Norway offers Guyana up to $250mln to save forests


Reuters reports that Norway agreed on Monday to pay Guyana up to $250 million by 2015 to preserve forests in the South American nation as part of a scheme to slow climate change. Norway, which has led donor nations in slowing tropical deforestation with a budget of 3 billion Norwegian crowns ($530 million) a year, said it wanted to help Guyana maintain forests that cover 75 percent of its land. “Saving the world’s remaining tropical forests is a crucial element in the battle against climate change,” Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim said of a memorandum he signed in Guyana with President Bharrat Jagdeo. “Provided that the expected results are achieved and that other elements of the partnership fall into place, our support for the years up to 2015 could add up to as much as $250 million,” he said in a statement.
Plants soak up carbon dioxide as they grow and release it when they are burnt or rot. The United Nations says deforestation accounts for about a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Until now, nations with high levels of forest cover have attracted less cash than worse performers promising to slow high rates of deforestation. “Success in the global fight against deforestation means that both the countries that have high deforestation rates and those with low rates should obtain incentives to preserve their forests,” the Norwegian ministry said. A deal to help protect tropical forests is due to be agreed at a U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen from Dec. 7-18. Norway has other forest protection projects in the Congo and Amazon basins and Tanzania.

Jagdeo, commenting on the offer, called it “our Copenhagen.”

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