Norway Becomes World’s First Country to Ban Deforestation

As seen on Eco Watch, Norway is the first country which has legally prohibited deforestation. Moreover, products which contribute to deforestation are not to be used in this Scandinavian country.

The pledge was put forward by the Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment. Together with the Rainforest Foundation Norway, they worked for years to put an end to deforestation.

Protecting the Rainforest Is a Must

As Nils H. Ranum, head of policy and campaign of the Rainforest Foundation Norway explains, this step is a pivotal victory in the efforts to keep the rainforest safe. In the last years, there have been several companies, he further adds, that have been committed to avoid using goods which are associated with rainforest destruction.

But, the government did not have the same commitments until recently. Today, things have changed and the government is “on board” in the fight against deforestation.

What Does the Action Plan of Norway Include?

The action plan also requests from the parliament that the government protects the biodiversity in its investments through Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global.

UK and Germany joined Norway in a pledge in 2014 at the UN Climate Summit to promote nationwide commitments to encourage supply chains free of deforestation. This is achieved through adequate policies and a sustainability of products such as beef, timber, soy, and palm oil.

Norway also funds numerous projects worldwide and gave $250 million funding to keep Guyana’s forest safe. This south-American country with forests zoned for logging, received this money in the period between 2011 and 2015. This partnership stems from the UN’s initiative for reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation that began back in 2008. Guyana is one-of-a-kind among its counterparts in the initiative as the forests there do not face significant deforestation.

In 2015, Norway gave $1 billion to Brazil (home to 60 percent of the Amazon) for completion of a 2008 agreement between them to avert deforestation. In the Brazilian Amazon, deforestation reduced more than 75 percent in the last decade and this is also the single largest reduction in emissions in that amount of time. This pledge saved more than 33000 square miles of rainforest, according to Global Research.

The Efforts to Ban Deforestation Continue

Did you know that forests cover 31 percent of the Earth’s land? They are important for us because they are the figurative lungs of the Earth and produce oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Forests are also home to people and a large part of the wildlife in the world.

Believe it or not, 1.6 million people rely on forests for water, clothes, food, shelter, and medicine, the WWF points out. Unfortunately, some people also consider forests an obstacle which needs to be eliminated. Sadly, approximately 55000 square miles of forest is lost on a yearly basis. To help you paint a better picture, this is equal to 48 football fields every minute!

The Major Culprits for Deforestation

According to Global Research, palm oil, beef, wood, and soy in Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Argentina, Bolivia, and Papua New Guinea were the main causes of the 40 percent deforestation that took place between the years of 2000 and 2011. These countries were also significant contributors to the release of carbon emissions, i.e. 44 percent!

Deforestation Contributes to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation. In addition to climate change, deforestation is also a significant contributor to disrupted livelihoods and natural cycles. Namely, tree removal can cause problems with the region’s water cycle and thus, lead to precipitation and river flow changes, as well as erosion.