The 5,000 delegates present in Sydney have until November 19th to develop a roadmap to achieve the global goal of protecting at least 17% of terrestrial areas and 10% of oceans until 2020, a goal issued from the debates of the Congress’s previous session held in Durban under Nelson Mandela’s patronage. In 2014, the prestigious Magisterium “Patron,” an Anglo-Saxon term denoting top sponsorship, fell on the President of the Gabonese Republic.
Sydney 2014 : Gabon's international leadership recognized
Gabon has reached, 6 years in advance, the 2020 global targets for the protection of land and sea. Climate security, food chain, the balance between humans and nature: a major African voice on environmental issues, Ali Bongo Ondimba, guest of honor at the World Parks Congress, succeeds the congress’s 2003 sponsor, Nelson Mandela.
As an eminent prescriber of environmental policy, Gabon will host in March 2015, for the South, the step-conference on climate prior to the COP-Paris on climate change. “I will be the host of this South-South dialogue to contribute to a solid agreement,” indicated the President of the Republic. “We have integrated the principle of low carbon emissions in our national development strategy and we are taking steps to preserve our forest cover, today at 88%.”
With the aim of strengthening the protection of natural patrimony, “we will create marine parks covering 23% of the territorial waters of the exclusive economic zone,” announced Ali Bongo Ondimba, which will be added to the national parks and to the wet land areas which already cover 21% of the territory. As such, Gabon is already reaching the thresholds set for 2020 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Thanks to the Gabonese Space Study and Observation agency, the country is soon set to host EarthLab Gabon, the second center of operational research and surveillance of the EarthLab Galaxy program. This is an exceptional know-how in Africa in the field of satellite earth observation, as well as both local and regional dynamics in the field of environmental monitoring.
In August 2014, the President of the Republic enacted Law n°002/2014 dealing with sustainable development in the Gabonese Republic. Focusing on the well-being of present and future generations, this text lays down the fundamental principles of sustainable development which are based on the present understanding of the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of the problem, in a realistic and balanced way.