10 Amazon Rainforest Deforestation Facts to Know About

Deforestation in the Amazon
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– Making up half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests, the Amazon rainforest is also one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems and is home to about three million species of plants and animals, as well as one million indigenous people. But deforestation is threatening the health and future of this important rainforest, not to mention the wildlife and services that it supports.

Cupuaçu belongs to the same genus as cocoa

Cupulate: the chocolate 'cousin' challenge

The bar breaks easily between the fingers, without that crackling we hear when we break a bar of chocolate. In the mouth, the pieces dissolve more quickly, and their texture is incredibly velvety. The appearance, aroma, and taste are reminiscent of chocolate, but light citrus, almond, and woody notes, and a distinct, indefinable taste confuse the palate.

We’re talking about cupulate, a “cousin” of chocolate that doesn’t contain cocoa. It is made with the seed of the Amazonian cupuaçu fruit (Theobroma grandiflorum, in the scientific nomenclature), which belongs to the same genus as cocoa (Theobroma cacao).

A tip for the reader: cupulate should not be confused with chocolates made from cocoa and cupuaçu sold a few decades ago in supermarkets throughout Brazil.

The legitimate cupulate is a product that many Brazilians are still unaware of, but which, in the opinion of researchers, can play an important role in the development of the forest and contribute to Brazil’s economy. For that, they say, he needs to overcome a challenge: to find an identity of his own, far from his famous and successful cousin.


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Cupuaçu drying procedure for the production of cupulate — Photo: Mateus Mendes

What is cupulate?

Two cupulate brands stand out in Brazil today. The Amazonian De Mendes, who developed her cupulate from a traditional recipe used by women from an agro-extractive community in Pará. And Amma, from Bahia, who was a pioneer and has been selling her organic cupulate for almost a decade.

Both entered the market initially offering artisanal chocolates made with fine cocoa, of the highest quality.

Amma’s owner, Diego Badaró, 41, belongs to the fifth generation of a family of cocoa farmers who, in 1989, had their crops devastated by a fungus. He restored the health of the plantations following the practices of the Swiss Ernst Gotsch, an expert in the regeneration of degraded lands. And he started selling his line of fine chocolates.

One day, he fell in love with cupuaçu. “I went to visit a cupuaçu farm, saw the beans and was very interested, curious”, says Badaró in an interview with BBC News Brasil.

The cupuaçu tree, the cupuaçuzeiro, can reach 15 meters in height. Its fruit can reach 25 cm in length and between 10 and 13 cm in diameter. Rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, and mineral salts, cupuaçu is highly appreciated by the Amazonians, who consume it in the most varied forms, such as juices, creams, ice cream, liqueurs, and jellies.

Its popularity outside the Amazon, however, contrasts sharply with that of two other fruits native to the forest – cocoa, a consecrated star, and açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart), on a meteoric rise.

Badaró says that he decided to do an experiment: using the seeds of the fruit to create a food analogous to chocolate. “I decided to ferment the beans and dry them, as we do with cocoa. It wasn’t very interesting”, he recalls. But he insisted.

“I decided to test it again, already with a factory in Salvador. And I realized that the cupuaçu fermentation took longer. It’s the same process, only it takes longer than that of cocoa.”

A cupulate bar shouldn’t keep anyone awake at night. It does not contain caffeine or theobromine, natural stimulants present in chocolate. And its creamy texture is due to the composition of the fruit’s seed, explains Badaró.

“The cocoa bean has 50% solids and 50% oil. The cupuaçu bean is 80% oil, and it has few solids, so it gives that texture. It’s incredible, isn’t it?”, he comments.

Amma’s and De Mendes’ cupulates are semi-sweet, that is, they contain only cupuaçu seeds and brown sugar.

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World Population Hits 8 Billion: Now What?

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Just as world leaders are discussing ways to stop global warming at COP27 in Egypt, the world's population has officially passed the 8 billion mark. What does this mean for our planet and what can we do as individuals to mitigate the catastrophic impact that population growth has on the environment and our lives?

The 8 billion mark
On November 15, the world’s population officially passed 8 billion people, reaching “a milestone in human development”, the United Nations said.
The reasons behind this unprecedented growth are obvious: high fertility levels and dramatic increases in human life expectancy – thanks in large part to remarkable advances in public health and medicine, as well as nutrition and personal hygiene – have significantly accelerated the population growth in the last century.
According to UN projections, however, while there is no doubt that we will reach 10 billion by the turn of the century, the overall rate of growth is slowing. “Although the global population took 12 years to grow from 7 billion to 8 billion, it will take approximately 15 years – until 2037 – to reach 9 billion,” the Organization said in a statement.
The world’s population has increased by less than 1% this year, whereas just over 50 years ago the annual growth rate was three times higher. The slowdown means we are likely to peak – estimated at around 10.4 billion – sometime before the end of the century.
What does this mean for our planet?
For decades, scientists have warned about the catastrophic consequences of overpopulation on the environment and climate change. Having 8 billion people in the world means that humans will increase their dependence on Earth’s resources, inevitably adding pressure on already stressed and overexploited ecosystems. More people means more emissions, more pollution and more waste.
There will also come a point when humans will have to compete with wildlife for already scarce resources such as water, food and space. The more the world’s population grows, the fewer resources will be available, making them a commodity over which wars are fought.
“As the world’s population reaches 8 billion, our human family is becoming more divided.” – said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “Unless we bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots, we are setting ourselves up for more tensions and mistrust, more crises and conflicts.”
And now?
Chances were, this historic moment occurred while world leaders were discussing the future of our planet at COP27 in Egypt. Your action (or inaction) will determine what the future of humanity will be like.
As repetitive as this may sound, there is only one way to lessen the burden of population growth and climate change – not just in developing countries, but across the planet. We must move away from our unsustainable economic models of production and consumption and focus on prioritizing the global energy transition and climate adaptation efforts.
Position of the EO:
The growth of the world’s human population, coupled with poorly designed socioeconomic structures and misaligned political structures, is resulting in horrendous pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, and the unabated extermination of vast swaths of other life forms on this planet.
This myopia will have fatal consequences, as (from the second half of this century) human society will find itself on a potentially miserable path that leads to further destruction, with colossal suffering and loss of life for most if not all communities on the planet. , unless we adopt more predictive values.
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What can I do?

