Norwegian minister says forest deal should not be held back

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, December 9, 2010
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An agreement on reforestation is in good shape and disputes concerning other climate change issues should not prevent it from coming to fruition, the Norwegian environment minister says.

"We cannot see any reason why we should not agree on a deal in Cancun," said Environment Minister Erik Solheim during an interview on the sidelines of the UN climate change conference.

"What is not acceptable is the view that we should have to wait for a deal on every other issue. We should simply go ahead and do it," he added.

Norway has been campaigning to achieve an agreement formalizing and extending a UN program called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). A new text for the agreement was published by the working groups on Sunday.

"REDD is crucial for biodiversity and we consider it a very important issue," Solheim said.

Bolivia, one of the nations that might benefit, has mounted a campaign against a REDD provision for market mechanisms. That campaign in turn has triggered demonstrations against REDD from anti-capitalists in Mexico and elsewhere.

Soheim said he is on good terms with Bolivian President Evo Morales, but that the president's concerns are a long way from being a reality.

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