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Guyana to get $45M from Norway for saving forests

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December 22, 2012 09:31 AM EST | AP


GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The South American country of Guyana says it will receive an additional $45 million in cash from Norway as a reward for protecting its Amazonian rainforest.

President Donald Ramotar says the money will help fund a hydroelectric project in central Guyana and provide electricity and Internet service in remote jungle communities.

Ramotar said in a statement Saturday that Guyana has so far received $115 million of a $250 million grant it negotiated with Norway as part of a 2009 agreement. The money serves as incentive for Guyana to protect its lush forests through sustainable mining, timber harvesting and other projects.

Most of Guyana's 730,000 people live on a narrow strip of coastal land, leaving the interior largely unoccupied. About 70 percent of Guyana's land mass is covered in forest.