The Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative
The Norwegian government supports global efforts to reduce destruction of tropical forests. It aims to halt greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.
Norway’s international Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) leads these efforts from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. Norad manages significant parts of the funds under the climate and forest initiative on behalf of the ministry.
Destruction of forests threatens millions of people who depend on forests for their subsistence. Many of these people are among the world’s most vulnerable.
In spite of many efforts to reduce the problem, deforestation continues at an alarming rate. 13 million hectares of forests were lost every year between 2000-2010, according to estimates by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Deforestation and forest degradation cause huge emissions of greenhouse gases. 24 per cent of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions come from forestry and agriculture, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Deforestation is also a key factor behind the current biodiversity crisis.
The drivers of deforestation are many and vary among countries and regions. There is one common denominator. It is currently more profitable, at least in the short term, to convert a forest to other uses than to leave it as a natural ecosystem.
The awareness of the enormous value of natural ecosystems for our economy and welfare is increasing.
Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative
The Climate and Forest Initiative has established a series of partnerships with key forest countries.
Results-based, predictable and adequate funding streams is the main tool for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The intention is to change the economic logic in favor of the global climate and the forests.
The Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative has the following key objectives:
- To ensure that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an effective tool for reducing emissions.
- To contribute to early actions for measurable emission reductions from deforestation and forest degradation.
- To promote the conservation of primary forests, due to their particular importance as carbon stores and for their biological diversity.
All these efforts should promote sustainable development and the reduction of poverty.
REDD+ is a common term in the global effort for preserving tropical forests in developing countries. It is an acronym for “Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (+)”.
REDD+ is not simply an issue of improved forest management. It is a fundamental development choice.
The climate change mitigation potential of REDD+ must offer a more attractive and viable development option than the destructive uses of the forests.
To achieve the objectives of The Climate and Forest Initiative, Norway is pursuing four main tracks:
- Enter partnerships with private sector. The aim is to secure deforestation-free supply chains and encourage a low-carbon development path.
- Enter large-scale partnerships with key forest countries. The aim is to prove that real action on a national level is possible. It shall also encourage large scale emission reductions in accordance with commitments made in the Paris Agreement
- Contributing to the design and establishment of an integrated architecture of multilateral REDD initiatives to help ensure broad and early progress on REDD+.
- Financing NGOs, research institutes and civil society organizations to provide analyses, pilot projects and demonstrations supporting the REDD+ negotiations and learning through field experiences. Please visit www.norad.no/cfi for more information
10 years of Norway's Climate and Forest Initiative
2017 marks that ten years since Norway launched Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced at the UNFCCC Climate Change Summit COP13 that Norway would allocate up to 3 billion NOK annually to reduce deforestation.
While the initiative was originally thought to last until 2020, the Norwegian government has since promised to extend it through 2030. Norway has so far supported efforts to reduce deforestation in more than 70 countries.
One of the main results was the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, in which world leaders agreed on an ambitious new climate change agreement. Partly due to activities financed through NICFI since 2007, efforts to reduce deforestation was specifically mentioned in the Paris Agreement.
Reducing deforestation will also be an important instrument to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. After ten years of concerted efforts, Norway now aims to focus on countries with large tropical forests and countries proving results. There have been several evaluations of NICFI. Results have been documented and more will be published during 2017.