Colombia is committing to ambitious goals to reduce deforestation and to launch large-scale programmes in support of forest conservation and ethnic groups. Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom will contribute up to 360 million US Dollar to help Colombia reach its targets.
The Joint Declaration that will be signed today 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.
"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.
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 percent 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 percent 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 of dollars per year to support forest countries that succeed in reducing emissions".
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.
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.
To support Colombia's efforts to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable development, the three European countries will contribute a total amount of up to US Dollar 366 million until 2025. Up to US Dollar 260 million will be payments for achieved emission reductions and up to US Dollar 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."
Among the national objectives referenced in the Declaration signed today, include:
- By 2022, Colombia will include 195.000 additional hectares under its programme for payment for ecosystem services, including lands located in collective territories of ethnic groups.
- By 2022, Colombia will have initiated restoration processes for 200,000 hectares in areas of high deforestation, including lands located in collective territories of ethnic groups.
- By 2025, 500,000 hectares will be under sustainable forest management as part of the national Community-based Forestry program.
- By 2022 147 000 hectares will be under sustainable and zero deforestation cattle ranching.