Belgium to spend €200 million to combat deforestation, mainly in Congo

Belgium to spend €200 million to combat deforestation, mainly in Congo
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at COP26. Credit: Belga

Over the next few years, Belgium will allocate €200 million to the fight against deforestation in the world, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Tuesday at the COP26 in Glasgow.

The €200 million will be paid out over a period of five years and will come from the development cooperation budget. Part of the amount will be dedicated to an international programme that will mobilise at least $1.5 billion over the period 2021-2025 to protect the forests, peatlands and carbon sinks of the Congo Basin.

The Belgian effort is part of a wider initiative that sees around 100 countries commit at COP26 to halt and reverse deforestation worldwide.

The countries that have adopted the declaration, which include Brazil, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia, together contain 85% of the world's forests.

The initiative will benefit from public funding of $12 billion from 11 countries, including Belgium, and the European Union, and private funding of $7.2 billion from some 30 financial institutions.

In his speech at the "world leaders summit" at the opening of COP26, De Croo also emphasised that Belgium had increased its climate funding for poor countries and those most vulnerable to climate change by 60%.

The amount paid by the federal government will increase from €100 million in 2021 to €112.5 million in 2022. In 2020, the amount was still €70 million annually.

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