“This will contribute to green growth in the two countries”, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg stated when she presented the two new bilateral partnerships during the Climate Summit in New York.
The agreements were signed and both partnerships launched at a press conference taking place at the UN headquarters. Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Tine Sundtoft, and Peru’s Minister of the Environment, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, were present.
Norway will contribute up to 1, 8 billion NOK to Peru, and one billion NOK to Liberia.
”These agreements take Norway’s international climate- and forest initiative one step further. Norway backs both countries’ climate aims and ambitions to achieve economic growth without causing deforestation. Both Peru and Liberia have committed to ambitious measures and targets, which we are proud to support”, said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
With more than 68 million hectares of forests, Peru has one of the five largest, most diverse and best preserved tropical forest areas in the world. It is also estimated to be one of the world’s four largest tropical forest carbon stores. The Amazonian forest located within the Peruvian boarders is under increasing pressure from agricultural activity, mining, expanding infrastructure and the oil industry.
”Peru’s forests are essential in the global fight to reduce climate change. They also contain unique animal- and plant species, and are home to numerous indigenous peoples. The agreement we have signed today is in other words vital to protect climate, biodiversity and people”, said Solberg.
In addition, the agreement can help reduce the risk of increased deforestation in Peru as a consequence of vast deforestation reductions in Brazil over the past years.
Liberia’s forests are also under great pressure, from commercial logging, agriculture and coal production.
“With the ongoing Ebola crisis in Liberia, we fully appreciate that the main focus at present is the safety and wellbeing of the Liberian people. In a long-term perspective, I believe Liberia has the potential to be a great example for other countries in the region on how to work with the private sector to achieve economic growth without causing deforestation and forest degradation”, said Prime Minister Solberg.
According to the agreement, only companies committing to strict zero deforestation policies will be granted new licences to operate in the country. Liberia contains the majority of the remaining Upper Guinean tropical rainforest, encompassing unique and endemic plant- and animal species including the forest elephant, Western chimpanzee and miniature hippopotamus.
Norway is leading in the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Today the Prime Minister was moderating the high level meeting on forest in New York together with Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Forest is one of eight priority areas where the UN Secretary General has asked countries and private sector companies to come up with new, tangible commitments and initiatives to be presented at the Climate Summit in New York.