Historical archive

Colombia, Germany, Norway and the UK announce groundbreaking partnership to protect Colombia's rainforest

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher The Office of the Prime Minister

Colombia will implement an ambitious package of cross-sectoral actions and strengthened self-governance of ethnic territories to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable development. To support that commitment, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom will contribute close to 300 million USD, primarily through results-based payments for reduced deforestation.

The partnership will provide significant support to help Colombia achieve its ambitious goals of zero net deforestation in the Amazon by 2020 and halting loss of all natural forest by 2030. This is the first time that three donor countries join forces in partnership with a large tropical forest country to provide funding based on verified emission reductions from deforestation.

“Colombia is fully committed to increase its efforts to promote the sustainable use of forests, and address deforestation drivers by transforming its cattle ranching sector, strengthening its command and control actions, and combating illegal mining, illegal logging and illegal crops in forestry areas. The promotion of environmentally sustainable economic alternatives is key for reducing deforestation, improving the welfare of the population, and securing a stable and durable peace”, says Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia.

Covering almost 60 million hectares, Colombia’s natural forests are among the most biodiverse on earth, home to a large number of endemic species as well as to local communities, indigenous peoples and afro-Colombians with invaluable cultural heritage. Under the Joint Declaration, Colombia will strengthen the self-governance of indigenous territories by supporting indigenous peoples’ own management plans, providing instruments for environmental zoning to promote ecosystem conservation and ensuring direct benefits for local communities.

“Colombia's ambitions to protect its forests and grow its rural economy in parallel are admirable. Its partnership with Germany, the United Kingdom and Norway is groundbreaking. We will be a consistent, dedicated partner to Colombia based on the principle of payments for results", said Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway.

Through the REDD+ Early Movers Programme, Colombia, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom are signing a cooperation agreement with the commitment of more than 100 million USD for results-based finance based on verified emission reductions from reduced deforestation in the Colombian Amazon rainforest.[1]This cooperation agreement has been two-years in the making, partly with the support of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and the resources will be invested over the next six years in support of Colombia’s Amazon Vision Initiative.

“Colombia has developed a comprehensive strategy to better protect its Amazon forests, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation”, said Barbara Hendricks, Federal Environment Minister, Germany. “The strategy is already converted to some actions, such as the establishment of huge new protected areas. This makes the Colombian Amazon a perfect partner for our REDD for Early Movers Programme” said Gerd Müller, Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany.

The partners also intend to contribute to this Joint Declaration through the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes in the Orinoquia region.

Approximately half of Colombia's greenhouse gas emissions stem from deforestation, forest degradation and the agricultural sector. Efforts to slow deforestation will therefore be decisive if Colombia is to achieve its intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of 20% emissions reductions below business as usual by 2030, and even help push towards its conditional target of a 30% reduction. In support of Colombia’s ambitions to reduce deforestation at the national level, Norway commits to pay for verified results from reduced deforestation at national level with up to 1,1 billion NOK (146 million USD) for the period up until 2020. Norway further commits 300 million NOK (40 million USD) to deliver payments for successful policy design and implementation

The joint declaration of intent outlines important ambitions by the Government of Colombia within key economic sectors, such as:

  • Increase productivity in the livestock sector by more than 30% and establish a package of actions to reverse the expansion of land occupied by pasture
  • Strengthen national policies to more effectively tackle activities such as logging, mining and illicit crops, which constitute a major cause of deforestation in the country
  • Declare 2.5 million hectares of new protected areas.
  • Establish a public private coalition of companies committed to ambitious zero deforestation policies.

“The agricultural sector plays a key role in achieving Colombia’s climate mitigation and zero deforestation goals.  Through efforts described in today’s declaration Colombia will show that transforming land use to protect the forests and enhance agricultural productivity is a triple win: for the environment, for the climate and for rural development,”  saidAurelio Iragorri Valencia, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Colombia

The partnership will also complement other related national policies such as the inclusion of green growth as a cross-cutting theme in the National Development Plan. Crucially, with a peace agreement set for 2016, this initiative will play key part in assisting sustainable rural development in a post-conflict scenario.

Note to editor:

In September 2014, the four signatories endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests, committing to contribute to reduce and eventually halt natural forest loss globally.

UK Germany and Norway further launched a Joint Statement on REDD+ stating a joint goal of scaling up results-based finance in up to 20 new programmes.

Colombia was also a driving force behind the Lima Challenge, a groundbreaking initiative by 14 forest countries during the climate change summit (COP20) in Lima last year, where they committed to significantly reduce deforestation while also challenging developed countries to support them through international collaboration.

Today at the COP21, world leaders launched a joint statement on forests and climate change calling for strong and immediate action by the international community to protect the world’s remaining forest, while at the same time announcing new commitments to forests. The Colombia partnership is one of these.

Read the Joint Declaration of Intent

Read the statement on forests and climate change endorsed by heads of government and heads of state in Paris today.

Read Colombia’s Amazon Vision and Colombia’s COP21 website

Read about Germany's REDD Early Mover Programme and general information about Germany's REDD+ engagement
Read about Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)


Colombia spokespersons:

Natalia Ochoa: Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development
Phone: +57 3158595809,

Sandra Quiroz, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development

Phone: +57 3012687537/+34 654222674/

Germany spokespersons:

Petra Diroll, Spokesperson for the BMZ, 

Phone: +49 / (0)30 / 18 535-28 70 or -24 51
Fax: +49 / (0)30 / 18 535-25 95
Email: presse-kontakt@bmz.bund.de



Per Pharo, Director of Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) Phone: +47 930 46 184


Media contacts:

Erik Aasheim (in Paris), press contact for Minister Tine Sundtoft

Phone: +47 40224747

Email: erik.aasheim@kld.dep.no

Elisabeth Brinch Sand (in Oslo), press contact, Ministry of Climate and Environment

Phone: +47 932 47 007, Email: ebs@kld.dep.no

[1] The three donors’ support for the REDD Early Movers Program will be channeled through KfW and are the following: Germany 10.5 million EUR (12 million USD), UK 30.4 million GBP (48 million USD) and Norway 400 million NOK (53 million USD). All contributions in USD based on the following exchange rates: 7,5NOK per 1USD, 1,59GBP/USD, 1,15 EUR/USD