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Norway says no to rainforest project in Congo

rain forest fund bio fuel climate gasRainforest. Photo:


Environmentalists have demanded that Norway must stop a new rainforest project planned in Congo. Climate scientist, Vidar Helgesen of Høyre (H), confirmed that he can’t approve of the proposed project in its present state.


‘We won’t support the proposal that is now on the table’, Helgesen told NTB News Agency.

He said that earlier this week, he signaled this to Congo, and the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), the international partnership who’ve developed the project.

‘Anyway, no, it is not a question. Instead, Norway will now discuss with CAFI and partner countries on how the project proposal can be improved’, explained Helgesen.

The conflict surrounding the project has been particularly about financial aid for so-called sustainable forestry. Both the environmental organizations, and the environmental opposition lobby in parliament, have argued that, in practice, the project adds to the subsidization of timber harvest from the rainforest.

Helgesen, on the other hand, doesn’t exclude Norway  providing timber harvest assistance.

‘Our forest agenda is about forest protection, but also about sustainable exploitation of the forest. This means that business such as timber harvesting isn’t excluded, but it must be sustainable,’ said Helgesen.

‘We are concerned that projects must have environmental integrity. In this project, the environmental integrity must improve’, he said.

Norway has promised up to NOK 400 million annually toward conservation of the Congo Rainforest.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today