Germany and Norway agreed Tuesday to support Peru’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the Peruvian Amazon.

The partnership was launched during the Climate Summit in New York at a press conference held jointly by the President of Peru, Ollanta Humala; the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg; and the German Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks.

“There is growing evidence that economic growth and environmental protection can be combined,” said Humala, who called the agreement “a major step forward in realizing the vision of deforestation-free development.”

The agreement outlines efforts by Peru in the areas of transparency, accountability and multi-stakeholder participation; land rights and land use; carbon emission reductions.

With more than 68 million hectares of forests, Peru has one of the world’s five largest, most diverse and best-preserved tropical forest areas.

Although Peru’s deforestation rate is low, it still accounts for about 71 million tons of CO2 emissions every year.

“We have a lot of work to do to protect Peruvian forests, to formalize the rights of Peruvian indigenous peoples, to put Peru on a path toward sustainability,” Humala said.

The Peruvian Amazon is under pressure from agriculture, extractive industries and infrastructure projects. Underlying causes include weak governance, insufficient land and forest zoning, and the low economic value some people attach to forest land.

Some 350,000 indigenous people live in the Peruvian Amazon, including several tribes that have yet to establish contact with the outside world.

In the agreement, Peru agrees to let stakeholders participate in initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; respect the rights and proposals of indigenous communities; increase by at least 5 million hectares the areas titled to indigenous peoples; include at least 2 million hectares in payments for conservation performance of indigenous communities.

“By embarking on this path of deforestation-free development, we hope also to reach out to our indigenous peoples and move together towards a more harmonious future,” Humala said.

Germany will continue its current support to Peru on climate and forest issues. Until 2017, the funds from Norway – up to $47 million USD in this phase – will be devoted to implementing reforms and building the institutions needed to reach the phase with payments for reduced emissions.

From 2017 to 2021, Norway will contribute up to $240 million for results on reduced deforestation.

The initial measures include: ending the conversion of soils under forests and protection categories to agricultural use; reducing deforestation from logging, natural resource extraction and mining; helping implement a new forest law; establishing a public-private coalition with multilateral companies committed to zero deforestation policies; developing systems to cut emissions from forests and to measure environmental and social impacts.