A few weeks after the election of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil president, environmentalists, or anyone concerned about the planet and the environment for that matter, are looking at Brazil with tears in their eyes as the future of the Amazon as never been so uncertain, to not say doomed.
Deforestation has always been a huge part of the environmental problem, but with all hopes to stop the one happening in the Amazon definitely buried, it’s even more the time to seriously look at the problem and consider actions.
What is deforestation?
Deforestation is the clearing or removal of forests or standing trees for non-forest purposes, such as farms or urban use. Currently, forests cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area. Rainforests tend to be the most heavily impacted areas of deforestation. At its current rate, rainforests could disappear completely in the next one hundred years, according to the national geographic.
Every minute, 36 football fields worth of trees are lost to deforestation. Much of this land is converted into agriculture use to grow more crops or graze more livestock. Another driver of deforestation is the logging industry, which provides the world’s wood and paper products.
Effects of Deforestation:
Deforestation has a negative effect on the environment and greenhouse emissions. According to the World Carfree Network (WCN), most analysts attribute upwards of 15 percent to deforestation, while cars and trucks account for about 14 percent of global carbon emissions. The process of felling trees releases their stored carbon into the atmosphere. Also, the less trees there is on the planet, the less greenhouse gases can be absorbed by them. Trees play a key role in the local water cycle by helping to keep a balance between the water on land and water in the atmosphere. But when deforestation occurs, that balance can be thrown off, because more sunlight hits the dirt and can dry up the soil. This can result in changes in precipitation and river flow.
Another harmful effect is the loss of habitat deforestation creates. Forests are home to 80 percent of the world’s plant and animal biodiversity. These animals cannot survive as humans destroy their homes. Deforestation has a multitude of negative effects on the environment from climate change, greenhouse gases, and loss of biodiversity.
The Brazil case:
The world’s largest rainforest, Amazon Rainforest, spans 670 million hectares. 34 million people live in the Amazon and depend on it for resources. Amazon is the biggest front for deforestation. WWF estimates that 27 percent of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues. A common pattern in deforestation appears as the trees closest to roads get felled first. Areas with more roads and highways are the most vulnerable to deforestation.
Brazil is responsible for half of the deforestation in the Amazon, but deforestation in Bolivia and Peru is increasing. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon was dramatically reduced between 2005 and 2015; increased in 2016, then fell in 2017. Preliminary figures from IMAZON suggest the trend has now reversed, with deforestation up 22 percent between August 2017 and May 2018, compared to the same period the previous year. This recent increase in deforestation has been attributed to the agribusiness lobby that has pushed to loosen regulation and shrink conservation units.
世界上最大的热带雨林 - 亚马逊热带雨林，面积6.7亿公顷。亚马逊有3400万人依靠它来获取资源。亚马逊是森林砍伐的最大前沿。世界自然基金会估计，如果目前的森林砍伐率继续下去，到2030年亚马逊生物群落的27％将没有树木。森林砍伐中常见的模式出现在最靠近道路的树木首先被砍伐。道路和公路较多的地区最容易遭受森林砍伐。
We need to take action!
The newest threat to Brazil’s Amazon is now its own president; that has also been dubbed Brazil’s Donald Trump. Bolsonaro will support the exploitation and deforestation of the Amazon by opening it to economic exploitation, greatly expand energy production, abolish Brazil’s environmental ministry. If going as announced during the campaign, the effects will be not only on the environment but on the indigenous people that will not only be persecuted but will see their lands disappear for good.
At a time where reforestation would be one of our greatest chance, the acceleration can only be seen as a very sad news calling for urgent solutions...
We’ll meet you on a next article, where we’ll be looking at the solutions found by organizations and companies to positively contribute to this major threat...
To join the movement and receive our best stories directly in your inbox