Norway has become the first nation to prohibit deforestation. It was in 2016, that the Norwegian parliament first vowed to revise the government’s public procurement policy whereby any product that leads to deforestation will not be used in the country.
The pledge was recommended by Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment as part of the Action Plan on Nature Diversity.
“This is an important victory in the fight to protect the rainforest,” 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.”
Ranum added “Other countries should follow Norway’s leadership, and adopt similar zero deforestation commitments. In particular, Germany and the U.K must act, following their joint statement at the U.N Climate Summit.”
Norway has been funding several projects around the globe to protect the rain forest.
The country granted $250 million to protect Guyana’s forest over a four year period from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, Norway gave $1 billion to Brazil for completing a 2008 deforestation agreement.
Norway also partnered with Liberia by promising to pay $150 million until 2020 for the country to stop deforestation.
According to the United Nations, the production of palm oil, soy, beef and lumber products contributed to almost half of the total tropical deforestation.
When forests are cleared and set in flames carbon dioxide is released which is the key contributor the greenhouse gas effect that leads to climate change.
Norway’s current environment minster Ola Elvestuen said ““Norway alone can never stop deforestation. I mean, we are one actor. If we look at the programs we have country by country, I have no problem defending what we are doing and saying that it was the right thing to go into this and try to be in front. No matter how odd that it may have seemed that Norway would try to take this role, back ten years ago.”