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Ref: 460/07
Date: 11 December 2007

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UK pledges $30 million to tackle deforestation

The United Kingdom will contribute £15 million ($30 million) to a groundbreaking initiative to reduce the impact of deforestation on the world’s climate, UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced in Bali today.

The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility will support developing countries to participate in pilot programmes that reduce emissions from deforestation.                                

Mr Benn said that emissions from deforestation were too damaging to be ignored, and that such pilot programmes were essential, alongside including deforestation in any negotiations on a future climate agreement.

Deforestation makes up around 20 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Hilary Benn said:

"We want comprehensive negotiations on a future climate deal to be launched at the end of this week – and we need to ensure that any future climate framework includes tackling emissions from deforestation.

"But time isn’t on our side. That’s why we need to pilot the most effective ways of doing this now, to provide the necessary experience so that developing countries have the opportunity to choose to participate in much larger schemes in the future.”

UK International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said:

"Cutting deforestation emissions is a must if we are to avoid dangerous climate change, and it also brings real benefits for communities who depend on forests for their livelihoods, and for increasingly vulnerable biodiversity.

"Forest resources are among the primary assets of the poor and creating a system that allows them to conserve the forests and diversity of livelihoods will help tackle poverty by improving their income and wellbeing.”

The World Bank launched the FCPF in Bali today, and has set a target of $300 million overall for the facility. The UK’s capital contribution represents 10 per cent of the overall target.

The FCPF will provide support to prepare countries to participate in pilot schemes for reducing deforestation below an agreed national reference level. The UK hopes this will also help to catalyse much larger sources of funding, perhaps linked to the carbon market through any future climate change agreements negotiated between now and 2009.

The European Union has welcomed the FCPF and called for concrete policies aimed at eliminating deforestation within 20 to 30 years.  

This funding is part of the UK’s wider efforts, including £50 million ($100 million) to help reduce unsustainable deforestation in the Congo Basin, which was announced earlier this year as part of the $1.6 billion Environmental Transformation Fund.

Notes to Editors

  1. For press inquiries in Bali, please contact Penny Fox (UK and international media) on +62 81 908 530 812 or email penny.fox@defra.gsi.gov.uk, or Faye Belnis (Indonesian press) on +62 816 187 9167.
  2. For media inquiries in the UK please contact Heather Pillans at DfID on +44 207 023 1752 or Kate Belson at Defra on +44 20 7238 6054.
  3. For further background on the impacts of illegal logging, DfID has recently released a series of short films and booklets available at www.dfid.gov.uk/news/files/climate-bali.asp

Notes to editors

  1. For press inquiries in Bali, please contact Penny Fox (UK and international media) on +62 81 908 530 812 or email penny.fox@defra.gsi.gov.uk, or Faye Belnis (Indonesian press) on +62 816 187 9167.
  2. For media inquiries in the UK please contact Heather Pillans at DfID on +44 207 023 1752 or Kate Belson at Defra on +44 20 7238 6054.
  3. For further background on the impacts of illegal logging, DfID has recently released a series of short films and booklets.

End

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Page last modified: 11 December 2007
Page published: 11 December 2007

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs