Norway extends forest conservation initiative

The Norwegian government has extended its multi-billion dollar forest protection initiative.

At the Paris climate convention on Friday, Norwegian Minister of Environment and Climate Tine Sundtoft said the country would extend its International Climate and Forest Initiative through 2030.

Norway has already put 17 billion krone ($2.5 billion) into supporting forest conservation initiatives ranging from multilateral development REDD+ programs to national-level deforestation reduction schemes to small-scale projects run by non-profits, making it one of the largest funders of tropical forest conservation in the world.

“Protecting and restoring tropical forests is essential to climate change mitigation. It also yields numerous other benefits, including for biodiversity, various water related ecosystem services, indigenous peoples’ livelihoods and rights, and climate change adaptation,” said Sundtoft in a statement.

“A number of tropical forest countries have demonstrated international leadership and ambition in their desire to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest and peat degradation.”

Norway said most of its spending will be targeted “towards paying for verified emissions reductions, in line with relevant UNFCCC decisions”.

Norway already has performance-based agreements for reducing deforestation with Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guyana, Indonesia, Liberia, and Ethiopia. Sundtoft added that the government’s program for supporting civil society groups would also continue.

Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative is funded under NORAD, its foreign aid agency. Norway is among the most philanthropic countries in terms of development aid, allocating more than than one per cent of its budget for overseas projects.

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