German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday that her government would increase its budget for the protection of tropical forests by billions of euros.
Appearing at the opening of the meeting of international government ministers at the UN's biodiversity conference in Bonn , Merkel said German funding for the conservation of tropical rainforests would be increased between 2009 and 2012 by €500 million ($785 million). Starting in 2013, that amount would be increased to an additional €500 million per year. The money is expected to be generated by the auctioning of CO2 certificates. Currently, the German government allocates €210 million per year for the protection of international forests.
The destruction of tropical forests is responsible for 20 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions and causes the destruction of irreplaceable natural treasures. Deforestation is doubly harmful as large forested areas also absorb vast quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. Many are hoping that countries home to large forested regions will eventually be able to profit from carbon trading schemes by keeping their wooded areas intact.
Merkel also praised mediators at the UN conference for reaching an agreement on Wednesday on a future binding deal on how proceeds derived from the exploitation of the planet's genetic treasures.