Efforts to save world's rainforests boosted

Efforts to save the world's rainforests received a boost as governments agreed plans for an emergency funding initiative that could significantly reduce deforestation.

Efforts to save the world's rainforests received a boost as governments agreed plans for an emergency funding initiative that could significantly reduce deforestation.

The Prince of Wales hailed the proposals of an inter-governmental panel of experts today as the US announced there was potentially 275 million dollars (£165 million) available for the scheme next year.

Under the plans rainforest countries would be rewarded on a performance basis for reducing the amount of trees they destroyed, with funds paid when agreed targets were met.

An example of how the initiative could work is the historic deforestation agreement signed between Guyana and Norway last week.

The Scandinavian country plans to invest up to 250 million dollars (£150 million) in the South American nation and former British colony by 2015 in line with the government's success at limiting emissions and halting the destruction of trees.

Funding will initially be sought from world governments for the scheme which is estimated to need £13.5 to £22.3 billion over the next five years to achieve a possible 25% reduction in annual global deforestation rates by 2015.

The Informal Working Group (IWG) of more than 30 countries that has proposed the financial initiative was set up by world leaders after they attended a meeting convened by the prince in London in April.

The body examined financial proposals made by the Prince's Rainforests Project (PRP)- set up two years ago to find a solution to making the unique eco-systems worth more alive then dead.

The prince addressed delegates at a St James' Palace seminar today attended by leading environmental and animal welfare groups, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband and Guyana's president Bharrat Jagdeo.

Charles said: "I have been enormously encouraged to hear the findings from (the IWG) report. It does seem that we have arrived at a consensus on how emergency funding might be deployed in the near future."

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