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TotalEnergies, Gabon seal forest saving deal

TotalEnergies and Compagnie des Bois du Gabon (CBG) have joined forces to develop a forward-looking model of sustainable and responsible forest management that combines sustainable harvesting, biodiversity conservation, and long-term carbon storage. TotalEnergies has become CBG’s leading partner after acquiring 49% of its capital from Criterion Africa Partners.

CBG is a key player in Gabonese forestry, recognized for its responsible and sustainable management of 600,000 hectares of forest, certified to the highest international standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and for its ongoing contribution to protecting biodiversity.

The forest management model applied by the partners will make it possible to develop a new balance between, on the one hand, the harvesting and local processing of sustainable wood combined with carbon storage and, on the other, the production of related carbon credits thanks to the reduced impact of forest operations, reforestation, agroforestry and conservation of natural forests. This new model is in line with the “Green Gabon” vision of the Gabonese authorities – the country’s development strategy to sustainably manage its natural resources for the benefit of the population – as well as Gabon’s climate policy.

“We are pleased to join forces with CBG to support the evolution of Gabonese forestry. This is a key economic sector for the country, and we will help develop its carbon sequestration capacity in compliance with the highest international standards. This is an innovative partnership both by nature and ambition,” said Nicolas Terraz, President of Exploration & Production at TotalEnergies. “We are also particularly delighted to extend our activities in Gabon to sustainable and responsible forest management, after more than 90 years of investment and economic activity in the exploitation of the country’s hydrocarbon resources.”

“Climate change and nature loss call for action. This is a long-term ambition that requires re-thinking certain models, challenging current practices and innovating. Forests are of crucial importance in the fight against climate change. We need to anticipate and be progressive to meet the challenges for the population, the country of Gabon, biodiversity and climate,” said Hubert and Guillaume Fenart, CEOs of CBG. “The arrival of a major player like TotalEnergies will make it possible to expand CBG’s activities and develop large-scale carbon initiatives within the framework of Gabon’s climate law.”