central Africa. About 120 million people live in the region and about half are partially dependent on the forests for livelihoods, food, medicines and materials. Credit: Oillivier Girard/CIFOR

Press contact: Communications adviser Elisabeth Brinch Sand, phone: +4793247007

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Photos from DRC's rainforest.