Forest Protection Partnership Attracts $4 Billion Investment

OSLO, Norway, June 2, 2010 (ENS) – The effort to preserve and protect forests and particularly tropical rainforests took a step forward last week at the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference in Norway, where 50 countries agreed on a framework for the rapid implementation of measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

Around US$4 billion was pledged for the period 2010–2012 for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

“Measures to reduce deforestation are the quickest and least expensive way of achieving large emission cuts,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

“This could be an important step forward in the run-up to the climate negotiations in Mexico later this year,” he said.

The global forest partnership that was established in Oslo marks the start of closer global cooperation on reducing deforestation and forest degradation in tropical developing countries, a movement commonly known as REDD. The partnership is known as the REDD+ Partnership.

Rainforest in Malaysia (Photo by L.H. Tang)

“As the host of the next Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC, we wholeheartedly support this initiative,” said Mexican Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, who was present at the Oslo conference.

“In our view, concrete initiatives where developed and developing countries cooperate on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are essential for the success of the UNFCCC negotiations. We therefore highly value Norway’s leadership in these efforts,” he said.

The partnership efforts will be led by two co-chairs, one from a developing and one from a developed country. The World Bank and United Nations will provide secretariat services.

In Oslo, partners expressed their willingness to scale up financing substantially after 2012 provided that sufficient emission reductions are achieved.

European Union ministers warmly approved the REDD+ Partnership at the ministerial dialogue in Petersberg, Germany on May 2 through 4.

REDD+ was referred to as a “frontrunner that could provide examples for solutions also on other issues.”

In fact, inspired by the “very successful REDD+ initiative,” two similar initiatives on climate adaptation and mitigation were launched, which would also be facilitated by partnerships of developed and developing countries.

Also in Petersberg, Germany announced that it would spend at least 350 million euro (US$450 million) of their “fast-start” climate finance on the REDD+ Partnership.

“Governments made a major step forward in efforts to fight climate change this week. This collaborative partnership is a very constructive start,” said Paul Chatterton, of WWF’s Forest Carbon Initiative, “but the challenge now is to turn these commitments into action and secure money to support these efforts in the long-run.”

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2010. All rights reserved.

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