Norway to pay Brazil $180 million for slowing deforestation

OSLO Thu Dec 6, 2012 10:57am EST

An aerial view shows illegal deforestation close to the Amazonia National Park in Itaituba, state of Para May 25, 2012. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

An aerial view shows illegal deforestation close to the Amazonia National Park in Itaituba, state of Para May 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Nacho Doce

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OSLO (Reuters) - Norway has agreed to give $180 million to Brazil as part of a broader $1 billion deal for slowing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, Oslo's environment minister said on Thursday.

Norway has promised $1 billion each to Brazil and Indonesia for protecting their tropical rainforests and warned Jakarta earlier this year that its progress in reforming its forestry sector will not be sufficient to meet its pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020.

Deforestation in Brazil fell to the lowest level in 24 years in 2012, its government said, and Thursday's agreement brings Norway's total contribution to the Amazon Fund to $670 million.

"These efforts have tremendous positive effects for biodiversity, the livelihoods of local communities and indigenous peoples, and local and global rainfall patterns," Baard Vegar Solhjell Norway's environment minister said.

"The importance of what Brazil has achieved on deforestation over the last few years can hardly be overestimated," he said in a statement.

Norway, one of the richest countries in the world with per capita GDP over $100,000 is also one of the most charitable nations, spending around 1 percent of its gross national income on international aid.

In 2011, it spent $4.9 billion on foreign aid, with money going to more than 100 countries in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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