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Gabon Pitches New Funding Model to Protect Africa's Amazon

The nation plans to combine green bonds and carbon offsets to conserve and develop forests the size of Delaware 

Forest elephants in the Ivindo national park, near Makokou, Gabon. 

Forest elephants in the Ivindo national park, near Makokou, Gabon. 

Photographer: Amaury Hauchard/AFP/Getty Images 

Gabon is the world’s second-most forested nation, yet its economy is almost fully reliant on revenues from oil extraction. Environment Minister Lee White hopes to turn some of its trees into a source of income so the country can cut its dependence on fossil fuels.

The African nation “is looking to find a development strategy that maintains the forests,” White said in an interview this month. “We’re trying to push the idea, rather than pay us for reducing emissions, pay us for absorbing emissions.”