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International Update Volume 41, Issue 15

SHARP INCREASE IN AMAZON DEFORESTATION

Brazil

The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), the nation's environmental agency, announced a "zero deforestation policy" last Wednesday in response to growing deforestation. Satellite images recently released by Brazil's space research institute suggest that deforestation from March to April 2011 increased sixfold over the same period last year. Last December, a study indicated that deforestation in Brazil was at its lowest level in 22 years. However, the recently released data shows a 27 percent spike.

INDONESIA BANS FOREST CUTTING FOR TWO YEARS

Indonesia

In a financial deal with Norway, Indonesia has agreed to set a two-year moratorium on new permits to clear primary forests and peatlands. The deal, which took effect Friday, will protect 158 million acres of trees from logging and conversion into plantations. As part of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program, Norway will pay a fixed sum per ton of CO2 emissions Indonesia prevents through forest protection. The agreement could yield up to $1 billion. However, the agreement allegedly fell short of some projections.

NORWAY MAY BUY AND RETIRE CO2 PERMITS TO ACHIEVE CUTS

Norway

Norway may buy European carbon permits and retire them to achieve its promised cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said last week. "The only way that Norway could achieve what it wants to achieve and overcome its membership of the [European Union emissions trading scheme] is to go into the market, buy permits and cancel them," said Simon Upton, head of the OECD environment directorate.