Norway in the first week of June 2016 became the first country to prohibit deforestation.
On 26 May 2016, the Norwegian Parliament had pledged to make government’s public procurement policy deforestation-free. The step was taken after a committee of MPs recommended imposing regulations to ensure the state did not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest.
The step taken by the government means that the parliament will no longer award government contracts to any company that cuts down and destroys forests.
Norwegian lawmakers also committed to find a way to source essential products such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber so that they leave little to no impact on their ecosystems. Norway had pledged to do that at the U.N. Climate Summit in 2014, alongside Germany and the United Kingdom.
Importance of rainforests
• A natural rainforest emits and absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide.
• They are referred to as lungs of Earth.
• They help to stabilize Earth’s climate. Scientists believe carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change. By absorbing carbon dioxide, rainforests help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change.
• They are an important home to about half of the species of plants and wildlife on the planet. Many of the species found in rainforests are endangered and can only survive in rainforests.
• They help maintain the water cycle by producing large amounts of rainfall every year.
Why are rainforests disappearing?
• Tropical and temperate rainforests have been subjected to heavy logging and agricultural clearance throughout the 20th century.
• Biologists have estimated that large numbers of species are being driven to extinction due to the removal of habitat with destruction of the rainforests.
• Another factor causing the loss of rainforest is expanding urban areas.
• Almost 90% of West Africa's rainforest has been destroyed.
• Since the arrival of humans, Madagascar has lost two thirds of its original rainforest.
• Several countries, notably Brazil, have declared their deforestation a national emergency.
• As per a 2007 report from WWF, deforestation could wipe out or severely damage nearly 60% of the Amazon Rainforest by 2030.
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When: First week of June 2016