Together, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom announce a total of 34 million USD for policy reforms to reduce deforestation.
The announcement took place at an event during COP28, where Colombia’s Minister of Environment, Susana Muhamad, presented the Colombian governments ambitious plans to reduce deforestation and create sustainable livelyhoods in the Colombian Amazon
“Colombia has achieved a significant reduction in deforestation in 2022, a trend that seems to continue in 2023. Most of the reduction in deforestation has happened in the Amazon, which is a crucial ecosystem for all of us”, stated Andres Bjelland Eriksen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment
In 2022, deforestation in Colombia was reduced to around 123.500 ha, with a considerable reduction in the Amazon biome. The promising trend seems to continue in 2023 and preliminary numbers show that deforestation declined by 70% in the Colombian Amazon in the first nine months of 2023, compared to the same period last year.
Nonetheless, the situation is still fragile due to the armed conflict and the drought in the Amazon. Continued efforts are needed to safeguard the results achieved until now – and to ensure further progress.
“We thank the UK, German and Norwegian governments for their announcement of a further $34 million dollars in international cooperation. These resources will help bolster our conservation programmes so that the Amazon can be the first net zero deforestation region in Colombia by 2030″, said Susana Muhamad, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development.
Germany, Norway and the UK have supported efforts to tackle deforestation in the Colombian Amazon through a Joint Declaration of Intent signed in 2015 (and updated in 2019) and via the Amazon Vision programme. The agreement reflects a shared commitment to supporting Colombia’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and promote sustainable development.
“Through this long-standing partnership with Colombia, Germany, and Norway, we have provided a strong foundation of support for Colombia to tackle climate change, improve sustainability, and protect their forests”, says Graham Stuart, the United Kingdom Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.
“Based on our long-lasting trustful partnership, we stress our commitment to further contribute and support Colombia in its vision for socio-ecological transformation and its NDC under the Paris Agreement towards 2025 and beyond”, says Norbert Gorissen, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Action at the German Federal Foreign Office.
The new contributions will support the Colombia Vision, launched by President Gustavo Petro during COP28, by reinforcing ongoing efforts to meet the climate goals established in the Paris Agreement, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Colombia.
Rewarding Colombia for significant achievements
Colombia is committed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation through an integrated strategy for rural reform, nature protection and peace. The Colombian Government has put into motion a wide range of actions that is now bearing fruit. Colombia has:
- Expanded areas under sustainable forest management and accelerated forest restoration.
- Advanced conservation agreements with local communities and supported investments in sustainable livelihoods.
- Strengthened enforcement and investigation of criminal networks behind deforestation.
- Made significant advances in securing land rights, which is at the core of halting the agricultural expansion, but also for ensuring a sustainable peace.
For the first time, the environment is a central part of the ongoing peace process in the country.