COP28/Dubai: Norway announces USD 50 million to the Amazon Fund

During a high-level event celebrating 15 years of the Amazon Fund at COP28, Norway announced a contribution of USD 50 million[1] to Brazil’s efforts to reduce deforestation.

“A 50% reduction in deforestation in the Amazon in 2023 is yet another result of President Lula’s ability to take targeted action. This is important for Brazil – and for the world. The Amazon Fund is more important than ever to stop deforestation and contribute to sustainable development in the Amazon. Norway will therefore contribute 50 million US dollars to this work”, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

This is the first contribution from Norway to the Amazon Fund since 2018. The UK also pledged an additional contribution of GBP 35 million to the Amazon Fund during COP28, on top of the 80 million already announced earlier this year.

“Once again President Lula is showing that strong and determined policies are delivering results. It is a great honor to celebrate 15 years of the Amazon Fund together with Minister Marina Silva today. There is great symbolism in this opportunity to announce a restart of our contributions to the Amazon Fund at this COP”, said Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Andreas Bjelland Eriksen during the event.

The Amazon Fund was established by President Lula in 2008 to enable the receipt of international contributions to support Brazil’s significant efforts to stop deforestation. At the same time, Norway launched the International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), marking the start of the bilateral cooperation on climate and forests between Brazil and Norway.

“Norway was the pioneer donor to the Amazon Fund and has been its main contributor in these 15 years of partnership. The new announcement made by minister Andreas Bjelland Eriksen recognizes results such as the 50% decrease in deforestation in the Amazon between January and November 2023. Brazil is committed to zero deforestation by 2030 and the support of Norway and other partners is essential. Our goal is to create a new cycle of prosperity that keeps the forest standing and respects the indigenous and traditional peoples”, says Brazil’s Minister of Environment and Climate, Marina Silva.

Increased donor base

The Lula government has announced a clear and ambitious goal to stop deforestation by 2030. President Lula also stresses that international support through the Amazon Fund can play an important role in supporting the government’s implementation of the action plan to reduce deforestation and achieve a sustainable development in the Amazon (PPCDAm).

The Amazon Fund gives the international community a great opportunity to contribute. Since January this year, the UK, US, EU, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany have pledged to the Amazon Fund.

Brazil’s success is critically important for the region, but also for the world. With strong efforts to reduce deforestation and ambitious targets to reduce climate emissions, Brazil serves as a global leader and driver of this agenda”, says Minister Bjelland Eriksen.

International stage-setter

Over the past 15 years, the Amazon Fund has contributed significantly to some of Brazil’s most successful policies to address deforestation and promote sustainable development in the region. Examples are support to sustainable productive activities with local and traditional communities, law enforcement, fire prevention, state-level action plans, environmental registration of private lands and support to indigenous territories and protected areas. More than 100 mill USD have been invested in activities linked to sustainable production so far, benefitting more than 200 000 people.

The Amazon Fund has also been an important stage-setter internationally. It has influenced the global climate framework and inspired the creation of similar national climate funds. The construction of the Fund itself is a symbol of the leadership role Brazil has on the climate agenda.

The Fund is also a model and the first of its kind in that key stakeholders are involved in setting the priorities of the Fund. The Steering Committee (COFA) consists of federal and subnational authorities, of indigenous and environmental organizations, of scientific institutions and the private sector.

Global momentum for rainforest protection

The world is currently witnessing unprecedented political leadership to protect forests. Brazil has reduced deforestation by half during President Lula’s first 11 months in office.

Indonesia now has the lowest deforestation in 20 years, down ninety percent under President Jokowi’s leadership. During COP28 Norway announced a new contribution of 100 million dollars to recognize Indonesia’s impressive results. It will support Indonesia’s actions to reach a carbon positive land sector by 2030.

Also Colombia has achieved impressing results, with the lowest deforestation in a decade. President Petro has put forest protection at the heart of his efforts to promote a lasting peace. Together with UK and Germany, Norway announced renewed support to Colombia totaling USD 34 million.

NICFI continues to be Norway’s cornerstone international contribution to mitigate climate change and preserve biodiversity, by protecting rainforests. Since 2008, NICFI has expanded its scope to other tropical forest countries and disbursed USD 5 billion to help preserve the world’s tropical forests and improve the livelihoods of those who live there. We are now seeing historic results, and in the state budget for 2024, the Norwegian government is increasing the allocation for this work by more than 30 percent.

Examples of impact made by the Amazon Fund over 15 years

About the Amazon Fund

The Amazon Fund was established by President Lula in 2008 to enable the reception of international contributions to Brazil’s efforts to stop deforestation. The fund is a results-based mechanism where payments are made after deforestation is reduced, and the funds are then spent on initiatives that will further reduce deforestation and contribute to sustainable development in the region.

During Lula’s previous presidency, deforestation in the Amazon was reduced about 80%. Between 2009 and 2018, Norway paid in total NOK 8.3 bn for reduced deforestation.

Funds from the Amazon Fund to new projects were frozen from September 2019 to December 2022, after decision from the previous government to abolish Amazon Fund’s steering committee COFA and technical committee CTFA…

On 1 January 2023, President Lula signed a presidential decree reinstating the Fund’s governance structure allowing the broad representation from civil society and other stakeholders in the steering committee COFA. The Amazon Fund was again re-activated.

[1] Not exceeding 550 mill NOK