More money for rainforests

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The government proposes to grant 3 billion Norwegian kroner on next year's budget to help preserving rainforests. This is an increase from 2017 of 118 million Norwegian kroner.

Orangutang i regnskog
These orangutans in the rainforests of Central Kalimantan i Indonesia are threatened by deforestation. But maybe even more important: So is the global climate. Credit: James Anderson/WRI

- If we are to reach the targets in the Paris agreement of restricting global warming to less than two degrees, we must stop the destruction of the rainforests, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.

Norway's most important global climate initiative

The climate and forest initiative is Norway's most important global climate effort. In 2016, Norway paid for approximately 20 million tonnes of reduced greenhouse gas emissions from tropical forests in cooperating countries. This corresponds to almost 40 percent of Norwegian emissions in the same year. The initiative also indirectly reduces large amounts of emissions, in addition to direct payment for verified emission reductions.

Norway is one of the largest contributors in the world in this area.

-Preserving rainforests is one of the most effective things we can do to stop climate change, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.

The forest can contribute with as much as 1/3 of the climate solutions we are seeking. Thus, the Government will continue the ambitious climate and forest initiative until 2030.

Economic development is a part of the solution

The climate and forest initiative's strategy is to contribute towards developing countries getting economic development, and at the same time letting the forest stand intact. Cooperation with the business community is crucial. Many large companies have decided to produce commodities such as soya, palm oil and pulp without destroying the forest.

-We develop new models that make it possible for business to invest in the production of goods, without this decimating the forests, says Vidar Helgesen.

He draws attention to the fund & green as an example of this. The fund was launched during the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017, and will help towards reducing risk in such investments.

Strong interests behind deforestation

The driving forces behind deforestation are strong in all of the countries in which Norway is in a forest partnership. In Indonesia, the government has adopted a moratorium - an intermittent ban - against the destruction of forest on peat bogs, to prevent land being used as palm oil plantations. If the authorities succeed at enforcing this moratorium, it will save the planet billions of tons of emissions of greenhouse gases.

In the Amazon, surveillance of the forest is increasingly improving and it has become easier to detect illegal logging. Norway supports, amongst others, Colombia and Peru, in their important efforts to combat forest crime. More than half of international deforestation is due to illegal logging.