Since hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015 which resulted in the Paris Climate Agreement, France has become a leading proponent for tropical forest conservation. This effort has included establishing a National Strategy to Combat Imported Deforestation (SNDI) to effectively apply a zero deforestation policy to commodities produced at the expense of forests in the tropics. One of the key institutions charged with implementing the SNDI abroad is the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France’s overseas development agency. Since last year, AFD has been putting tens of millions of euros annually toward projects that contribute to conservation and restoration of tropical forests, while also supporting the groundwork for the “zero deforestation” public purchasing policy which is set to take effect in 2022. AFD has also been working to support France’s biodiversity conservation goals. Deforestation in French Guiana. Photo © Didier Gentilhomme AFD has a long history of operating in tropical forests, especially in its former colonies and overseas territories. These programs have not always been without controversy—NGOs have alleged that AFD has supported industrial logging companies which contribute to deforestation—but AFD says it has incorporated this criticism as well as findings from research institutions into safeguards it now applies to the projects it finances. Accordingly, AFD’s emphasis around tropical forests in recent years has shifted toward conservation and “sustainable forest management”, which includes establishing forest management plans to reduce the impact of logging operations in places like the Congo Basin, where deforestation is now rising at the fastest…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer