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UK to give £50m to forest protection fund

Ecologist

21st October, 2009

Government says funding will support pilot projects to help determine longer term support to fight deforestation

The UK Government has announced it will give £50m to the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) to reduce tropical deforestation.

The money will be earmarked to help improve local infrastructure in countries such as the Democractic Republic of Congo, which are often unable to track or prevent the destruction of their forests.

Campaigners have expressed concern about the involvement of the World Bank, which is administrating the scheme. Greenpeace says the bank's track record on forest programmes is poor.

However, the Department for International Development (DfID), which made the announcement today, insists it will be the FIP governing board and not the World Bank that will be running the programme and deciding on the projects to fund.

The funding will be supplied over the next three years, after which any forest protection plans agreed at the Copenhagen climate negotiations in December will start to take effect.

DfID says that the most successful FIP projects will then be used as a basis for long-term programmes.

The UK has committed a further £50m based on the progress of the programme. Norway is also committing around £100m along with smaller amounts from the US, Denmark and Australia to give a total budget of £220m.

Greenpeace said deforestation in countries like Indonesia, Brazil and Congo needs to be halted by 2015 at the latest to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

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Forest Investment Programme (FIP)

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