Oslo: Last December, an international conference on climate change approved global plans prevent deforestation. But those plans have not been implemented, and now a smaller meeting of nations in Oslo will try Thursday to find ways to start to put them in place — even if on a smaller scale.
Deforestation, the burning of woodlands or the rotting of felled trees, is thought to account for up to 20 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere — as much as is emitted by all the world`s cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined.
Slated to attend the one-day conference are heads of state from eight countries, including Denmark, Indonesia and Kenya, and senior officials from eighteen others. Twenty-six other countries are represented by lower-ranking representatives.
The 52 countries hope to enact on a small scale a forest-preservation program approved — but not implemented — at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December. Member nations see this as a stopgap measure while details of a full-scale program are hashed out — a process likely to take several years.
Those attending include representatives of wealthy donor nations as well as developing countries in need of foreign aid to reduce levels of deforestation.
The program — called REDD Plus, for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation — is intended to encourage wealthy nations to voluntarily finance projects that help poor nations protect their forests. It will do so, in part, by creating a central monitoring agency to make the flow of aid more transparent and coordinate and streamline the distribution of aid to avoid redundancy.
The financing of forest-saving projects — such as Norway`s pay-per-result plan, unveiled Wednesday, to defray Indonesia`s cost of curbing deforestation — will still be made by bilateral or multilateral agreements.
The conference will be opened by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.