Norway Donates US$250 Million to Protect Colombian Rainforests

Colombian Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said that within the next 12 years the government hopes to reduce deforestation to zero.

Colombia‘s fight against illegal logging is being extended to 2025 as part of the nation’s pay-for results strategy, Norway‘s prime minister announced after donating US$250 million to the project.

As part of the 2015 pact signed between Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Colombia, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed the cooperative battle to save Colombia’s rainforestwould be extended by five years.

“Colombia has made great progress: Norway will remain a close and long-term ally as Colombia progresses,” Solberg said.

“Today we agree to extend our partnership for climate and forests beyond 2020, he continued, saying the payments may extend as far as 2030.

Colombian Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said that within the next 12 years the government hopes to reduce deforestation to zero.

Norway’s donation represents the first alliance of climate and forest under the Paris Agreement. Prime Minister Solberg hopes the agreement will bring higher standards for inter-institutional collaboration in climate initiatives.

“Today’s Joint Declaration with Colombia sends a strong message that preserving tropical forests is critical to achieving global climate goals; it is not possible to fight against climate change if we do not take all this into account,” Solberg said.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santosresponded, decsribing Norway as one of Colombia’s greatest allies in preserving the environment.

The president later announced plans to control deforestation by installing boundaries across the agricultural Amazon border.

“We will define the agricultural frontier so that once and for all we know where we can sow and from what border we will take care of the forests,” Santos said during his meeting with Norwegian diplomats in Leticia, Amazonas.

A total of eight million new hectares of forest land have been strategically chosen for their unique biodiversity, in addition to the 30 million already being protected.

Rights to greater autonomy will also be given to Indigenous communities in the departments of Guainia, Vaupes and the Amazons.

“The people who live in the forests are their best guardians… Therefore, the rights of Indigenous peoples are key,” said Solberg.

(telesurtv)