Democratic Republic of the Congo Registers First CDM Project

8 March 2011: The Democratic Republic of the Congo has successfully registered its first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, the Ibi Batéké Carbon Sink Plantation Project.

The reforestation project involves the planting of different types of acacia, eucalyptus and pine trees in the degraded forest in the Ibi village on Batéké Plateau. Through this tree planting, the project will restore over 4,200 hectares of degraded land and absorb an estimated 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the next 30 years. In addition, part of the reforestation will be used as a sustainable source of charcoal for urban areas, which will reduce the pressure of deforestation on native forests. Besides mitigating climate change, the project benefits include: improving the livelihoods of members of the surrounding communities through the creation of jobs and provision of health and education; and promoting other environmental benefits such as the regeneration of patches of savannah and sheltering wildlife.

The project developer, NOVACEL, signed an emission reduction purchase agreement with the World Bank's BioCarbon Fund for the purchase of 500,000 certified emission reductions (CERs) to be generated by 2017. Other private sector firms, such as the French company ORBEO will also purchase CERs generated by the project. The carbon revenue will be invested in reforestation and local development activities. [World Bank Press Release]