The first country in the world to do so.
On May 26, the Norwegian parliament made a pledge to ensure that their supply chains do not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest.
The commitment to zero deforestation means that Norway’s government will need to find sustainable ways to source products such as palm oil, soy, beef, and timber. Between 2000 and 2011, production of those four products in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea accounted for 40 percent of total tropical deforestation and 44 percent of associated carbon emissions.
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Nils Hermann Ranum, head of policy and campaign at Rainforest Foundation Norway, said in a statement: “Over the last few years, a number of companies have committed to cease the procurement of goods that can be linked to destruction of the rainforest… Until now, this has not been matched by similar commitments from governments. Thus, it is highly positive that the Norwegian state is now following suit and making the same demands when it comes to public procurements.”
This is not Norway’s first effort to curb deforestation. In 2008, the country gave Brazil — home to 60 percent of the Amazon forest — $1 billion to help fight deforestation. In the years that followed, Brazil succeeded in slashing deforestation by 75 percent.
Germany and the UK joined Norway in pledging at the 2014 UN Climate Summit to promote national commitments that encourage deforestation-free supply chains through public procurement policies.
“Other countries should follow Norway’s leadership, and adopt similar zero deforestation commitments. In particular, Germany and the UK must act, following their joint statement at the UN Climate Summit,” says Ranum.
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