The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to invest US$814m in 13 operations across the continent to promote the management of forests and other natural resources.

AfDB already funds 80 ongoing operations in 10 member countries of the Central African Forest Commission, with the new schemes including a number of multilateral projects to promote natural resources management across central Africa.

President Donald Kaberuka, speaking at AfDB’s two-day conference on funding mechanisms for the sustainable management of Congo Basin forest ecosystems, also unveiled plans for US$5.6m of funding to promote biodiversity and ecotourism in the Great Lakes region.

Mr Kaberuka added that AfDB is working wth the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility to develop future forest resources management and climate change programmes in the area.