The UK Government has committed to spending £100 million on international projects that will tackle deforestation and improve biodiversity.
is part of £2.9 billion of UK money pledged to climate change projects in the Comprehensive Spending Review last week. It will support projects that prevent
and the destruction of habitats and loss of plants and animals.
Deforestation accounts for almost a fifth of global carbon emissions
and the UK wants to halve tropical deforestation by 2020 and wants the global forest sector to be carbon neutral by 2030 through replacing forest loss with new forest growth.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman announced the new funding at a conference in Japan where almost 200 countries converged to set new targets to protect the natural environment.
"Tackling deforestation is critical if we are to be successful in our goals to protect biodiversity, tackle climate change and reduce global poverty," Spelman said yesterday. "Forests are home to over half of the world’s plants and animals, and support the livelihoods of over one billion people."
Defra said the funding would help developing countries prepare for the effects of climate change and help them on the road to a sustainable, low carbon future.
The investment includes new funding for the UN programme Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The REDD+ programme creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low carbon paths to sustainable development.
The £2.9 million of funding announced last week runs until 2015 and is an increase on the £1.5 million pledged until 2012 by the UK Government at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009.
Defra said the £2.9 billion would be additional to the existing £300 million commitment to REDD+ made at last year’s Copenhagen Climate Conference.