Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will officially open the conference.  Ministers from Norway’s partner countries are participating. So will the newly appointed head of the United Nations Environmental Program, Erik Solheim and Norway’s Climate and Environment Minister, Vidar Helgesen.

– The Paris Agreement confirms that reducing emissions from the destruction of tropical forests is an integral part of the solution to the world’s climate issues. This destruction must be halted within the next few years if we are to reach the global climate targets and the UN Sustainability Goals. This is one of the large-scale climate measures in which we see progress. We have invited the key stakeholders to Oslo to share experiences and challenge each other for even better results going forwards, says Climate and Environment Minister, Vidar Helgesen.

The Oslo REDD Exchange conference gathers politicians at national and regional levels from partner countries, environmental and indigenous peoples organizations, researchers, and representatives from paper and palm oil companies that have made commitments to reduce deforestation.

The Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative has since 2008 invested in measures to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). The work is implemented by governments, the UN and the World Bank, indigenous peoples and civil society in forest countries. A number of the countries and organizations represented at the conference have received support from Norway to pursue their agendas.

Several of the measures to reduce deforestation will be implemented at regional and local levels. Regional governments will therefore be key actors of change. The conference includes regional governors from the key partner countries Peru and Indonesia. Norway recently announced its first disbursement under the Peru Partnership. The funds will be allocated to measures against illegal logging and to secure land rights by means of titling the land of at least 68 indigenous groups in Ucayali and San Martin.  The Governors from Ucayali, San Martin and Loreto in Peru will be part of the conference.

The Oslo REDD Exchange 2016 is the most important global arena for climate and rainforest since the historic Paris Agreement.  The conference is hosted by Norad at the request of the Ministry of Climate and Environment.