Washington, DC (BBN) – With more than 40 developing countries asking to become part of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the FCPF has announced that it aims to expand its expected number of developing country participants from 20 countries to 30.

Tropical forested countries are seeking to build capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), an World Bank press statement said on Friday.

Twenty-five developing countries selected so far to benefit from the FCPF are working with 11 industrialized countries and one non-governmental organization in an innovative partnership and international financing mechanism to combat tropical deforestation and climate change. The FCPF is comprised of two components—a Readiness Fund and a Carbon Fund.

Deforestation and forest degradation together are the second leading man-made cause of global warming. They are responsible for about 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and are the main source of national emissions in most developing countries.

The World Bank, which acts as the secretariat for the FCPF, announced that it would underwrite the US$2.3 million start-up expenses for the Facility, the statement added.

The developing countries accepted into the Facility include 10 in Africa (Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Republic of Congo and Uganda); 10 in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru); and five in Asia and the South Pacific (Lao PDR, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Vietnam).

The FCPF aims to reduce deforestation and forest degradation by compensating developing countries for greenhouse gas emission reductions. The partnership became functionally operational on June 25, 2008.

BBN/AN/SI/AD-24October08-11:29 PM (BST)