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Rainforests

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are assisting Brazil's plans to conserve the Amazon rainforest; and whether they will encourage international support for re-using degraded former forest land. [HL185]

The UK Government are supporting the efforts of the Brazilian Government to reduce deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

The Government have a high-level dialogue on sustainable development with the Brazilian Government and national stakeholders to promote action on commonly identified sustainable development challenges including deforestation.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs supports projects through its international sustainable development fund. These include projects to strengthen environmental law enforcement; to contribute to a fair and sustainable landholding regularisation in the Brazilian Amazon; and support to strengthen technical and legal expertise at state level. Further work is supported to develop solutions which reduce deforestation due to cattle raising expansion and for developing a methodology for assessing the financial contribution of the Brazilian system of protected areas for the national economy.

The Department for International Development is contributing through multilateral organisations in the region to promote environmental sustainability in Brazil and is providing support to civil society organisations involved in forest management.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently supported the Amazon Deforestation-Soya Certification Project aimed at the creation of a scheme to certify sustainably grown soybeans. This project developed forest-friendly criteria to ensure that soya does not come from illegally logged areas. Additionally, the FCO is supporting a capacity-building project to enable small farmers to benefit from carbon markets and recover degraded Atlantic Forest areas through reforestation. In total, the FCO has spent approximately £1.8 million between 2005 and 2009 in forest activities through its programme funding.