Norway Pays USD 167M to Brazil to Stop Deforestation

Photo: The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust

Photo: The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust

The Norwegian government pays USD 167 million to Brazil as payment for sharp reduction in deforestation in the Amazon in 2011.

The money put into the Amazon Fund, which funds projects to reduce deforestation further.

Norway promised Brazil in 2008 up to USD 1 billion by 2015 if the country gets stopped the extreme deforestation of the rainforest. The money is paid annually after the fixed reduction has taken place.

Overall, Norway has now paid USD 600 million to Brazil.

Soon reached the 2020 target
Brazil has done a very impressive job in 2011. Deforestation was 67 percent lower than the average for the years 1995 to 2005, which is the best result since Norway launched its rainforest initiative in 2007.

Brazil promised under the Copenhagen summit in 2009 to reduce deforestation in their part of the Amazon basin by 80 percent by 2020. After harsh political tugs of war, this has now passed into law, and the use of considerable resources to monitoring and to stop illegal logging.

Brazil’s government announced preliminary figures for Year of Forests 2012, which extends from July 2011 to 2012. They show that only 4,656 square kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon was deforested in the past year.

This is a further reduction of 27 percent from the previous one. If the preliminary figures turn out to vote will Brazil have reduced deforestation by 76 per cent – and only a few percent remaining to the 2020 target.

20% of global emissions
Deforestation in Brazil was particularly strong in the early 2000’s, with the record in 2004 when the entire 27,423 square kilometers tropical rainforest was destroyed forever.

Brazil received strong international criticism for deforestation. IPCC proved in 2007 that nearly 20 percent of global CO2 emissions are due to deforestation – it’s more an entire planet’s transport sector contributes to the total.

Brazil responded by a reduction pledge, but made it clear that they needed financial assistance. The country created the Amazon Fund in which the world was invited to contribute.

Norway biggest contributor
Norway was the first contributor and is the largest. The German Development Bank and the Brazilian oil company Petrobras will also contribute. Norway’s policy is that no money is paid in advance. The money from the rainforest efforts paid after it is proved that deforestation is reduced.

The reduced deforestation in the Amazon is the most effective climate action undertaken in the world. Only the reduction in 2010 of the Union of Concerned Scientists calculated to involve carbon emissions by one billion tons – about 20 times the national emissions!

Amazon Fund itself is very conservative in their estimates and believes last year’s cuts spared the atmosphere for 460 million tonnes, which in itself is a lot. The total Norwegian emissions from the oil sector, transport, agriculture, heating and everything else were 52.7 million tonnes.

Also Vietnam
Norway’s Environmental Minister Bård Vegar Solhjell signed a climate and forest agreement with Vietnam during the recent climate summit in Doha. Vietnam will have 180 million for preparatory work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

Vietnam has presented concrete plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forestry by 20 percent from the level expected in 2020.

Articled adapted from Aftenposten

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