LONDON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The British government said at the U.N. climate conference in Qatar that it was working on a holistic plan to curb deforestation.
The British Department of Energy and Climate Change states that deforestation may be associated with as much as 17 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. At least 1.2 billion people rely on forests, which are decreasing at a rate of 13 million hectares per year, the DECC said.
British Energy Secretary Ed Davey, in a statement, said up to $480 million was available through the International Climate Fund to help curb deforestation.
"I am setting out plans for working with the private sector and rainforest countries so that the timber and foodstuffs we buy do not cause deforestation," he said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a climate conference last year in South Africa that forests are disappearing at an alarming rate despite conservation efforts by some countries.
Davey said a more comprehensive approach was needed to reduce activities that lead to deforestation, noting the agricultural sector eclipses the timber industry in terms of forest loss.
"I am pleased that we are joined by other donor countries in setting out priorities on forests for the U.N. climate conference in Doha and beyond, including on ensuring our respective efforts are coordinated and coherent," he said.