The World Bank, together with the UK, US and Norway, has launched a new BioCarbon Fund initiative to slow down deforestation through sustainable farming and landscape management.
The Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes has been funded with $280m (£207m) – with up to $135m (£100m) coming from Norway, $120m (£89m) from the UK, and $25m (£18m) from the US.
The aim of the project is to protect forest landscapes, which play a crucial role in slowing down climate change as they capture carbon, through sustainable agriculture, forestry and livestock management across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
It will look to involve the private sector, too, including multinationals such as Unilever, Mondelez, and Bunge.
A recent study showed that between 2000 and 2012, the Earth lost 2.3m sq km of forest – especially in the south-east of Asia – equivalent to an area as large as Western Europe.
Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s vice-president of sustainable development said, “The fate of the climate, forests, and agriculture are bound together. If agriculture and land-use change continue to produce up to 30% of global greenhouse gases, it will mean further disaster and disruption from climate change.
“That’s why the new BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes it so important. Its grants and results-based financing aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the land sector, through REDD+, climate-smart agriculture practices and land-use planning.”
Recent figures showed that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon had increased by 28% in a year, with campaigners accusing the government to favour the agribusiness that has interests in having the forests cleared.