On September 23, the governments of Liberia and Norway announced that they had entered into a deal under which Liberia will become the first nation to completely halt deforestation in exchange for Norwegian development aid. Norway has agreed to pay $150 million in exchange for the halting of deforestation in Liberia by 2020. The deal was announced at the UN Climate Summit in New York. While Liberia’s forests are not as large as other countries’, its forests represent a significant part of the remaining rainforest in West Africa and are a global biodiversity hotspot. Under the deal, Liberia will not issue any new logging concessions until all current concessions are independently reviewed, and Norway will assist the country in building capacity to monitor its forests. The deal also includes piloting of direct payments to communities for protecting forests. In the words of Jens Frolich Holte, a political adviser to the Norwegian government, "We hope Liberia will be able to cut emissions and reduce poverty at the same time." For the full story, see