An Entire Country Just Banned Deforestation
Norway to stop buying products that contribute to clear-cutting
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2016 1:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Norway just became the world's biggest tree-hugger. The Independent reports the European country is the first in the world to ban deforestation, following a pledge by its parliament. That means the Norwegian government won't purchase anything that contributes to the destruction of the world's rainforests, especially beef, timber, soy, and palm oil that come from questionable sources, reports the Huffington Post. Instead, Norway will buy them via "deforestation-free supply chains." The production of those four items in seven heavily deforested countries accounts for 40% of global rainforest deforestation, according to Climate Action. (The countries are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papau New Guinea.)

The Rainforest Foundation Norway says the pledge is an "important victory" in the battle to preserve tropical forests and calls on other countries to follow suit. At the current rate of deforestation, the world's rainforests could be gone in a mere 100 years, CNN reports. Advocates say that clear-cutting rainforests not only destroys ecologically important trees, but releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when those trees are burned, contributing to climate change. (Eco-conscious Norway may also be banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles within the next decade.)