Peru's Environment Minister Highlights Impact of Deforestation
31 January 2009
Peru's first Environment Minister Antonio Brack visited several European countries, including the UK, in December on his way to the latest round of UN talks on climate change in Poznan (Poland). During a public event held at London's Canning House, Brack said that his ministry has calculated that Peru needs about US$25m (£17m) a year for the next 10 years to be able to save or conserve some 54 million hectares of forest; this figure could rise to 60 million.
He explained that Peru's contribution to mitigating climate change comes in the form of US$5m (£3m) a year already committed by the government. However, he is asking the international community for a further US$20m a year (£13m).
Peru's new Environment Ministry was created on the eve of the biennial European Union-Latin America and Caribbean summit in May 2008 and has been viewed by some commentators as a condition for signing a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
Germany has pledged 1.9 million euros (US$ 2.4 million) to the new ministry towards financing climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes in the central Peruvian jungle.
It is estimated that tropical deforestation causes about 18% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Ironically, Peru actually contributes less than 1% of the world's emissions, and about half of this is attributable to deforestation, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).