Germany attaches special importance to the protection of tropical forests in the context of climate change mitigation (REDD+). German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier emphasised this at the UN climate conference in Warsaw. "Forest protection can make a big, quick-impact difference for global climate change mitigation," he explained. Altmaier announced that Germany would be providing an additional 12 million euros for a programme that supports pioneer regions which have taken action against deforestation and thus avoided greenhouse gas emissions.
Through that step, Germany is increasing its support for forest protection activities that demonstrably contribute to avoided emissions, bringing it to a total of 56 million euros. "One third of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by changes in land use, and global deforestation is the number one cause in this regard. That is why Germany has made forest protection a special focus of its work," Altmaier said.
The programme has assisted the Brazilian state of Acre, for example, in developing sustainable land use plans and tropical forest protection plans, and in ensuring that the local population had a say in the drafting of the plans and would benefit from the revenue from the use of the forest. This year, the programme has already helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5 million tonnes of CO2.
Dirk Niebel, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, considers the programme a "crucial initiative for protecting tropical forests and facilitating comprehensive, long-term investment in sustainable forest management." He said, "We have a responsibility, especially vis-à-vis developing and emerging economies, not just to call for the protection of forests but to demonstrate ways of using forests sustainably."
The Government of Colombia has adopted the ambitious goal of fully stopping deforestation in the Colombian Amazon region by 2020. Germany, the UK and Norway are supporting Colombia's efforts.
"In the area of forest protection, we have now developed a functioning system for international support for climate action that demonstrably makes a difference and reduces greenhouse gas emissions," Altmaier said.