From: Reuters
Published April 21, 2008 12:18 PM

Norway gives Tanzania $100 million for forests

By George Obulutsa

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Norway will give Tanzania $100 million over five years to cut deforestation in the east African country and try to reduce carbon emissions blamed for climate change, according to a deal signed on Monday.

Norway, the world's number five oil exporter, plans to make its economy "carbon neutral" by 2030, partly by buying emissions quotas abroad to offset its own greenhouse gas production.

As part of the agreement with Tanzania, Norway will support research, education and the development of pilot areas for reducing deforestation. Norway will also help develop ways to measure the amount of carbon captured by forests.

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Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said the agreement would make Tanzania an example for other countries of incorporating forests into fighting climate change.

"How to do it, and how to combine the idea of rural development with creating new sinks for carbon dioxide by planting new trees is exactly what we are going to do in Tanzania," he said in Dar es Salaam after the deal was signed.

His office estimated that emissions of greenhouse gases from Tanzanian deforestation -- at around 100 million tonnes a year -- were roughly twice as much as Norway's annual emissions. In terms of forest destruction, Tanzania was surpassed only by Sudan and Zambia, it said.

Norway has in the past reported slow progress in finding investments in developing countries which could cut production of the greenhouse gases blamed by many scientists for global warming.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said the effects of climate change were already visible in his country with the melting of glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro, the appearance of salt water in fresh water wells and the shrinking of lakes.

(For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: http://africa.reuters.com/)

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