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Norway 'first to ensure public procurement does not lead to deforestation'

6 June 2016

The Norwegian parliament has pledged to ensure the country’s public procurement supply chains do not lead to deforestation, an NGO has claimed.

While companies have made similar pledges, Norway’s promise is believed to be the first to be made by a national government.

The recommendation was made by the Norwegian parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment , according to Rainforest Foundation Norway.

The NGO said the committee had called for the government to “impose requirements to ensure that public procurements do not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest”.

Norway, along with Germany and the UK made a joint declaration at the UN Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 regarding deforestation in supply chains.

The country said it would “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”.

Nils Hermann Ranum, a spokesman for Rainforest Foundation Norway, called for the UK and Germany to make good on their own promises in the declaration.

He added: “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.

“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 procurement.”

Rainforest Foundation Norway said it had worked with other NGOs for years to curb the consumption of goods such as palm oil, tropical timber, soy, and paper which are linked to tropical deforestation.

The Norwegian parliament’s “Action Plan on Nature Diversity” also requests requests that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) ensures it is not harming biodiversity through its investments.

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