"Measures to reduce deforestation are the quickest and least expensive way of achieving large emission cuts. At today's meeting, around 50 countries agreed on a framework for the rapid implementation of measures for reducing deforestation. This could be an important step forward in the run-up to the climate negotiations in Mexico later this year," said Prime Minister Stoltenberg at the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference.
The global forest partnership that was established in Oslo today marks the start of closer global cooperation on reducing deforestation and forest degradation in tropical developing countries. The partnership will support and contribute to the UNFCCC process. It will also promote transparency around financing and existing and new international initiatives to reduce deforestation and degradation of tropical forests.
"As the host of the next Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC, we wholeheartedly support this initiative. In our view, concrete initiatives where developed and developing countries cooperate on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are essential for the success of the UNFCCC negotiations. We therefore highly value Norway's leadership in these efforts," said Mexican Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, who was present at the conference.
In addition to heads of state and government and ministers from a number of key countries, the Oslo Conference also brought together the heads of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), representatives of the World Bank and the regional development banks, and representatives of indigenous peoples and civil society. The Prince of Wales and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai also attended and expressed their strong support for the partnership.
Around NOK 25 billion has now been earmarked for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and partners have expressed their willingness to scale up financing substantially after 2012 provided that sufficient emission reductions are achieved. Agreement has been reached on important principles, such as the inclusion of representatives of relevant stakeholders including indigenous peoples. An organisational framework has also been established for the partnership, as well as secretariat services, which will be provided jointly by the UN and the World Bank.
In a statement of support, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Norway for hosting the conference and commended Prime Minister Stoltenberg for his visionary leadership in this field.