As part of a major international climate alliance, Peru, Germany, Norway, UK and the US are stepping up efforts to reduce deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon by 2025. Peru holds the fourth largest tropical forest in the world, an area almost twice the size of Germany.
"Climate change is a global threat, and addressing it requires international collaboration. With the support of our partners, Peru reiterates its commitment to protecting our invaluable forests and promoting sustainable development in the Amazon region," said Gabriel Quijandría Acosta, Peruvian Minister for the Environment, as he signed to extend the climate and forest partnership until 2025.
Ministers from Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, represented through its U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) joined Peru by signing the Joint Declaration of Intent this week on May 31st, manifesting their support to Peru in tackling forest ecosystem loss and degradation, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the country.
US and UK enter cooperation - Peru, Germany and Norway stay on
Back in 2014, before the Climate Change Conference in Lima, Germany and Norway entered a partnership to support Peru in its effort to preserve its tropical forest, the fourth largest in the world and the largest in the Amazon outside of Brazil. Today's declaration is a continuation of the original declaration from 2014. The United Kingdom and United States are both signing for the first time.
Although the Peruvian forests are giant carbon stocks, they are facing a barrage of threats. The Peruvian Government is continuously trying to tackle and reduce these (please see results described below).
Germany: United by a shared belief
In a joint effort, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety have to date committed a total amount of EUR 210 million to projects that are linked to the objectives of the Joint Declaration of Intent. Germany has already delivered a significant share of the support. By signing the extension, Germany will continue supporting the Joint Declaration of Intent and stands ready to further develop the significant cooperation with Peru.
"Germany sees the Joint Declaration of Intent on climate change and REDD+ as a strategic foundation on which we can build cooperation on forest conservation and climate action. We are united by a shared belief which goes beyond borders and institutions: Thriving economies and healthy ecosystems are interdependent”, says Svenja Schulze, German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Norway: Proud to be Peru's partner
Norway on its side will extend its pledge from the initial declaration in 2014 until 2025, which is to support Peru's effort with up to NOK 1800 million - more than USD 200 million.
We are very proud to partner with Peru. Despite being severely affected by the pandemic, Peru continues the fight against climate change and to preserve its forests. We are also thrilled to have the United States and the United Kingdom join forces with us, said Sveinung Rotevatn, Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment.
Of this, up to NOK 1500 million are payments for reduced deforestation, certified by the third-party standard Architecture for REDD+ Transactions. Norway guarantees a 10 USD floor price per ton of reduced emissions.
We are keen to support Peru and other countries that succeed in reducing deforestation in their efforts to access more finance. I am hopeful we can invite a growing set of companies to join, building on last month's launch of the LEAF Coalition, said Minister Rotevatn.
UK: Putting nature at the heart
The United Kingdom joined as a new partner and will support the implementation of the Joint Declaration of Intent. The UK is working closely with Peru to pursue sustainable and forest-friendly business solutions such as Indigenous communities-led agroforestry in the Amazon area. To build back better after the Covid-19 pandemic and make a successful shift away from deforestation and forest degradation, the UK International Climate Finance programming is supporting Peru to mobilise private sector investment for nature-based solutions that can help to effectively tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
I am delighted the UK is taking steps to strengthen our partnership with Peru to work together on halting deforestation and protect biodiversity. Through our leadership of the G7 and COP26, we are putting nature at the heart of the global response to the challenge of climate change. This is why we have committed to spend at least £3 billion of our International Climate Finance to support efforts to protect and restore nature, reduce global deforestation, and support communities that rely on forests for their livelihoods”, said Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, British Minister for Pacific and the Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
US: Calls for increased cooperation
The United States, represented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), signed this agreement as a witness, bringing support to the Joint Declaration of Intent objectives through a USD 47.5 million program directed towards sustainable forest practices currently under implementation.
"The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between USAID and the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the President’s Council of Ministers, calls for increased cooperation around forest governance and reforms at national and regional levels, and is an important tool that will fortify Joint Declaration of Intent goals and further harmonize Government of Peru´s whole of government efforts,” said Jene C. Thomas, Director of the United States Agency for International Development’s Peru Mission.
The Joint Declaration of Intent with Germany and Norway was signed in 2014, following a peak year of deforestation in 2013 of roughly 164,000 hectares. According to numbers recently published by the Ministry of Environment in Peru, annual deforestation was approximately 131,500 hectares on average in the period 2010-2019.
Over the last years, Peru has taken important steps to reduce deforestation and tackle the climate crisis. Some important examples are:
(I) Peru established the Yavarí Tapiche reserve for uncontacted and vulnerable indigenous groups deep in the Amazon rainforest. The area expands to approximately 1,100,000 hectares, equivalent to the size of Jamaica.
(II) Peru established a new, stunning national park in 2015 in Peru's Amazon forest and along the border with Brazil - Sierra del Divisor. This national park spans 1,300,000 hectares of largely primary forest, and contains unique wildlife habitat and uncontacted indigenous communities.
(III) Peru, through its National Program of Forest Conservation, has entered into forest conservation agreements with indigenous communities covering 2,900,000 hectares.
(IV) Peru has granted forest titles to indigenous communities covering more than 1,200,000 hectares. Indigenous peoples play an important role in protecting Peru's forests and play an active role in implementing the Joint Declaration of Intent.
(V) Peru has granted rights to more than 4,800,000 hectares of forests through the establishment of new natural protected areas and regional conservation areas. Peru also made progress in establishing a public cadastral system for land titles, and in implementing policies on zoning, land-use planning, forest management and allocation of rights to forest resources.
(VI) Peru increased its ambition to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement in December 2020.
Peru: Climate action is necessary
In this context, representatives of regional governments, ministries of State and representatives of indigenous peoples of Peru agreed that this addendum represents an excellent opportunity to promote the productive conservation of forests and implement the country's climate commitment with a sense of urgency and ambition.
Despite the progress, significant work still remains to protect Peru's forests. Science leaves no doubt that if the world is to achieve the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement and the UN's sustainability goals, tropical deforestation globally must be significantly and rapidly reduced in parallel with transforming the energy system.
“Each of these measures will contribute to the implementation and fulfilment of our Nationally Determined Contributions and to the execution of national and sectoral strategies to reduce deforestation. Thanks to this powerful alliance it is possible to affirm that climate action is necessary, possible and beneficial for all Peruvians", said Gabriel Quijandría Acosta, Minister of Environment in Peru