Peru aims for zero deforestation

The Peruvian government says it can reach zero deforestation in just 10 years with the help of funds from Western governments, the BBC News website reports.

It is taking its ambitious proposal to the latest round of UN talks on climate change, which are taking place in Poznan, Poland.

The government claims more than 80% of Peru’s primary forests can be saved or protected.

Peru has the fourth largest area of tropical forest in the world after Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia.

The South American nation has about 70 million hectares of tropical forest, covering nearly 60% of its territory.

“We are not a poor country going to the Poznan meeting begging for aid,” Environment Minister Antonio Brack told the BBC.

“We are an important country with a large area of forest that has a value.”

Mr Brack says his ministry has calculated that Peru needs about $25m (£17m) a year for the next 10 years to be able to save or conserve initially at least 54 million hectares of forest, which could rise to 60 million.

He says the Peruvian government has already committed $5m-a-year, and he is looking for $20m-a-year from the international community.

“This is Peru’s contribution to mitigating climate change,” he said.

Government figures for Amazonian deforestation suggest 150,000 hectares were cut down in Peru in 2005, although other organisations put the average figure in recent years higher at around 250,000 hectares annually.

This is much less than Brazil, for example, which released figures last week showing an annual rate of forest cover being lost of nearly 12 million hectares.

Tropical deforestation is estimated to be responsible for about 18% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Peru contributes less than 1% of the world’s emissions, but according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), about half of Peru’s GHG emissions are due to deforestation.

Mr Brack says the 54 million hectares Peru is aiming to protect or conserve is divided into four different categories:

  • 17 million hectares of national parks which are already in existence
  • 12 million for Peru’s 42 indigenous groups, totalling 350,000 people
  • 21 million for sustainable forestry development
  • 5 million for eco-tourism

The minister says Germany has already committed 4m euros ($5m, £3.5m) to the first option, while Holland is interested in funding the protection of the forest for indigenous groups.

He is also hoping for funds from Finland, Great Britain and Japan.

Source: BBC News website

Date: 07/12/2008

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One Response

  1. [...] Peru aims for zero deforestation « Take CoverMr Brack says his ministry has calculated that Peru needs about $25m (£17m) a year for the next 10 years to be able to save or conserve initially at least 54 million hectares of forest, which could rise to 60 million. … [...]

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