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Africa: EU has to invest in reforestation programmes

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Friday, 23 November 2018

Africa: EU has to invest in reforestation programmes

Jari Leppä, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, has encouraged the European Union to adopt reforestation as one of the themes of its new partnership with Africa. Finland, he revealed, is proposing that a forest fund be established as part of the so-called Africa—Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, a comprehensive partnership programme announced in September by Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission. One of the main objectives of the programme is to create up to 10 million jobs for youth in Africa by 2023. Leppä pointed out that the sustainable use of forest resources would not only support efforts to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but also promote employment in the rural areas of Africa. “Investments worth billions are needed in afforestation, forestry and the management and protection of forests,” said Leppä. Finland, the most forested country in the EU, is set to promote sustainable forest management and afforestation also as part of its Presidency of the European Union in 2019. Mika Anttonen, the founder and chairman of the board at St1, has been one of the most vocal advocates of reforesting Africa in Finland, saying repeatedly that reforestation is one of the key means to combat climate change and absorb carbon from the atmosphere. The Finnish energy company has even launched a commercial project with the ambitious objective of reforesting 85 per cent of Sahara.

Source: helsinkitimes.fi