A new multi-million pound fund will help protect rainforests equivalent to an area the size of Wales, cut millions of tonnes of carbon emissions and improve the lives of over 600,000 people in tropical forest communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Through the newly launched Mobilising Finance for Forests Programme, the UK Government will invest £150 million for businesses and investors who support and deliver sustainable land-use pro-jects and protect rainforest regions like the Amazon and Indonesian basins in communities vulnerable to climate change.
This is also expected to attract as much as £850 million private investment, support thousands of green jobs across multiple sectors, such as agriculture, food, and technology in these regions, and is predicted to provide 23 per cent of the reduction in carbon emissions and climate impacts needed over the next decade to meet the goals set in the Paris Agreement.
The projects that could benefit include those that promote trans-
parent supply chains and imple-ment deforestation-free standards, supporting an estimated 600,000 small-scale farmers and food producers to incorporate forest protection into agricultural pro-duction.
This funding will help to remove 28 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, equivalent to the offsetting of London’s entire CO2 emissions annually over the next 15 years, through investing in
eco-friendly projects like harvesting nuts, seeds, and coffee sustainably, restoring lost forests, diversifying crops to prevent soil erosion, and launching conservation activities – restoring tropical forests as our most effective and natural carbon capture and storage sinks.
The funding forms part of the UK’s existing commitment of £11.6 billion for international climate finance, which includes the Prime Minister’s recent pledge to spend at least £3 billion to protect nature and precious biodiversity over the next five years, of which projects to maintain forests will be a major part.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Tre-
velyan said: “The impact of de-forestation is devastating – on those vulnerable rainforest communities, and on global efforts to combat climate change.
“And the health of the earth’s tropical forests is critical to the health of our planet – we need to do all we can to protect and preserve this vital ecosystem.”
More than a quarter of the world’s population rely on forest resources for their livelihoods, including providing more than 13 million green jobs.
Rainforests are also habitats for a vast array of plants and animals and safeguard the planet’s resilience to climate change, including storing carbon dioxide in tree trunks, roots and soil.
Through unsustainable approach-es like deforestation, the world
has lost one-third of its forests since the last ice age – an area twice
the size of the United States, releasing a predicted one fifth of
the world’s greenhouse gas emiss-ions.