Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Colombia, Norway gear up to tackle tropical deforestation

Colombian and Norwegian leaders on Tuesday urge world leaders to make tackling tropical deforestation a top priority in the lead-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris late this year, the Office of the Norwegian Prime Minister said in a statement.

"Protecting our remaining natural forests is a priority and my government is fully committed to our goal of zero net deforestation in the Colombian Amazon by 2020," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who is currently visiting Norway, was quoted as saying.

Colombia's rainforest is among the richest forests in terms of its biodiversity on earth and it is home to local communities, indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombian communities that have invaluable cultural heritage.

"We firmly believe it is possible to both protect and restore our forests while increasing agricultural production and growing our rural economies," Santos said.

Norway and Colombia endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests last year and made a commitment to do their part to reduce and eventually halt natural global forest loss.

"Unless we all work together to protect and restore the world's tropical forests, we will not be able to reach the two degree target, build resilience to the inevitable consequences of climate change, or develop more productive and sustainable agriculture to feed a growing world population," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.

Also on Tuesday, Colombian and Norwegian environment ministers released a joint statement outlining their common ambitions for a climate and forest partnership to be established by the end of this year.  


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