Norway Offers Up To 1 Billion to Save the Rainforest

11/20/2008 // In the years before 2015, Norway will contribute up to 1 billion US dollar to reduce deforestation in the Amazon. The size of Norway’s contribution will depend on how successful Brazil will be in reducing deforestation. This makes Norway the first contributor to the Amazon Fund.

The agreement will be signed during Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s talks with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brasilia today.

“Efforts against deforestation may give us the largest, quickest and cheapest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Norway has to reduce its own emissions, and at the same time we have to contribute to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in other parts of the world,” says Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Impressed By Brazil

The largest rainforest areas of the world are located in Brazil. “Brazilian efforts against deforestation are therefore of vital importance if we shall succeed in our campaign against global warming. I am impressed by President Lula’s initiative to halt deforestation, and I am happy that Norway is able to support this important task,” Mr. Stoltenberg says.
Under President Lula’s leadership Brazilian authorities have launched a major campaign against deforestation. This has led to a strong reduction in deforestation over the last years. President Lula has now launched a plan to further increase these efforts in the period 2008 - 2011. Norway’s contributions to the Amazon Fund will go to the realisation of this plan.

Costeffective Climate Effort
“At present deforestation in tropical countries represents about 20 per cent of the annual man-made CO2 emissions. In order to succeed in our struggle against climate change, we must be able to stop deforestation globally. In addition to the climate effect, reduced deforestation in the Amazon will also contribute towards the preservation of biodiversity and aboriginal peoples’ living areas”, Prime Minister Stoltenberg says.
Norway’s contribution to the Amazon Fund is an important part of the Government’s climate and forest programme, launched by Prime Minister Stoltenberg at the UN climate conference in Bali in December 2007. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions due to deforestation and forest deterioration are among the quickest and most costeffective climate efforts.

Will Improve the Surveillance of Tropical Forests
In 2008, Norway will contribute about 20 million US dollar to the Amazon Fund, while contributions for 2009 will increase to about 120 million dollar.
Also during Mr. Stoltenberg’s visit an agreement will be signed to establish a strategic environmental-political dialogue between Brazil and Norway, a dialogue that will be of particular importance in the 15 months before the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009.
The agreement between Norway and Brazil also includes cooperation on research and development within the field of surveillance of tropical forests and of carbon emissions from deforestation and forest deterioration. Although Brazil has one of the world’s most advanced systems for surveillance of deforestation, a number of challenges remain. One example is that large forest areas are almost continuously covered by clouds making traditional surveillance impossible. Norwegian experience from the use of radar satellites for environmental surveillance in the High North, may contribute to improve the surveillance of tropical forests

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