Tuesday, Brazil's minister of the environment, Izabella Teixeira, released Brazil's official deforestation figure for the Brazilian Amazon for the forest year 2011. Deforestation in 2011 was 6.418 sq.kms, representing a 8 % reduction compared to the record low deforestation in forest year 2010. (See deforestation Figures for Brazil at Mongabay.com)
This is the third year in a row that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is record low. This year's rate is the lowest ever registered since forest monitoring began in 1988.
- I am impressed and encouraged. Brazil's amazing results shows that it is indeed possible to control deforestation when political will is in place and enacted upon. 6 years ago, very few would have believed that the results we see today were achievable, says Norway's minister of the Environment, Mr Bård Vegar Solhjell.
In 2009, Brazil launched their target to reduce deforestation by 80% by 2020 (compared to the average deforestation rate 1996-2005). With the 2011 result, deforestation has already been reduced by 68%.
As part of Norway's engagement to inspire reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), Norway pays Brazil each year, based on the previous year's reductions in deforestation. Since the cooperation started in 2008, Norway has set aside NOK 2,55 billion (approximately USD 440 million) to Brazil. The contributions are channeled through the Amazon Fund, and used for projects to further reduce deforestation.
In the run-up to the Rio+20 summit in June, Minister Solhjell will visit one of the projects supported by the Amazon Fund.
- Through our political and financial support, Norway wishes to contribute to Brazil's efforts to achieve a low-deforestation future of the Amazon," says Solhjell.
According to the IPCC, emissions from deforestation and forest degradation counts for approximately one sixth of global greenhouse gas emissions. Brazil's reduced deforestation in 2010 alone represents a reduction in emissions of between 500 million and 1 billion tons of CO2.
Read about the International Climate and Forest Initiative here.