Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Equatorial Guinea unveils measures to combat global warming

By Arison TAMFU

Central African country, Equatorial Guinea has outlined new moves including forest conservation, hydroelectric power, and ending the flaring of natural gas as key parts of a strategy to mitigate the impact of climate change.

President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea told journalists that the new strategy involved a five-point plan to conserve the natural environment and contribute to global efforts to slow the rate of global warming. He said his government had oriented the socioeconomic development policies toward sustainability.

“Equatorial Guinea is a developing country that lives practically thanks to Mother Nature,” he said. “It does not know the problems of environmental degradation and it aspires to the new development technologies that guarantee the people’s well-being.”

Under the plan, the government of Equatorial Guinea is producing electrical energy through a system of hydroelectric and turbo gas generation, using the gas produced by the petroleum industry. It is also ending the practice of flaring gas into the atmosphere and convert that gas into butane, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other derivatives. President Obiang said his government is negotiating with neighboring countries to absorb the gas that they are currently flaring.

He said as part of the plan, Equatorial Guinea is replacing thermal power plants that produce carbon dioxide with hydroelectric plants based in river basins of the country. To conserve ecosystems, Equatorial Guinea has created large natural reserves—Ureka on Bioko Island and Monte Alén on the mainland, he said.
In light of the imminent danger that the excessive use of timber could provoke further desertification, the government has reduced the exploitation of its forest reserves by 25 percent and requires value-added processing of wood.

“The forestry policy of the government is aimed at protecting endangered species and conserving ecosystems through legal norms that protect species that have been declared in danger of extinction,” he said. The policies on forests and natural areas are in line with the recommendations of the Central African Forest commission (COMIFAC).

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