The government has launched a new £150m programme that will mobile private finance for businesses and investors who support and deliver sustainable land-use projects.
The government has said that this project will protect 2.1 million hectares of rainforest across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The Mobilising Finance for Forests Programme is also expected to attract as much as £850m in private investment, support thousands of green jobs across multiple sectors, and is predicted to provide a 23% reduction in carbon emissions.
The projects that could benefit include those that promote transparent supply chains and implement deforestation-free standards.
The funding forms part of the UK’s commitment of £11.6bn for international climate finance, which includes the Prime Minister’s recent pledge to spend at least £3bn to protect nature and precious biodiversity over the next five years, of which projects to maintain forests will be a major part.
The programme is being delivered in partnership with the Netherlands’ Development Finance Institution, which will aim to co-invest up to £36m of its own capital in the project.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: ‘The impact of deforestation 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.
‘Today’s new fund will ramp up investment in projects on the frontline of this effort, while also giving financial institutions the confidence they need to invest, which could attract and secure as much as £850m from the private sector.’
Kate Norgrove, executive director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF, commented: ‘With nature in freefall and our climate in crisis, it is only right that the UK government invests to protect precious habitats like rainforests for the benefit of the communities and wildlife that live there, and for future generations.
‘However, to truly safeguard nature – our life support system – we must transform current food and farming systems, which are driving nature loss at home and abroad through deforestation, destruction of other ecosystems and pollution.
‘WWF is calling on the UK government to go further to protect and restore vital habitats like the Amazon, by writing into the flagship Environment Bill binding targets to make UK supply chains deforestation-free by 2023 and to halve the UK’s production and consumption footprint by 2030.’
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