Poor countries will be paid to stop chopping down forests, UK announces, as it signs major UN declaration on deforestation at New York climate summit
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it was also committing £45m to a World Bank-administered scheme to reduce deforestation in tropical countries. The cash will be spent in Costa Rica, Mexico, Ghana, the DRC, Nepal, Chile, Congo and Vietnam.
The cash announced on Tuesday comes in addition to £144m announced on Monday on the eve of the summit, by the Department for International Development, for two programmes to reduce deforestation and stamp out demand for illegal logging.
The DECC said that the new funding commitments from both departments came from the UK's International Climate Fund (ICF), which has set aside £3.87bn over five years for overseas projects to tackle climate change. Prior to announcements this week, £355m of the ICF had already been committed to deforestation projects.
Ed Davey, the energy secretary said: “Our global forests are the lungs of the world, and protecting them is fundamental for our survival. When we hand these forests over to future generations, we must be able to say we exercised our stewardship wisely and responsibly."
As well as tackling deforestation, the New York Declaration on Forests also proposes restoring forests and croplands over an area bigger than the size of India by 2030.
Mr Ban said: “The New York Declaration aims to reduce more climate pollution each year than the United States emits annually, and it doesn’t stop there.
"Forests are not only a critical part of the climate solution – the actions agreed today will reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve the rule of law, secure the rights of indigenous peoples and benefit communities around the world.”
Greenpeace welcomed action to tackle deforestation but warned that the Declaration did not go far enough, especially because it was based on voluntary commitments not government action.
"The New York Declaration is missing ambitious targets and tangible actions," Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said.
Susanne Breitkopf, the group's senior political advisor, said the agreement was "a lot less impactful if Brazil does not sign up".