Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative


Organizational profile:

Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative – NICFI – is the country’s most important international endeavor to mitigate climate change, by protecting the world’s rainforests.The Norwegian government launched NICFI in 2008, and the initiative has pledged up to 3 billion NOK a year to help save the world’s tropical forests while improving the livelihoods of those who live there. NICFI is administered by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and the Environment in collaboration with Norad – The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The initiative supports bilateral agreements with forest countries, multinational organizations and civil society. Norad manages significant parts of the NICFI funds under the climate and forest initiative on behalf of the Ministry and is responsible for the initiative’s grant scheme for civil society.

NICFI’s overall goal is to contribute to the reduction and reversal of tropical forest loss to enable a stable climate, preserved biodiversity and sustainable development. NICFI is perhaps most known for its large results-based bilateral partnership with the key forest countries, where it disburses payments for reduced deforestation verified by satellite imagery. In addition, it carries out work around seven strategic areas:

  1. Land Use Policies
  2. Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  3. Carbon Markets and International Support Structures 
  4. Transparency
  5. Deforestation-Free Commodity Markets
  6. Deforestation-Free Financial Markets
  7. International Forest Crime

All these efforts should promote sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. While the initiative was originally thought to last until 2020, the Norwegian government has since promised to extend it through 2030. Norway has so far supported efforts to reduce deforestation in more than 70 countries.

Financing Instrument: Grants

Project scale:

Following a call for proposals for funding for civil society organisations, Norad has entered into agreements with 39 organisations as part of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) for the grant period 2021-2025. The organisations will receive a total of 1.835 NOK billion in funding to stop deforestation and forest degradation. The largest share of the grant, 640 million NOK, is allocated to support indigenous peoples and local communities who are dependent on the forest and environmentalists for their survival. 

Applicable geographical regions/country groups: Tropical forest countries

Recipient categories: Authorities, Organizations, Public and private institutions, Financial Institutions, International, national and local competence communities, Alliances and networks  

Eligibility Criteria:

Projects funded under NICFI must address one or more of the initiative's seven strategic areas. All projects must demonstrate a plausible causal link to reduced deforestation and to sustainable development effects in developing countries with tropical forests. The countries where NICFI has large partnerships will be prioritized. 

Application guidelines:

Organisations that wish to apply for funding in response to calls for proposals shall use the application form found under each call found in the Grants Portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad.

The implementation plan should include general descriptions of the types of activities the project will execute to achieve each of the outputs included in the results framework. The descriptions should be kept general. The applicant needs to demonstrate how the target group depends on forests for subsistence and link this to the priorities set out in the call for proposals. Applications will also be assessed on how the cross-cutting issues human rights and women’s rights and gender equality are included in the proposal. It is required to provide an analysis of relevant risk factors and to include a mitigation plan for possible risk factors that can have a negative impact on human rights and gender equality.

Last update: 21 August 2023

Publication Date
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Applicable location
Private sector and industry
Climate change
Forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT)
Financing opportunities