Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Norway donates up to one billion dollars to save Brazil rain forest
BRASILIA (AFP) — Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced Tuesday that Oslo will donate up to a billion dollars to a government fund here devoted to rescuing the Amazon rain forest.
"The government of Norway has decided to contribute as much as a billion dollars to the Amazon Fund," Stoltenberg said, adding that the first tranche of funds would be disbursed to Brasilia before the end of the year.
"To win the battle against global warming, we have to win the fight against global deforestation," the Norwegian leader.
Amazon Fund was created by Brazil earlier this year, in response to international criticism that the government has not been doing enough to protect the rain forest.
National Space Research Institute figures show that 11,200 square kilometers of Amazon forest were destroyed last year -- an area nearly equivalent to nearly half the size of Sicily -- mainly by ranchers and soybean farmers.
Experts estimate 2008's total will be close to 20,000 square kilometers.
Brazil is considered the fourth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, 75 percent of which come from deforestation.
The painting is by Laura Tasheiko