Norway Becomes the First Country to Ban Deforestation

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On May 26th the Norwegian Parliament pledged to be deforestation-free. They are the first country in history to ban deforestation.

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.

In addition to pledging to stop deforestation, Norway is also responsible for funding several environmental projects worldwide, including $250 million invested in protecting Guyana’s forest. They also paid $1 billion to Brazil for completing a 2008 agreement to prevent deforestation.

Fighting deforestation could not only save the world’s rain forests, which could completely vanish in a hundred years, but also helps with climate change. When forests are cleared by burning the carbon in trees is released as carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.

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