Norway has become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation, with MPs introducing rules ensuring procurement supply chains do not contribute to rainforest depletion. 

The regulatory changes follow the country's pledge at the 2014 UN Climate Summit to “promote national commitments that encourage deforestation-free supply chains, including through public procurement policies to sustainably source commidities such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber”.

The Rainforest Foundation welcomed the news, saying it was "an important victory in the fight to protect the rainforest." It urged Germany and the UK, which had also signed the 2014 pledge, to follow suit. 

Although a number of private firms have committed themselves to ensuring their supply chains do not contribute to deforestation, Norway is the first government to make such a pledge. 

The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation estimates that some 129 million hectares of forest - an area the size of South Africa - have been lost to deforestation since 1990.

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