September 17, 2008

Norway Announces 1 Billion-Dollar Donation for Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest Fund

Norway announces 1 billion-dollar donation for Brazil's Amazon Rainforest Fund

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced Tuesday his country will donate 1 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 to the Amazon Rainforest Fund, a Brazilian government's project to raise money for rainforest preservation.

Brazil will receive the first part of the donation, 130 million dollars, in 2009. The remaining part of the donation will be made depending on Brazil's progress in reducing deforestation and pollution, Stoltenberg told local reporters in Brasilia.

Stoltenberg said he believes the Amazon Rainforest Fund is the most efficient way to achieve large-scale and quick air pollutant reductions, adding that the Norwegian authorities will not interfere with the Amazon Fund, which is managed solely by the Brazilian government.

Norway is the first country to donate to the Amazon Rainforest Fund. Brazil's Environment Minister Carlos Minc said at least four other countries will donate to the fund soon, namely Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

He said he expects to raise 900 million dollars in one year. By 2021, the number is expected to reach 21 billion dollars.

Launched in early August, the fund aims to finance the sustainable exploitation of the Amazon rainforest resources. Foreign donations will be used to finance projects of reforestation and conservation of the Amazon rainforest area, as well as projects on clean energy and environmental education among the local population.

The Brazilian Development Bank will determine how the fund will be invested.

Norway has an annual budget of 550 million dollars to donate to air pollutant emissions reduction programs in developing countries to help reach the goals established by the Kyoto Protocol.

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