Norway has become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation. The Norwegian parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment made the pledge in a recommendation on the government’s Action Plan on Nature Diversity. The committee requested that the government “impose requirements to ensure that public procurements do not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest.”
The committee also requested that the government protect biodiversity through a new policy and the investments made by the Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global.
“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,” said Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway. “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.”
The Rainforest Foundation of Norway called on other countries to follow Norway’s lead and commit to zero deforestation, particularly Germany and the UK, the two nations that in 2014 at the UN Climate Summit in New York made a joint declaration along with Norway stating their intention 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.”