Correspondence

Response to Change.org petition about the protection of the Yasuni National Park

Response from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to Change.org petition about the protection of the Yasuni National Park.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Thank you for your email petition dated 21 September about the protection of the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. I apologise for the delay in replying.

We are aware of proposals relating to the Yasuni initiative but have not offered support because they raise a number of technical questions, including around environmental and social safeguard policies to ensure that investments do not have unintended harmful consequences, and around the permanence of the arrangements to conserve the Yasuni region.

However, we continue to support international biodiversity objectives through the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) also manages the Darwin Initiative which helps to achieve the conservation of international biodiversity and since 1992 has invested over £87m in 779 projects in 155 countries.

Furthermore, it is important that we demonstrate real action to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. This is why the UK has committed up to 20% the UK’s £2.9bn International Climate Fund (ICF) for this effort.

The UK is now developing a major new programme to address the agricultural drivers of deforestation and support behaviour change in the private sector, working with forest nations in line with their Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) national strategies. This is a priority for funding from the ICF.

Edward Davey

Published 7 February 2013