World’s biggest climate fund seeks to restore Rwanda’s forests

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SEOUL – The world’s biggest global climate fund has agreed to invest US$39.1 million (S$53.6 million) in Rwanda to help it tackle climate change through the restoration of the nation’s only remaining montane forests.

The pledge by the US$12.8 billion South Korea-based Green Climate Fund will “build the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in Rwanda’s Congo Nile Divide through forest and landscape restoration and spur private sector green growth through Ireme Invest,” a green investment facility, the Finance Ministry said in a statement Wednesday. 

“The project will develop more sustainable management of 278,000 ha and promote sustainable agroforestry techniques in 2,000 ha of plantations, reducing demand for fuelwood and alleviating deforestation pressures,” according to the statement.

Preserving Africa’s forests is increasingly being seen as a bulwark against climate change. Trees absorb and store carbon, lessening the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Congo Nile Divide forests are home to endangered chimpanzees and have a moderating effect on the local climate, which is key for production of agricultural crops such as tea – one of Rwanda’s main exports. BLOOMBERG

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