Norway has become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation.
A significant number of private companies world-wide have adopted zero deforestation policies. In a groundbreaking move, the Norwegian parliament has now made a similar commitment, pledging to ensure deforestation-free supply chains through the government's public procurement policy.
The Rainforest Foundation Norway has worked for a number of years to make this happen. Nils Hermann Ranum, the head of Policy and Campaign at Rainforest Foundation Norway, said in a statement: "This is an important victory in the fight to protect the rainforest. 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".
Other countries should follow
A large number of goods are linked to destruction of the rainforest, such as palm oil, tropical timber, soy, and paper. Rainforest Foundation Norway has, together with other NGOs, worked for many years to curb the consumption of goods linked to tropical deforestation.
"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.
The production of beef, palm oil, soy and wood products in seven countries with high deforestation rates was responsible for 40 per cent of total tropical deforestation and 44 per cent of associated carbon emissions between 2000 and 2011, according to Climate Action.