It will be “very, very difficult” to protect the Great Congo Basin rainforest unless countries like Gabon are properly rewarded for their conservation efforts, its environment minister has told Sky News.
The warning comes just weeks before the crucial UN climate summit known as COP26 is to be hosted by the UK in Glasgow.
Gabon is the chair of the African nations negotiating block at the summit, and so wields significant power.
Nearly 90% of Gabon’s landmass is covered in trees.
It is the second most forested country on earth, and forms part of the great Congo Basin rainforest that stretches across central Africa.
It is also one of a few nations on the planet that absorbs more carbon than it emits, absorbing over one hundred million tons of carbon per year – about a quarter of the UK’s annual emissions.