Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Norway Leads the Way to Save South America's Rainforests

Big props to Norway for stepping up and leading the way as the world tries to figure out how to save the tropical rainforests that serve humanity as the lungs of our planet.

Reuters reports that Norway has now ponied up as much as $250 million to help compensate the country of Guyana for the conservation value of their forests:

"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.

I love how in this case, Norway is moving proactively to reward a country that still has the majority of it's forests standing.

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