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Norway in the United States Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, and Consulates General in Houston, New York and San Francisco

Deforestation of Brazil's Amazon slowed in 2017

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon fell by 12 per cent in the forest year 2017, compared with the year before, according to confirmed figures reported by Brazil's Ministry of Environment. "This is good news and encouraging figures for the Amazon, the global climate and for Norway's partnership with Brazil," said Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen.

The minister said Brazil has achieved impressive results in the Amazon the last decade.

"In total, the reduced deforestation equates to about 5 billion tons of CO2 not being emitted into the atmosphere.  This is in comparison almost 100 times more than Norway's annual emissions," said Elvestuen.  Norway has paid for about 220 million tons of this.


 Amazonas regnskog fra lufta    
        Den årlige avskogingen i Brasils Amasonas er drøyt 60 prosent lavere nå enn for 10 år siden.  I  2017 gikk avskogingen  ned med 12 prosent sammenlignet, etter to år med økning.        Credit: Snorre Tønset/KLD    

Annual deforestation i Brazilian Amazon is now about 60% lower than it was in det decade before the country implemented major forest reforms and the partnership with Norway was established.

"The reductions in deforestation since 2005 have been among the world's most important climate and environmental measures in the last decade," said Elvestuen.

In the forest years 2015 and 2016, (a forest year stretches from august to july) deforestation increased somewhat compared with the record low years between 2011 and 2014. This triggered concern that a negative and upward trend was developing. The fact that deforestation numbers are now falling again is therefore very positive, said the minister.

"The previous two-year increases in deforestation gave cause for concern and a lot of work still remains to be done. But these figures show that the Brazilian government has responded well by implementing countermeasures.  Also Norway's support through the Amazon fund, has had a positive effect," said Ola Elvestuen.

The decline in deforestation in 2017 occurred despite a turbulent political situation in Brazil and high prices of commodities contributing to deforestation. According to the leader of Brazil's environmental policy Ibama, an important reason for the reduction in deforestation is that the organization has received funding from Norway through the Amazon Fund. This has enabled greater efforts to intervene against extensive illegal deforestation by, among other things, gold diggers and unlawful property developers.

"Environmental crime is a global problem, and a central cause of deforestation and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions globally. In this sense Norway has contributed directly to combating environmental crime and reduced deforestation, which is very positive," said minister Ola Elvestuen. "In the future, we will further strengthen this work, both in our cooperation with Brazil, in partnership with other countries, and through global initiatives."

Grafikk avskoging brasil    
        The graph shows the annual deforestation in Brazil's Amazon.  When deforestadion is below the average deforestation rate in a previous decade, called reference level, Brazil is paid for results by Norway.  The reference level is ajusted down every five years.        Credit: KLD