Article | Last updated: 20/02/2015
Norway has pledged up to 3 billion NOK a year to help save tropical forests while improving the livelihoods of those who life off, in, and near the forests.
Tropical forests are among our most ancient ecosystems. Indispensable to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. They are the habitat of half to one third of the world’s terrestrial plants, animals and insects. Crucial for global, regional and local water supply. An enormous carbon sink, which can provide one third of the climate change solution over the next 15 years.
Deforestation of tropical forests accounts for approximately 11 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The drivers of deforestation are many and vary among countries and regions but there is one common denominator: it is currently more profitable, at least in the short term, to convert a forest to other uses than to leave it as a natural ecosystem. At the same time, we are becoming increasingly aware of the enormous value of natural ecosystems for our economy and welfare. Still, deforestation continues. We are facing a gigantic market failure.
Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) aims at supporting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). Reducing such emissions could deliver a quarter of the climate change mitigation the world needs to stay on a two degrees warming pathway towards 2030. NICFI has so far disbursed 14 billion NOK to REDD+ (by end of 2014).
Brazil is the largest receipient of NICFI's international REDD+ funding. NICFI has supported Brazil in reducing deforestation in the Amazon by 70 per cent. This is the lagest cut in greenhouse gas emissions the world has witnessed over the past decade. NICFI has disbursed 6,5 billion NOK to the Amazon Fund as payment for Brazil's verified results in reducing deforestation (by end of 2015).
Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative works closely with committed developing countries, multilateral organizations and banks, and civil society. Read more about our partnerships.
NICFI's key objectives
NICFI has the following key objectives, adopted by the Norwegian parliament:
1. To contribute to the inclusion of REDD+ under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
2. To contribute to early actions for measurable emission reductions from deforestation and forest degradation.
3. To promote the conservation of primary forests, due to their particular importance as carbon stores and for their biological diversity.
As an overarching goal, all these efforts should promote sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. The climate change mitigation potential of tropical forests will never be realized unless it offers a more attractive and viable development option than the destructive uses of the forests.
Since its inception in April 2008, NICFI has established a series of ground-breaking partnerships with key forest countries and contributed to significant advances in the development of a REDD+ framework under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Read the latest independent evaluations of NICFI.
The New York Declaration of Forests sets out what must be done globally. Deforestation must be halved by 2020, and halted by 2030, while hundreds of millions of degraded forest landscapes and agricultural lands must be restored. One of NICFI’s most important missions is to help build the global public private coalition that will enable us to make that vision a reality.
The entities endorsing the NY Declaration announced dozens of concrete actions and partnerships to demonstrate their commitment to implement the New York Declaration and Action Agenda. Some of these highly specific supplemental commitments demonstrate the new political will building for forest conservation and restoration, and are summarized in section 3.This includes commodity traderscalling for public policies to eliminate deforestation, a pledge by indigenous peoplesto protect hundreds of millions of hectares of tropical forests, new commitments from country governmentsto reduce deforestation or to restore degraded lands, new bilateral and multilateral programsto pay countries for reduced deforestation over the next six years and new procurement policiesfor several of the largest forest commodity importer governments.
Learn more at the UN web page about Forest Action Statements and Action Plans at the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in New York in September 2014.