Norway supports Ecuador’s efforts to protect the rainforest

Ecuador is making an important effort to reduce deforestation. The efforts are crucial for the planet’s climate and biodiversity. Norway therefore announces NOK 130 million in support of the results achieved.

Minister Espen Barth Eide from Norway announced the payment Tuesday in a meeting with minister Gustavo Manrique Miranda from Ecuador at the United Nations in New York.

 

Norway Ecuador forest
Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment, Espen Barth Eide met Gustavo Manrique, Ecuador’s Environment Minister, during the climate summit in Glasgow in November.

– I congratulate my colleague and Ecuador for their achievement. Ecuador has played an international leadership role in reducing deforestation, for the benefit of their people and of the world, said Minister Eide.

Ecuador receives the funds after a decline in deforestation in 2019. The funds will be used for further measures to keep deforestation down.

Great results

Norway, Germany and Ecuador formed a climate partnership in 2018 focused on rewarding Ecuador for reducing carbon emissions from deforestation. The partnership supports Ecuador in meeting its climate goals under the Paris Agreement. Including the new announcement, Ecuador has received a total of USD 44 million from Norway and Germany. The funds will be channelled through the "REDD Early Movers" program[1].

 

Ecuador reduced carbon emissions from deforestation by 14 million tons CO2 in 2019, compared to the average of the five previous years. Norway will reward Ecuador for a share of the total reductions, equal to 2.6 million tons.

 

Benefits reach indigenous peoples

70 % of all funds paid for emissions reductions go to local actions to keep forests standing, including to local communities and indigenous peoples enrolled in Ecuador’s “Socio Bosque” program. As such, funds already deserved for reduced deforestation are channelled into catalysing further results. Science shows that indigenous peoples are the best guardians of tropical forests.

Socio Bosque targets low income forest landowners, including indigenous peoples and local communities. Occupied as farmers and herders, they present plans for how to generate incomes while still preserving the forest. Some are even supported to guard the forests from illegal activities. Through signed conservation agreements, Socio Bosque rewards the landowners when the forest is maintained. This helps to conserve forests in various parts of Ecuador. So far the partnership has led to 440 km2 of tropical forests being included in Socio Bosque, with an additional 870 km2 underway.

 

Pioneering in the public-private LEAF program

Last year, Ecuador was one of a first few countries that signed a Letter of Intent with the LEAF Coalition. The Coalition was set up to attract private finance to pay tropical forest countries that reduce deforestation. Amazon, Unilever, Salesforce and other members of the Coalition have mobilized more than USD 1 billion, which also includes the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

As payments under LEAF need to wait for verified deforestation numbers expected late 2024, Norway announced last year a pledge of up to USD 20 million[2] for Ecuador for reduced carbon emissions as a “bridge” to financing from LEAF. These funds are contingent that deforestation figures in 2020-21 remain low[3]. Ecuador expects to publish these figures soon.

[1] Program run by the German Development Bank KfW's to reward countries that reduce deforestation. Germany and Norway support the program in Ecuador.

[2] Equivalent to NOK 200 million.

[3] Payments from Norway will be certified by the third-party so called MRV standard, the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART). Norway guarantees a 10 USD floor price per ton of reduced emissions certified by ART.