Last week in Oslo, Heads of State and Government, ministers and other representatives from some fifty countries concluded an agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Around $4.5 billion has been pledged for the period 2010-2012 to support measures to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales gave a keynote speech following an introduction by the co-chairs of the meeting, Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg and President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Both co-chairs were kind enough to recognise that the Prince's work had made a significant contribution to the successful outcome of the REDD+ finance programme. Particular reference was made by them and other Heads of State to the meeting His Royal Highness hosted at St James Palace in April 2009 and the work of the PRP in bringing the forest agenda to the attention of world leaders.
The global forest partnership that was established in Oslo marks the start of closer global cooperation on reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. The partnership will support and contribute to the UNFCCC process. It will also promote transparency around the financing of existing and new international initiatives to reduce deforestation and degradation of tropical forests.
Partners to the agreement have expressed their willingness to scale-up financing substantially after 2012 provided that sufficient emission reductions are achieved. Agreement has been reached on important principles including; support for capacity building and performance-based payments tailored to individual national circumstance, full transparency and improved coordination of funded activities and the involvement of representatives of relevant stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and the private sector. The partnership programme will be led by two co-chairs; one from a rainforest nation and one from a donor country, and in the first instance this will be respectively PNG and Japan, followed by Brazil and France. The World Bank and U.N. will act as secretariat.
While this involves less money and fewer structural details than suggested in our Emergency Package proposal or the IWG-IFR report, it is an important and significant first step, taken collectively by the nations involved. Civil society and the NGO community will be watching closely to see that the money materialises and is spent in such a way that it achieves a material reduction in the rate of deforestation.
The celebration of this milestone in international cooperation was preceded by an equally important announcement of an agreement between Norway and Indonesia whereby Norway would pay $1 billion over five years for planned reductions in deforestation. This agreement compliments the similar arrangements, mentioned in our previous emails, which Norway has made with Brazil and Guyana, whereby a series of annual payments will be made if pre-agreed targets are met.
It now remains for the REDD+ Partnership Agreement, which you can find along with the speeches and other relevant documents on the conference website, to set in motion a process that will achieve similar progress with the other rainforest nations that have agreed to participate. This will provide tremendous impetus to the discussions around REDD in the lead up to the next UNFCCC COP, which is being hosted by Mexico in Cancun in December.
The PRP will now maintain a watching brief as the Governments and NGOs take the process forward. However, we are continuing to work with the public, private and NGO sectors to ensure that agriculture and its relationship with deforestation is maintained as a focus during the implementation of the Partnership Agreement. Our programme on these issues will be linked into our broader work being undertaken by the Prince's Charities' International Sustainability Unit (of which the PRP is a part) to help facilitate sustainable agriculture and sustainable fisheries' management including innovative financial mechanisms to support them.