Oslo Urges Indonesia to Keep Forest Protection

Norway’s Environment Minister Baard Vegar Solhjell urged Indonesia and Brazil to avoid backtracking on policies to protect tropical forests, saying up to $2 billion in aid promised by Oslo hinged on proof of slower rates of forest clearance.

Oslo has promised up to $1 billion each to Brazil and Indonesia, the two main beneficiaries of a forest initiative worth 3 billion Norwegian crowns ($514.75 million) a year to help combat global warming.

“It is important that they follow policies that mean that they continue reducing deforestation in the future. We are paying for actual results,” the minister said in a report by Reuters.

He also said Indonesia had made a “big step forward” with a moratorium on forest clearance in 2011 as part of the deal with Norway, despite wide criticism that illegal logging continues.

He explained that Indonesia needs to develop from this initial phase into a phase of actual reductions of deforestation.

Slower deforestation rates in Brazil and Indonesia and forest plantings in China, India and other countries helped brake losses. Norway showed that 17 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions are caused by deforestation.

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