Norway endorses Amsterdam declarations

Norway endorses the Amsterdam Declarations on removing deforestation from agricultural supply chains.

- Norway is endorsing the Amsterdam declarations on removing deforestation from the supply chains of agricultural commodities to Europe, with a particular focus on palm oil. In this way, we support the efforts of the private sector to remove deforestation from their supply chains, and to ensure fully sustainable palm oil supply chains by 2020, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in her opening speech at the Oslo REDD Exchange Conference.

This will complement the Norwegian Government's International Climate and Forest Initiative's efforts to support the efforts of national governments, civil society, indigenous peoples and other forest dependent communities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

The Amsterdam declarations demonstrates that key European countries are serious about delivering on the New York Declaration on Forests, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement to keep global warming well below two degrees. Today, Norway adds weight to these efforts by endorsing the Amsterdam Declarations.

Almost all palm oil consumed in Norway is imported through the EU. Over the last few years, Norwegian consumption of palm oil has been reduced by two thirds, as a result of close cooperation between Norwegian foods and feeds industries and civil society organizations such as the Norwegian Rainforest Foundation. Leading by example, Norway thus brings substantial credibility to the European effort to eliminate deforestation from agricultural supply chains, and to ensure fully sustainable supply chains of palm oil by 2020.

Background

The European Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative brings together eight national organizations and three European Industry organizations, all engaged in the palm oil sector. They have made a commitment to support 100% sustainable palm oil supply chains in Europe by 2020.

The Norwegian Initiative for Sustainable Palm Oil, which consists of the largest food and feed industries in Norway, is closely aligned with this work. Indeed, it has committed to either phase out palm oil completely, or switch to segregated or traceable, certified and sustainable palm oil by 2018, and publish their progress reports annually.

Norway is the eighth European country to officially launch a national initiative on palm oil, a commitment by the main industrial actors to source only certified sustainable palm oil. Similar national platforms already exist in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

In preparation of the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a conference on EU and Global Value Chains 7 December 2015 was organized in Amsterdam where two declarations on palm oil and deforestation were signed by Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Norway now adds its name to this list.

The declarations provide political support for implementing the New York Declaration on Forests within Europe, fostering private sector action and multi-stakeholder dialogues at European level. Both declarations include specific targets for 2020. They further aim to promote a fully sustainable palm oil supply chain and eliminate deforestation from agricultural commodities that have ties to European trade and investment.

A meeting hosted by the Dutch presidency of the EU on how to follow up the declarations will take place in Brussels 24 June. We, the signatory countries, welcome further parties to also endorse the Amsterdam Declarations.

Links to the declarations and further background

http://www.euandgvc.nl/documents/publications/2015/december/7/declarations-palm-oil

http://www.euandgvc.nl/documents/publications/2015/december/7/declarations

http://www.rspo.org/news-and-events/news/norwegian-food-industry-commits-to-sourcing-only-certified-sustainable-palm-oil-by-2015

https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/climate-and-environment/climate/climate-and-forest-initiative/id2000712/