A remark on the News Quiz today regarding the proposed selling off of publicly owned Forestry Commision woodlands intrigued me. The comment was made by show host Sandy Toksvig:
“…the first tranche of the forests, if they sell them off, is going to raise a hundred million pounds; that is exactly the amount of money that Defra and the brilliant Caroline Spelman, who is the Secretary of State in charge, gave to an international fund devoted to prevent deforestation.”
Apparently true. From a Defra press release of 27 October 2010:
“The Government has today committed £100 million to international forestry projects which provide specific benefits for biodiversity. The money comes from the new international climate finance included in the Comprehensive Spending Review, which will include new money for the UK’s contribution to REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), a programme which aims to prevent the loss of forests in developing countries.”
Another Defra press release, 27 January 2011:
“The Government has already committed to taking 15% of the public forest estate out of state control over the course of this parliament, generating up to £100million of receipts.”
Am I missing something?