Norway opens the way to deforestation ban, becoming the first nation to fully restrict cutting our oxygen supplier. On May 26, the Norwegian Parliament pledged that the public procurement policy will become deforestation-free. The European country is already an important funder of forest conservation projects all around the globe.
Deforestation is believed to cause around 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. And that’s not all. Along with contributing to climate change, forest cutting also disrupts livelihoods and natural cycles. It is widely known that cutting trees disrupts the water cycle in that area, resulting in changes in precipitation and floods. Around 1.6 million people rely on forests for food and shelter, yet too many see forests as an obstacle to be removed. More than 46,000 square miles of forests are lost each year.
Norway’s pledge comes two years after the nation issued a joint declaration at the United Nations Climate Summit with Britain and Germany. The statement showed the countries’ commitment 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.”
Palm oil, soy, timber, paper, and other goods, are all linked to the destruction of forests, especially rainforests. These products were responsible for about 40 percent of deforestation in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, and Papua New Guinea, between 2000 and 2011. The same countries are also responsible for approximately 44 percent of carbon emissions, according to Climate Action.
In 2015, Norway funded Brazil with $1 billion for completing an agreement set in 2008 to prevent deforestation. As a result, deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon was reduced by more than 75 percent over the last ten years. The European nation also committed to protect Guyana’s forest with a $250 donation. Guyana received the money between 2011 and 2015.
But Norway doesn’t just focus on forests in South America. It also gets involved in forest conservation projects in Africa and other areas of the planet. Liberia, for example, became the first African nation to ban tree cutting in return for Norway’s financial aid. The country pledged to place over 30 percent of its forests under protection by the year 2020.
Norway opens the way to deforestation ban through a groundbreaking move that may inspire other nations to do the same. It is expected that Britain and Germany take the lead as well, as they made the same pledge as Norway two years back.
IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr