The Prince’s Rainforests Project was set up in October 2007 by The Prince of Wales to find practical solutions to slow tropical deforestation and combat climate change.
The destruction and degradation of the tropical rainforests is the third biggest contributor to carbon emissions worldwide after power generation.
It is estimated that as much as 12 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions result from deforestation, and 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 emissions in the short term.
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 on 14th January to the European Parliament in Brussels: “In the simplest terms, we have to make the rainforests worth more alive than dead.”
With this aim in mind, the Project engaged with rainforest nations, governments, businesses and non-governmental organisations to find the solutions to deforestation.
The Project was backed by 13 major 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.
On 29th and 30th April 2008, The Prince's Rainforests Project was delighted to receive an invitation to host a high ranking group of Brazilians to discuss the current situation in this very important rainforest nation.
The Prince of Wales welcomed the guests to the State Apartments of St. James’s Palace on the morning of 30th April and closed the meeting having heard a summary of the discussions.
The Prince's Rainforests Project is now part of the International Sustainability Unit, which was created by The Prince of Wales. The ultimate goal of the ISU is to help build consensus on how to develop the durable solutions required to meet the challenges of climate change and natural resource depletion, with a focus on sustainable agriculture and fisheries management.