Norway commits to zero deforestation

Norway’s parliament has pledged that the government’s public procurement policy will not contribute to deforestation of rainforests worldwide, making it the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation.

Although a number of private companies around the world have adopted zero deforestation policies for the supply chains, Norway has become the first country in the world to make a similar commitment.

Nils Hermann Ranum from the Rainforest Foundation Norway called the announcement an “important victory in the fight to protect the rainforest”.

The Rainforest Foundation Norway has campaigned for a number of years to make this happen, said the organisation in a statement.

The pledge was made after a committee of MPs recommended that the government “impose regulations to ensure that public procurements do not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest”, reports the Independent.

The Norwegian parliament also requests that the government protect biodiversity in its investments through the country’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, and through investments made by the Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages the fund.

Ranum called Norway’s decision “highly positive”.

“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.”

Norway, Germany and the UK issued a joint declaration at a UN climate summit in New York in 2014, pledging to “promote national commitments that encourage deforestation-free supply chains, including through public procurement policies to sustainably source commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber”.

With the Norwegian government now turning this international pledge into national action, Ranum hopes that other countries will follow suit, in particular Germany and the UK.

A number of goods are linked to destruction of the rainforest, including palm oil, tropical timber, soy and paper.

 

Image credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT), flickr/Creative Commons

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