A $3.8 million grant from the World Bank will support efforts to control deforestation in Uruguay, Economy Minister Danilo Astori said.

"For Uruguay, which is giving increasing importance to the environment and climate change mitigation, this program will enable the country to join the rest of the world, which is concerned about this issue," Astori said.

The grant was announced during a Cabinet meeting held on Monday by President Tabare Vazquez and open to the public in the northern city of Rivera.

The funds will support a program to analyze and reduce gas emissions caused by deforestation.

Ranching, Agriculture and Fishing Minister Tabare Aguerre said the project would be implemented in cooperation with the Housing, Territorial Affairs and Environment Ministry, and deforestation would be monitored by measuring CO2 emissions.

"Having a negative balance of carbon (CO2 emissions) turns Uruguay into an example for the world," Aguerre said.

The minister praised the signing of the grant agreement as the Cabinet met in Rivera, the "most forested" province in the South American country.

"More than 20 percent of the country's forests are here and there are 57,000 hectares (140,740 acres) of old-growth forests," Aguerre said.