Norway’s complete ban on deforestation is an important step and a lesson for the world

A complete ban on deforestation has been announced by Norway. With the new ruling on complete deforestation ban, Norway has become the first nation to commit to a zero deforestation policy.

As per EcoWatch reports, products contributing to deforestation won’t be used nationwide. The pledge has been taken two years after the nation had come up with a joint declaration with Germany and Britain at the UN Climate Summit, making a commitment to promote national promises encouraging deforestation free supply chains, such as via public procurement policies to continuously source commodities, including palm oil, beef, timber and soy.

In a statement, Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway said that the move can be termed as a monumental decision. The companies had promised to stop the procurement of goods related to deforestation, but the promises hadn’t been matched by governments.

He said, “This is an important victory in the fight to protect the rainforest. It is highly positive that the Norwegian state is now following suit and making the same demands when it comes to public procurement”.

Rainforest Foundation Norway said that huge number of goods such as palm oil, tropical timber, soy, and paper are connected with the rainforest destruction.

He added that other nations must follow the steps Norway is taking, mainly Germany and the UK, as they had also pledged the same at the 2014 UN Climate Summit.

The commitment belonged to the recommendation of Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment, named Action Plan on Nature Diversity, which also urged the government to consider steps and take proper actions for the protection of nature in its investments via the government’s Government Pension Fund Global.

EcoWatch reported that Norway has been an environmental leader since long. The Norwegian government had given a sum of $250 million to government of Guyana between 2011 and 2015. In fact, it is presently paying $150 million to Liberia through 2020 to keep a check on deforestation.

Home to 43% of Upper Guinean forest, Liberia has decided that by 2020, it will place 30% or more of its forests under protection.

A report published in Ecology said, “The ban is a part of the government’s procurement policy and includes eliminating the use of any product that contributes to deforestation as well as a request that the government exercise due care for the protection of biodiversity in its investments.”

This will also affect how Norway sources products such as palm oil, soy, beef, and timber in order to leave little to no impact on their ecosystems. These products are responsible for 40 percent of deforestation between 2000 and 2011 in several countries, including Argentina and Brazil.

The Rainforest Foundation Norway has been working towards this policy for years. They pushed for the pledge, recommended officially by Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment as part of the Action Plan on Nature Diversity.

According to a report in CS Monitor by Aidan Quigley, “Products that contribute to deforestation will not be used in the country, EcoWatch reports. The pledge comes two years after the country issued a joint declaration with Germany and Britain at the UN Climate Summit committing 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.””

Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway said in a statement that it was a monumental move. Although companies had committed to cease the procurement of goods linked to deforestation, those commitments have not been matched by governments.

Norway has long been an environmental leader, EcoWatch reports. The Norwegian government paid the government of Guyana a total of $250 million between 2011 and 2015 and is currently paying Liberia $150 million through 2020 to prevent deforestation. Liberia, which is home to 43 percent of Upper Guinean forest, agreed to place 30 percent or more of its forests under protection by 2020.

“The Scandinavian country pledged that it will no longer use and procure products that encourage loss of forestry. The decision is part of the recommendation of Action Plan on Nature Diversity by the country’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment. The committee asked the government to consider biodiversity protection with the funds provided by the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG). They also called on the creation of a separate biodiversity policy,” according to a news report published by Tech Times.

Ranum is now calling on other countries, particularly Germany and the UK, to commit to zero deforestation as they have previously entered into a joint declaration at the UN Climate Summit in New York last September 2014. During the summit, the nations promised to support zero deforestation on a national level. The countries also committed to creating solid policies referring to sustainable procurement of soy, beef, palm oil and timber.

An earlier study has shown that from 2000 to 2011, about 40 percent of total tropical deforestation was due to wood, palm oil, soy and beef products from seven countries alone. These countries — Malaysia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea — have the worst deforestation rates and are also major sources of carbon emissions at 44 percent.

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