Brazilian and Norwegian environment ministers to discuss critical importance of forests for a green economy on sidelines of Rio+20


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Royal Tulip Hotel, Rio de Janeiro
Tuesday 19 June, 14:00

Despite being largely left off the official agenda at Rio+20, forests are set to receive attention from two important environmental policymakers at this month’s summit, with the Brazilian and Norwegian Ministers of Environment discussing the critical role forests play in achieving Rio+20’s sustainable development goals.

The two ministers will join more than 700 leading government negotiators, activists and scientific experts in Rio de Janeiro on the eve of Rio+20 for the half-day conference Forests: The 8th Roundtable at Rio+20. The world’s leading experts will discuss new research findings and policy changes needed to overcome key development challenges where forests are hardly recognised: sustainable energy provision, feeding a burgeoning population, ensuring clean water supplies, and adapting to and reducing the impacts of climate change.

The debate has special relevance for Brazil, home to the world’s largest rainforest, which has recently been subject to a number of controversial amendments to the national Forest Code amid a rapidly growing agroindustry export sector that is seeking more land for food production to meet global market demands. Brazilian Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira, will discuss the importance of Brazil’s forests to economic and social development, lessons learnt in achieving both significant economic growth and a large reduction in deforestation, and striking a balance between sustainable forest management and commodity production.

Since 2007, the Norwegian Government has taken the lead in supporting developing countries, such as Brazil, maintain their forest cover through the UN-led initiative, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). Proponents hope that REDD+ will help safeguard the world’s forests by placing a monetary value on their carbon storage potential. Bård Vegar Solhjell, the newly appointed Norwegian Minister of the Environment, along with six governors from Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Nigeria as part of the Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force, will discuss the challenges up ahead for REDD+ and how the program can be harnessed for broader sustainable development goals beyond just climate change.


The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity. Our research and expert analysis helps policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. For more information on CIFOR’s research agenda and outreach efforts, please go to

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