Brazil praised for saving forests

2014-08-18 11:40
Smoke envelopes a peatland forest hit by fire in Sumatra, Indonesia. (Picture: AFP)

Smoke envelopes a peatland forest hit by fire in Sumatra, Indonesia. (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Oslo - Brazil has made good progress in safeguarding the Amazon rainforest but Indonesia's plans for its forests could face setbacks under a new government, a report commissioned by top forest aid donor Norway said on Monday.

Norway, rich from offshore oil and gas, paid $1.7bn to slow tropical deforestation from 2008-13, according to the report by the state-funded Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (Norad).

"Brazil's deforestation rate and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions have strongly decreased", the report said of progress in protecting the Amazon, the biggest tropical forest.

Projects funded by Norwegian cash in Brazil were "paving the way for future reductions", it said.

Norway has paid Brazil $720m to help back up domestic programmes, it said. Norway promised Brazil up to $1.0bn in 2008 to slow deforestation, depending on its performance.

Under a similar deal in 2010, Norway pledged up to $1bn to Indonesia, which has the third-largest rainforest after the Amazon and Congo basins and has cleared large areas to make way for palm oil plantations.

Indonesia had made "good progress" in planning to protect forests, Norad said. But it said that "upcoming governmental change and weaknesses in the legal basis" for forest protection "present a serious risk that achievements may be lost".

President-elect Joko Widodo takes over from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in October. "There could be new priorities", Ida Hellmark, who co-ordinated the report at Norad, told Reuters, pointing to risks of a further shift to palm oil plantations.

So far, Indonesia has so far got just 2% of Norway's total payments, Norad said.

Forests soak up carbon dioxide as they grow and release it when they rot or burn. Deforestation, mainly to clear land for farms, accounts for up to about a fifth of all man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, according to UN estimates.

Cash promised by Norway accounts for more than 60% of all funds pledged by rich nations linking forests and climate change, the Norad report said. Norway's money has also gone to international agencies and nations such as Guyana and Tanzania.

Dag Hareide, head of environmental group Rainforest Foundation Norway, said Norway's aid had helped put a focus on forest losses and climate change at a time when many donors were facing austerity at home.

Still, he told Reuters that Norway could do more, especially to ensure that its $880bn sovereign wealth fund avoided investing in companies that stoke deforestation.

Read more on:    un  |  susilo bambang yudhoyono  |  indonesia  |  brazil  |  conservation  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.