Norway Helps Protect Amazon Rain Forest
The country of Norway is giving Brazil 1 billion dollars to protect the Amazon rain forest. In 2008, Norway made an agreement to contribute to Brazil’s Amazon Fund if the country could reduce the rate of deforestation by 75 percent. Brazil’s Amazon region supplies 20 percent of the earth’s oxygen.
Since 2008, Norway has been keeping their end of the agreement and has paid about U$900 million to Brazil. The remaining U$100 million will be paid before a U.N. summit on climate change in Paris in December.
Norway, rich from offshore oil, has been the world’s biggest donor to protect tropical rain forests, which soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide. However, when trees rot or are burned to make way for farmland, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.
“Brazil has established what has become a model for other national climate change funds,” Norwegian Environment Minister Tine Sundtoft said in a statement. Norway is also financing projects to help protect forests in countries including Indonesia, Guyana, Liberia, and Peru.
Worldwide, the rate at which trees were cut down slowed for the third year in a row in 2014, but the area lost was still twice the size of Portugal, the US think-tank World Resources Institute reports.
“This is an outstanding example of the kind of international collaboration we need to ensure the future sustainability of our planet,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement on the Brazilian arrangement with Norway.
Brazil says the gift has helped its national efforts to slow deforestation. A Norwegian ministry spokeswoman, Gunhild Oland Santos-Nedrelid, said Norway and Brazil were in talks about further collaboration.
[This article comes from the Reuters news agency.]