French energy group Total said it had joined up with the company Foret Ressources Management to plant a 40,000-hectare forest in the Republic of the Congo, as companies around the world step up policies to help the environment.
Total said on Tuesday that this forest would create a carbon sink that will sequester more than 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over 20 years.
According to the company, the new forest will be certified in accordance with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) standards.
The project, financed by Total, includes agroforestery practices developed with the local communities for agricultural production and sustainable wood energy. By 2040, responsible management through selective cutting (treatment of forests which aims to imitate nature by mixing together several species of different age) will promote the natural regeneration of local species and provide Brazzaville and Kinshasa with lumber and plywood.
“With this project on the Batéké Plateaux, Total is committing to the development of natural carbon sinks in Africa. These activities build on the priority initiatives taken by the Group to avoid and reduce emissions, in line with its ambition to get to net zero by 2050.
“They will also help to showcase the Congo’s natural potential and to extend our long-term partnership with the country, where we have been present for fifty years,” said Nicolas Terraz, Senior Vice President Africa, Exploration & Production at Total.
“This ambitious and exemplary project is part of PRONAR, the national afforestation/reforestation program launched in 2011 to expand the country’s forest cover and increase carbon storage capacity, create new wood-based businesses to diversify the national economy, and foster the emergence of a green economy in the Republic of the Congo,” concluded Rosalie Matondo, Minister of the Forest Economy of the Republic of the Congo.