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The Prince of Wales co-hosts meeting to tackle the destruction of the world's tropical rainforests

29th November 2012

The Prince of Wales discusses deforestation at St. James's Palace

The Prince of Wales discusses deforestation at St. James's Palace

The Prince of Wales and his International Sustainability Unit today co-hosted a high level meeting at Clarence House to discuss ways forward in curbing the destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests. Deforestation causes the loss of wildlife, undermines peoples’ livelihoods and exacerbates climate change. 

The meeting coincided with the climate change talks taking place in Doha, Qatar, where it is hoped that further progress can be made in reaching agreement on how to address climate change, including the reduction in deforestation.

Today’s meeting was marked by a significant joint announcement from the Governments of the U.K., Norway, U.S.A., Germany and Australia.  It asserted that the countries were “committed to practical action” and to show that saving forests could have “benefits for developing countries and the global community.” The meeting was also attended by Heads of State and other senior figures from rainforest countries, as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society. His Royal Highness said that it was only by all sectors of society working together – public, private and civil society – that sufficient action could be achieved.

The Prince of Wales commented that “progress is going to prove very difficult unless we all work together to find and then implement the solutions.  This is why I am so heartened by today’s meeting.  Such an influential group of countries and companies coming together sends a very positive signal that there is a real appetite for cooperation. You only have to look at how Brazil has managed to achieve such a dramatic reduction in its rate of deforestation so quickly, or at the advances made by Norway and Guyana in forging an agreement that will enable Guyana to keep nearly all of its existing rainforests.  The leadership shown by the Government of Indonesia, and also by that of Gabon is also extremely heartening.”

The Prince of Wales, through his ISU, has been working for a number of years to help build consensus on how to curb deforestation. The ISU works with governments, the private sector and non-governmental organisations with the aim of building partnerships to help address these challenges. 

In 2007, The Prince’s Rainforests Project was set up by The Prince of Wales to find practical solutions to slow tropical deforestation and combat climate change. The Prince's Rainforests Project is now part of the International Sustainability Unit.

The Prince’s Rainforests Project aimed to help the world community recognise the true value of forests by identifying ways to value, and then pay for, the crucial “ecosystem services” rainforests provide. As His Royal Highness said in a speech in February 2011 to the European Parliament in Brussels: “In the simplest terms, we have to make the rainforests worth more alive than dead.”