Prince Charles has today launched the official website for his Rainforest Project. As I mentioned earlier, today is World Environment Day, so it’s a perfect day for launching a website aimed at saving the rainforests.
The main aim of the project, which launched on October 25 last year, is to make the rainforests “more valuable alive than dead”. Today, in many developing countries, rainforests are worth more dead than alive. This is mainly due to demand from developed countries for beef, palm oil, and soya.
When launching the Rainforest Project at a WWF dinner in October last year, Prince Charles said that rainforest destruction is responsible for around 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, second only to the energy sector. Further to this, both the Stern review and the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change report believe tackling deforestation may be one of the quickest and most cost effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the short term.
Prince Charles also said the following about the deforestation issue:
It seems to me that the central issue in this whole debate is how we put a true value on standing rainforests to the world community – we simply have to find ways of putting a price on them which makes them more valuable alive than dead.
Elaborating on this, Prince Charles says the project’s objective is:
To find innovative ways of paying the countries that are the custodians of the tropical rainforests an appropriate price for the eco-system services they provide and so out-compete the drivers of deforestation.
In today’s money driven society, this makes a lot of sense. After all, if countries are paid more for their eco-systems services than they are for the drivers of deforestation, then they will no longer allow their own rainforests to be destroyed. Furthermore, not only will they see value in keeping their existing rainforests, they will also see value in increasing the size of their rainforests - after all, more rainforest means more money.
How Will The Project Achieve Its Objective?
The project is engaging with rainforest nations, governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations to find the solutions to deforestation.
The project is also backed by 13 major global companies: Shell, Rio Tinto Zinc, McDonald’s, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Sun Media, Sky, Deutsche Bank, Man Group, KPMG, Barclays Bank, Finsbury and the European Climate Exchange.
Furthermore, the project is being advised by experts including: Lord Stern; Steve Howard, Chief Executive of the Climate Group; Kevin Conrad, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations; Andrew Mitchell of the Global Canopy Programme; Kristalina Georgieva, Vice President of the World Bank; Reijo Kempinnen, head of the European Commission Representation in the UK; and Barry Gardiner MP.
How You Can Help
You can pledge your support on the Prince’s Rainforest Project website.
Video of Prince Charles Introducing the Rainforest Project
Here’s a video of Prince Charles introducing the Rainforest Project, as well as explaining why he feels this is such an important cause.