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Norway makes major rainforest commitments

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Norway makes major rainforest commitments
Deforestation accounts for a tenth of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Photo: Matt Zimmerman/Flickr
10:09 CET+01:00
Norway announced a pair of rainforest protection initiatives on the first day of the COP21 climate talks in Paris.
The Norwegian government said on Monday that it will extend its financial support to Brazil’s Amazon Fund through 2020 and will commit 1.4 billion kroner ($186 million) to reduce deforestation in Colombia. 
 
Norway has financially supported Brazil’s efforts to reduce deforestation in the Amazon to the tune of $1 billion since 2008 in a partnership that UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon has hailed as "an outstanding example of the kind of international collaboration we need to ensure the future sustainability of our planet". 
 
Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff said that her country’s climate plan, which among other things commits to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent and eliminating illegal deforestation by 2030, “represents a major political signal for the global response to climate change”. 
 
Norwegian PM Erna Solberg praised her colleague’s commitment to protect the Amazon rainforest. 
 
"Brazil's reductions in Amazon deforestation rank among the most important climate change and sustainable development efforts of the last decade. We are proud to have been Brazil's partner since 2008, and are delighted now to extend that partnership to 2020,” Solberg said. 
 
Norway committed to supporting the Amazon Fund with around one million kroner per year through 2020. 
 
In another initiative announced on Monday, Norway said it would join Germany and the UK in contributing around $300 million to Colombia’s plan to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable development. 
 
Colombia announced plans to reach zero net deforestation in its section of the Amazon by 2020 and to end all natural forest loss by 2030. 
 
“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", Solberg said. 
 
Norway committed to funding verified deforestation results with up to 1.1 billion kroner ($146 million) through 2020 and a further 300 million kroner ($40m) in “payments for successful policy design and implementation”.
 
Also at the COP21 talks on Monday, Solberg was one of eight heads of government to sign a joint statement calling on the international community to take “strong, collective and urgent action on forests”. 
 
Some 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually, accounting for roughly one tenth of all global greenhouse gas emissions. 
 
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