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The Amazonas-initiative

Statement by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the Amazonas-initiative-meeting in New York, 23 September 2019.

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I would like to thank Colombia, Chile and France for taking this initiative.

There could be no better time to raise the issue of tropical deforestation than during the Climate Action Summit.

The rainforests of the Congo Basin, Southeast Asia and the Amazon are indispensable.

In fact, unless we manage to halt deforestation almost immediately, we will not be able to reach the Paris Agreement climate goals.

Just as we need to transform our energy systems, we need to transform our food systems and end the destruction of forests.

I would therefore like to commend President Duque for bringing the leaders of Amazon countries together to sign the Leticia Pact earlier this month.

And for reversing the trend of rising deforestation in Colombia already in his first year in office.

Over the last decade, the leaders of tropical forest countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and Gabon have taken major steps to protect their rainforests, and have achieved real results.

It is the sovereign right of tropical forest countries to protect their forests – and it is in their interests.

The world needs you to commit to making rapid reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

However, this is not a task you should have to tackle alone.

Companies must reduce the pressure on forests by producing and buying sustainable commodities.

Banks and investors must reduce deforestation risk in their portfolios.

And the international community must step up its support.

Germany, the UK and Norway will deliver on our joint Paris pledge to contribute USD 5 billion by 2020 forests protection.

But this is not even close to what is needed.

We need to mobilise billions of dollars every year to be able to provide predictable payments for reduced deforestation.

These payments must benefit local communities and ensure the rights of indigenous peoples.

The framework for this was agreed under the Paris Agreement.

However, long-term financial commitments and ambitious forest goals are lacking.

Let’s spend the next year working tirelessly to make these things a reality.

Let’s appoint special envoys who have our full backing, so that when we meet again at the Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, we can move from words to action.

Thank you.

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