Norway map

Norway comprises the western part of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. The rugged coastline, broken by huge fjords and thousands of islands, stretches 25,000 km and 83,000 km. Much of the country is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography. The most noticeable of these are the fjords: deep grooves cut into the land flooded by the sea following the end of the Ice Age. Because of the large latitudinal range of the country and the varied topography and climate, Norway has a larger number of different habitats than almost any other European country. There are approximately 60,000 species in Norway and adjacent waters (excluding bacteria and virus). The Norwegian Shelf large marine ecosystem is considered highly productive. The country is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Large reserves of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s, which led to a boom in the economy. Norway has obtained one of the highest standards of living in the world in part by having a large amount of natural resources compared to the size of the population. In 2011, 28% of state revenues were generated from the petroleum industry. Norway is the first country which banned cutting of trees (deforestation), in order to prevent rain forests from vanishing. The country declared its intention at the UN Climate Summit in 2014.

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
36,524,500 hectares
Area of forest
33.2% of land area
Area of agriculture
2.7% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
0.0% of land area

People

Population
5.2 million
Population growth
1.1% annually
Rural population
20.0%

Economics and development

GDP from agriculture
1.6%
GDP per person
74734.60 USD

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
11.70 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
62
National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
1,000,000 hectares
UNFCCC NC5 and NC6
Norway’s Sixth National Communication, Under the Framework Convention on Climate Change (2014)

Currently 25 million trees are planted each year  which is well below the trends of recent decades (p.101). New forests policies include (p.103):

  • Increasing the productive forest area through reduced deforestation and forest degradation and by pursuing an active, sustainable policy for planting in new areas. As a part of this, a strategy for increased afforestation will be presented, while simultaneously developing environmental criteria for this effort. The municipalities should seek to reduce deforestation through land use planning.
  • Maintaining or increasing the forest carbon stock through active, sustainable forest policies, e.g. by reinforcing efforts in forest plant breeding, increasing plant density and reintroducing the ban on harvesting young forest stands, as well as reinforcing forest conservation (p.106).
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Country Profiles – NBSAPs, National Reports (5th)
Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment (2014). Norway’s Fifth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2014)

How Norway’s environmental targets correspond to Aichi targets (p.44-48).

  • Aichi Target 7: all forestry areas will be sustainably managed by 2020
  • Aichi Target 15: by 2020 the diversity of habitat types in forests will be maintained or restored
  • Aichi Target 15: 15% restoration target; by 2020 the diversity of habitat types in cultural landscapes will be maintained or restored; etc.
    • Norway is working on the 15% restoration target
    • Goal to restore at least ½ of wetlands that have been damaged by 2020
United Nation Forum on Forests (UNFF) National Reports
National Report to the Tenth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (2012)

Norway’s white paper on climate change (Report No. 21) initialized a strategy on afforestation and increased reforestation, protection of forests and forest land…and emphasizes the role of sustainable forest management in mitigating climate change (p.11).

Other (National Strategies and Plans, Rural Development Programs, Natura 2000 areas, projects, and goals)
Restoration target
1,000,000 hectares
Reforestation of new areas increase the absorption of greenhouse gases (2013)

Etat group believes that it will be possible to find areas that are of interest to plant out from both climate and business considerations that makes its implementation to an extent of at least 50 000 hectares per year over a 20-year period, with acceptable effects on biodiversity and other environmental values. 

50,000 hectares/year for 20 years = 1,000,000 ha reforestation

Norwegian Ministry of the Environment (2012). Report No. 21 (2011-12), Norwegian Climate Policy.

The Norwegian government will pursue an active forest policy through measures that increase the forest carbon stock. The government will (p.11):

  • increase productive forest area through reduced deforestation and forest degradation;
  • and pursuing an active sustainable policy for planting in new areas;
    • the government will present a strategy for increased afforestation while simultaneously developing environmental criteria for this effort; and
    • maintain or increase the forest carbon stock through active sustainable forest policies.
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