At a meeting of more than 60 governments and Environment Ministers gathered in Kinshasa for a preparatory meeting in advance of UNFCCC COP27, IRI DRC delivered a statement calling for greater global ambition and support around the protection of DRC’s forests. In a statement delivered by Monsineaur Donatien Nshole, Secretary General of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), IRI DRC communicated that tropical deforestation is advancing at alarming rates across the African continent and in DRC. “We want to encourage the governments of the countries here present to stop deforestation and forest degradation and make it a key priority of their climate actions,” said Monsignor Nshole. IRI DRC called for religious organizations to be considered partners in raising awareness about the deforestation crisis, providing training on sustainable management, and mobilizing the moral leadership to advance policies that protect and restore forests. The statement delivered to the Ministerial meeting covered six calls to action: (i) to strengthen the voice of those calling for stronger protections around forest protection as a priority strategy against climate; (ii) to use COP27 as a space for the Government of DRC and other African countries to strengthen their commitments around forest protection; (iii) to affirm faith in forests as God’s creative work, a sacred and irreplaceable gift essential to life on earth and recall man’s mission to conserve and not destroy; (iv) to stop deforestation and forest degradation; (v) to secure legal recognition of the territorial land rights of indigenous peoples as a key element of climate policy; and (vi) to consider IRI DRC partners in forest protection, landscape restoration, and climate change issues by giving them space for interventions at the local, provincial and national levels.