22.11.2013

Germany increases its commitment to forest protection

Altmaier: Forest protection is an especially effective form of climate change mitigation

Federal Minister for the Environment Altmaier behind speaker's desk

Federal Minister for the Environment Altmaier at the COP 19. Picture: BMU/Nicole Scharfschwerdt.

Germany attaches particular importance to the protection of tropical forests within the context of climate change mitigation (REDD+). German Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier affirmed this at the UN climate conference in Warsaw, reasoning that "through forest protection, we can make rapid and extensive progress towards global climate change mitigation." He announced that Germany will provide an additional EUR 12 million to a programme supporting pioneer regions that have reduced deforestation and thereby prevented greenhouse gas emissions.

Germany has thus increased its total commitment to EUR 56 million to support forest protection measures that demonstrably contribute to emission reductions. "A third of global greenhous gas emissions are caused by land use change, with global deforestation contributing the most. This is why Germany is so strongly involved in forest protection," explained Altmaier.

The programme is also providing support to the Brazilian state of Acre, which developed plans for sustainable land use and the protection of tropical forests. The local population was involved in the planning process and participated in the revenues generated by forest use. Efforts this year have already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 million tonnes of CO2.

Dirk Niebel, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, views the programme as a "crucial initiative to protect tropical forests and enable comprehensive long-term investment in sustainable forest management. We have a particular obligation towards developing and emerging economies to not only promote forest protection, but also to demonstrate ways in which forests can be sustainably used."

The Colombian government has set the ambitious goal of completely stopping deforestation in the Colombian Amazon region by 2020, and is receiving corresponding support from Germany, the United Kingdom and Norway.

"In the case of forest protection, we have now developed a functional model for providing international support to climate change mitigation measures that produce verifiable successes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Altmaier.