UK government continues to develop plans for supporting developing countries to tackle deforestation

UK government continues to develop plans for supporting developing countries to tackle deforestation

The British government is currently finalising its plans to help curb global deforestation as part of the UK’s £2.9 billion dedicated international climate fund (ICF). The ICF has been set up by the UK to ‘help developing countries tackle climate change and poverty[1]’ and includes a specific forest component that is currently being developed by the Departments for International Development (DFID) and Energy and Climate Change (DECC). A portion of the funds have already been allocated for the government’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climate programme, which is geared towards helping FLEGT countries to ‘continue and accelerate efforts to tackle illegal logging…..and supporting supply chain traceability for timber’[2]. It appears that the UK government now plans to extend this work to other commodities that are currently driving deforestation such as soya and palm oil.

Further details on plans for the use of ICF funds for forest and climate change issues  have not yet been outlined and are yet to be formally consulted with civil society or affected peoples. However, recent public interventions by senior government figures suggest that funds will focus on support for actions addressing the role of the private sector in tackling deforestation by working ‘with business to source and produce sustainable timber and palm oil and tackle wasteful practices that drive deforestation’.[3] It is expected that a formal consultation paper on ICF funding for forest and climate schemes will be released later this year.

While the government’s approach to collaboration with the private sector remains unfinalised, civil society organisations, including FPP, are urging the UK government to ensure that funds are targeted towards forest governance and tenure reforms to secure the land and resource rights of forest peoples and support local sustainable livelihoods in line with the international human rights obligations of tropical forest countries. Forest Peoples Programme and our partners are ready to make inputs to the UK government’s consultation paper when it is released.

[1]UK government and Business partnership to tackle deforestation’, Press Release, DFID, 11th April 2012: http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Documents/publications1/press-releases/UK-government-and-business-partnership-to-tackle-deforestation.pdf

[2] Speech by Development Minister Stephen O’Brien to The Forest Trust conference on sustainable palm oil, London 20th April 2012.

[3] Speech by Development Minister Stephen O’Brien to The Forest Trust conference on sustainable palm oil, London, 20th April 2012.