$4B Pledged to Forest Protection Partnership

Fifty countries signed a partnership document and pledged about US$4 billion to preserve and protect forests–particularly tropical rainforests–during the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference in Norway last week.

The funds are slated for the years 2010-2012 and are part of an agreed-upon framework for the rapid implementation of measures for reducing deforestation in developing countries. Partner countries also expressed their willingness to scale up financing substantially after 2012 provided that sufficient emission reductions are achieved.

An agreement on combating deforestation was thought to be a sure
result from the Copenhagen Climate Summit last December. But failure to
reach an agreement on the reducing emissions from deforestation and
degradation (REDD) program, was one of many disappointments.

However, the steps taken in Norway last week could lead to an
international agreement during United Nations-led climate talks this
December in Mexico.

The REDD+ partnership document signed in Oslo establishes important principles, such as the inclusion of representatives of relevant stakeholders including indigenous peoples. The partnership efforts will be led by two co-chairs, one from a developing and one from a developed country. The World Bank and UN  will provide secretariat services.

The partnership aims to support and contribute to the UN process by promoting transparency around financing and international initiatives to reduce deforestation.

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

Last month the Global Environment Facility (GEF), received US$4.25 billion from donor countries. That funding is also part of the quick-start funding agreed to by developed nations during the Copenhagen Summit.

Website: http://www.oslocfc2010.no     

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