Colombia, Germany, Norway and the UK step up efforts to stop the destruction of forests in Colombia

The Joint Declaration that was signed December 11. extends  the climate and forest cooperation between Colombia, Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom until 2025. The partnership was initiated at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015.

Meeting in Madrid
Colombia, Germany, UK and Norway announce increased efforts to protect forests in Colombia at COP25 in Madrid. Credit: Jo Randen/KLD

Read the joint Declaration in English here.

Read the Joint Declaration in Spanish here.

–Due to this alliance Colombia is winning the fight against deforestation and a National Council to Combat Deforestation and Other Associated Environmental Crimes (CONALDEF) has been established. Now with this new phase of cooperation by Norway, Germany and United Kingdom, we will continue strengthening our capacity to reduce deforestation trends at the local level, fostering social and economic benefits, said Ricardo Lozano Picón, Colombia´s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Reversing deforestation trend

The renewed Declaration reflects and enhances Colombia’s plans to tackle the substantial increase in deforestation that has occurred since 2016 as a result of recent challenges in some regions, mainly in the Amazon. The renewal of the declaration is a recognition of Colombia’s ability to reverse the deforestation trend, having achieved a 10% reduction in deforestation in 2018 compared to 2017.

Colombia reports that the positive trend continues in 2019. Deforestation alerts in the Amazon has gone down by 12% in the third trimester of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

Colombia’s ambition and commitment to reduce deforestation is of global significance, said Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment.

 –We cannot solve climate change without stopping deforestation. The international community should now step up to mobilize billions f dollars per year to support forest countries that succeed in reducing emissions, said the Norwegian minister.

Recognizing the fight against deforestation as a matter of state, the Colombian government is showing determination to reverse the rise in deforestation through a multidimensional approach.

Broad range of actions

Colombia will implement a broad range of actions in areas most affected by deforestation. Covering almost 60 million hectares, Colombia’s natural forests are among the most biodiverse on earth, home to a large number of animal and plant species. The forests also house local communities and indigenous peoples with rich cultural heritage.

By 2022, Colombia will initiate the restoration process of 200.000 hectares and expand areas with a sustainable management and to strengthen small farmers to produce sustainably. In buffer zones of the Amazon, Colombia will extend forest conservation and accelerate restoration.

Payment for emission reductions

To support Colombia’s efforts to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable development, the three European countries will contribute a total amount of up to USD 366 million[1] until 2025. Up to USD 260 million will be payments for achieved emission reductions[2] and up to USD 106 millions will be for contributions for policy objectives and implementation.

German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze welcomes the Colombian approach to protect tropical forests:

–We are united in our efforts to halt the increased pressure on forests and in demonstrating our nations’ commitment to advance ambitious climate action. We are convinced that prosperous economies and healthy ecosystems depend on each other, said Schulze.

Among the national objectives referenced in the Declaration signed today, include:


Contact information:

Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU) –– Mobile: +49 170 66 921 83

Ministry of Environment and Climate Norway

Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development Colombia

[1] All USD figures are subject to the following exchange rates as of Dec 1 2019: 9.15 for NOK/USD; 0.91 for EUR/USD; 0.77 for GBP/USD.


[2] The joint pledge constitute the following funding; Modality 1: USD 55 million from Germany, NOK 470 million ( USD 51) )million from Norway, Modality 2: up to USD 260 million from Norway. The UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will provide support for Colombia through the recently signed UK-COL Partnership for Sustainable Growth.

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