The Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Tine Sundtoft, visited Rio de Janeiro this week.
On September 14, 2015, she met with her Brazilian colleague Izabella Teixeira and with the president of BNDES, Luciano Coutinho in the BNDES HQ in Rio de Janeiro. The Amazon Fund was on the agenda, and after the meeting, they also met with Norwegian and Brazilian press.
In 2015, Norway is completing the $1 billion payment to Brazil for protecting the Amazon, and Norway will make the final $100-million payment to the Fund, in December this year.
«Before the summit in Paris in December, Norway will fulfill its commitment to contribute US $ 1 billion for the Amazon Fund. The investment is in recognition of the excellent results obtained in the last decade by Brazil in reducing forest deforestation», Tine Sundtoft says.
The Amazon Fund was launched in 2008 by former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. Norway was the first donor to the fund, and has donated about 96 percent of the total funds. Petrobras and the German bank KfW are other donors. Germany recently announced it will donate 100 million euros to the fund.
The main objective of the Fund is to provide support to projects to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as for the conservation and sustainable use of forests in the Brazilian Amazon.
«The Amazon Fund has consolidated a substantial reduction of emissions caused by deforestation in the Amazon – the best news on climate change in recent years. Led by contributions from Norway, the Amazon Fund has become the anchor of Brazil’s efforts to enable a new paradigm of sustainable development of production and protection», Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment of Brazil, said in the meeting.
Brazil has more than achieved a goal of reducing the rate of deforestation by 75 percent, the condition for the payments under an agreement for 2008-15 meant to protect the forest and slow climate change.
«Brazil has established what has become a model for other national climate change funds. The fact that we pay for performance, for results achieved, is vital», Norwegian Environment Minister Tine Sundtoft says.
Norway and Brazil are in talks about further collaboration, but Sundtoft did not give any details on this.
In the beginning of 2014, Norwegian authorities informed that a revised agreement had been signed, but the payment to made in December, marks the end of the first phase of the Norwegian-Brazilian forest agreement.
Tine Sundtoft also visited Manaus and Cuiaba during her five day visit to Brazil.
Brazil is the world’s largest tropical forest country and one of the most important partner countries for the Norwegian climate and forest project.
Facts on the Amazon Fund
- The Amazon Fund was launched in 2008 by Brazilian authorities. Administered by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
- Can accept contributions from countries individuals and businesses.
- Incentive-based fund where contributions may only be received in line with the reductions in deforestation achieved by Brazil. This creates an economic incentive to reduce deforestation.
- Norway was the first contributor to the Amazon Fund and may contribute a total of USD 1 billion by the end of 2015 if Brazil succeeds in reducing deforestation.
- Germany (KfW) signed a contract for a contribution of EUR 21 million in Cancun in December 2010. Brazilian oil company Petrobras has so far contributed 7.93 million reais (approx. NOK 21 million).
Facts about the Amazon rainforest
- The world’s largest rainforest.
- 60% of it lies in Brazil.
- Brazil is the world’s largest forest country with 30% of the world’s remaining rainforest.
- More than 25 million people live in the Brazilian Amazon, and many live from it. Brazil’s rainforests also contain a large proportion of the world’s biological diversity, including 40,000 plants and more than 5,000 mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species
(Source: The Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment)
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist