Climate change minister Claire Perry announces fresh support for two major forest protection initiatives
The UK government yesterday announced £62m of funding is to be provided to projects tackling deforestation in Latin America, as part of its latest move to honour the climate funding commitments made in the Paris Agreement.
The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed £19m would be invested through the Partnerships for Forests (P4F) initiative in Colombia, Brazil and Peru, while a further £43m has been earmarked for the UN-backed REDD for Early Movers (REM) initiative. The UK government will partner with the German government to support two Brazilian States, Acre and Mato Grosso, to reduce deforestation through the REDD scheme.
The schemes will use a mixture of results-based payments, grants and technical assistance to support the wider drive across the Amazon to decouple deforestation from economic growth.
The government also hopes the funding will help drive the development of sustainable forest-based industries that can improve livelihoods without fuelling deforestation.
“The UK is a global leader in reducing emissions while growing our economy, and we want to help other countries do the same,” said Climate Change Minister Claire Perry.
“The government’s support for these initiatives to tackle deforestation will help speed up the transition to a low carbon economy, fostering the creation of forest-friendly businesses while helping responsible companies to source sustainably and kick-starting projects that improve the lives of many people across the region.”
The funding commitments were welcomed by Tião Viana, Governor of Acre State in Brazil. “Bonn is an opportunity for communities and sub-national governments to demonstrate their leadership on climate change and sustainable development,” he said. “These are crucial times and we are all in this together, so I am delighted that the UK will support Acre to continue its urgent and concrete actions on social inclusion, conservation and green economic development to reverse the negative impacts of climate change.”
The move was also welcomed by Paul Polman, chief executive of consumer goods giant Unilever, which is similarly engaged in efforts to reduce deforestation in its supply chain.
“Regions like the Amazon and the Cerrado play a critical role in climate protection and support astonishing biodiversity,” he said. “They are also vital to agricultural production. We must therefore find ways to increase production while halting forest loss.
“Companies cannot achieve this on our own, and so I welcome today’s announcement from Claire Perry that the UK will be increasing its support to this unique region to foster new partnerships among business, government and communities.”
The move comes ahead of an event this morning, hosted by the UK delegation at the COP23 Summit, which will bring together the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and leading chocolate companies to discuss how to minimise environmental impacts in the cocoa supply chain.
It also follows a commitment from Enterprise Rent-A-Car this week to provide a $30m donation to The Nature Conservancy to support the Enterprise Healthy Rivers Project.
“This contribution is one of the biggest gifts we have received in many years,” said Mark Tercek, president and chief executive for The Nature Conservancy. “It will benefit both people and wildlife across two continents, while facilitating the sharing of best practices to drive global progress in conservation.”