Norway Becomes First Country to Prohibit Deforestation

August 15, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pledge /plɛdʒ/ (v.) – to promise to do something
Example: The government pledged to eliminate poverty.

2. prohibit /proʊˈhɪb ɪt/ (v.) – to disallow something through legal or official means
Example: The movement convinced the government to prohibit smoking.

3. conversion /kənˈvɜr ʒən/ (n.) – the act or process of changing something
Example: The conversion of agricultural land into plantations was met with criticism.

4. emission /ɪˈmɪʃ ən/ (n.) – an act or instance of releasing or letting out something
Example: Carbon emission from factories contributes to global warming

5. take action /teɪk ˈæk ʃən/ (idiom) – to do something
Example: The environmental group took action against the mining companies.


Read the text below.
Norway has become the first country to pledge against deforestation by prohibiting the purchase or use of any product that contributes to it.

The Norwegian [nawr-WEE-juh n] Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment suggested the pledge as part of the Action Plan on Nature Diversity, Norway’s program that seeks to address the conservation of biological systems. According to Nills Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway, it is encouraging to see the government taking the same environment-friendly actions that private companies had already been doing in the past few years.

The government has undertaken several initiatives to realize its goal of making Norway deforestation-free.  The government released guidelines in its public procurement policy for consumers about choosing products that do not contribute to deforestation. Moreover, deforestation-free supply chains will be supported.

Deforestation is the conversion of forest lands into cleared lands. The cleared lands are used mainly for farming, housing, roads, and businesses. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, products that directly contribute to deforestation are palm oil, soy, beef, and wood products. These products are responsible for large-scale forest conversion. Some countries convert their forest lands into plantations and pasture lands. As a result, carbon emission increases and natural cycles, such as that of water and nitrogen, are disrupted.

Norway’s recent move to take action against deforestation is not the first. In 2011, the Norwegian government funded the protection of Guyana’s forests. In addition, Norway supported other countries, such as Brazil and Liberia, in the fight against deforestation.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What could be the effects of Norway’s new policy on consumers of products that are linked to deforestation?
·         Who do you think benefits from deforestation? How do they benefit?

Discussion B

·         Do you think deforestation is the most pressing environmental issue today? Why or why not?
·         In your country, what does your government do to prevent the destruction of forests?

August 15, 2016