Norway steps up Amazon contribution after proven results in reducing deforestation

Amazon Rainforest spans across several countries of South America

“Our financing of the fund is results-based and given the reduction, we will increase our contribution to the Amazon Fund to USD 150 million for 2010. It’s very encouraging that deforestation continues to decline in the Amazon,” says Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

According to recently published results, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in the period from July 2008 to June 2009 was close to 65 percent below the average for the 1996-2005 period, and more than 40 percent below numbers from the previous year. This is the biggest annual decline in two decades, and the lowest rates since systematic measurements started in 1988. The results will be verified by a group of experts, and the underlying data are publicly available.

“The results come at a very critical point in time, as world leaders are gathered in Copenhagen to discuss a new global climate regime,” says Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. – “Brazil has demonstrated that significant results can indeed be achieved in a short time. Sustaining these results and securing further reductions will require resources. And we invite others to join our support to the Amazon Fund,” Stoltenberg says.

Tropical forests emit almost one fifth of global greenhouse gases every year. An international scheme which makes it possible for developed countries to reward developing countries financially for verified emission reductions from deforestation and forest degradation, could be a very significant element in a global strategy to reduce global warming.

“Because of their importance in fighting climate change, reducing emissions from forest destruction in developing countries must be a key part of a new international regime on climate change to be agreed here in Copenhagen, and actions and financing should be scaled up urgently and significantly”, added Stoltenberg. “Norway has pledged up to USD 1 billion to the Amazon Fund for the period up until 2015.

The Amazon Fund was established by the Brazilian government in 2008 to support efforts to reduce deforestation in the Amazon. It is results-based, accepting financial contributions in proportion to results achieved in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in the Amazon. The fund is managed by the Brazilian Development Bank, BNDES. The Amazon Fund is an important channel for Norway’s efforts to reduce deforestation and thereby reduce carbon emissions. As announced at the 2007 climate summit in Bali, Norway will invest up to USD 500 million annually to combat deforestation.

Click here for more information on the Amazon Fund, and click here for more information about Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister

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