On a personal level
Ways to approach climate action in our personal lives (hint – it involves taking personal action but not focusing on small behavioral changes, which, while valuable, won’t get us there):
Joining a community can be one of the best ways to increase your impact. First, it allows you to make hundreds of connections at once. Second, a group of people working together can have more impact than individuals. If you aren’t already, take action by becoming an EO member to support our mission to encourage one billion climate activists .
Reflect on the concept of Effective Altruism , a project that aims to find the best ways to help others, and put them into practice.
On a professional level
Ways to address climate action in the workplace:
Keep your career, but consider donating a portion of your income to organizations focused on achieving meaningful and impactful goals, and call your boss if the company or organization you work for doesn’t have clear policies that will result in less damage to the environment and a path forward. for NetZero.
Ask your boss to support EO by bringing the whole team on board with EO company membership – and take action together.
Reconsider your career, with excellent advice here.
At political level
Ways to approach climate action as a voter or political actor (even if you can’t vote):
Protest – make your feelings known – become a vocal and passionate advocate with friends and family (without being too pushy) for the need for climate action. We need a billion activists to turn this ship around.
Join organizations that are organizing climate action and protests locally, whether in your city, district or even at school.
Vote (if you can) for politicians who will advocate for effective climate action by governments. Vote for parties or organizations that advocate self-reform and the adoption of ‘Ministers of the Future’ in government.


The World’s Most Endangered Animals in 2022

Hundreds of thousands of animals around the world are threatened by human action and climate change and are in need of protection and conservation efforts. From the Amur leopard and the orangutan to rhinos and vaquitas, here is a list of the top 10 most endangered animals in the world in 2022, according to WWF.

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Amur Leopard

First on the list of the world’s most endangered animals in 2022 is the amur leopard. Between 2014 and 2015, there were only around 92 individuals left in their natural range. This number is now estimated to be around 84. They are extremely vulnerable to poachers, who kill them for their coats and bones, the latter of which is sold for use in traditional Asian medicine. They are at risk of habitat loss due to natural and man-made fires. Climate change is also leading to a decrease in prey availability.
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Their horns are used in traditional Chinese medicine and displayed as a symbol and demonstration of wealth. A Javan rhino horn can sell for up to USD$30,000 per kg on the black market. Because of poaching, three of the five species of rhinos are among the most endangered animals in 2022: the black rhino, the Javan rhino and the Sumatran rhino. The Javan rhino is the closest to extinction with only around 60 individuals left, all of which are in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia, while black rhino population is estimated to be around 5,500 individuals.
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The two kinds of orangutan – the Bornean and the Sumatran Orangutan – have both experienced sharp declines in populations. A century ago there were probably more than 230,000 orangutans in total, but the Bornean orangutan is now estimated at about 104,700 based on updated geographic range and the Sumatran about 13,846. They are primarily threatened by habitat loss from human-caused deforestation for palm oil.

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Três em cada quatro estão criticamente em perigo na Lista Vermelha de Espécies Ameaçadas da IUCN. O único que não é é o Gorila da Montanha, uma subespécie do Gorila Oriental, que é considerado Ameaçado de Extinção. Existem apenas cerca de 200-300 adultos Cross River Gorillas na natureza. Como muitos animais ameaçados de extinção, seu declínio é principalmente devido à caça furtiva, perda de habitat, doenças e conflitos humanos.


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Sunda Tiger

With fewer than 3,900 tigers remaining in the wild, they exist in only 4% of their historic range. Sunda tigers in particular are especially vulnerable. With numbers estimated to be at fewer than 400 today, accelerating deforestation and rampant poaching mean it could end up extinct like its Javan and Balinese counterparts. Despite increased efforts in tiger conservation – including strengthening law enforcement and anti poaching capacity – a substantial market remains in Sumatra and other parts of Asia for tiger parts and products.

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Hawksbill Turtles and Kemps Ridley Turtles, while Leatherback sea turtles are classified as vulnerable, though the population is decreasing and several subpopulations are facing extinction. Hunting is one of the biggest threats to sea turtles, with poachers targeting their eggs, shells, meat and skin. They are also at risk from habitat loss, bycatch and pollution as well as climate change. Sand temperature determines the sex of hatchlings with eggs developing as females in warmer temperatures. That means even small temperature changes could skew the sex ratio of populations. 

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Yangtze Finless Porpoise

Unfortunately, they are vulnerable to fishing; even though they are not directly targeted by fishermen, large numbers of the species die when they become accidentally entangled in fishing gear. The waters they live in are also constantly busy with fishermen and people using the waterways to move around, so they get injured and killed by boats and ships. Additionally, their waters are also affected by high levels of toxic pollutants. There are between 1,000 and 1,800 finless porpoises left in the Yangtze. The annual decline rate of 13% means these animals are expected to become extinct within 10 years if there are no effective conservation actions in place.

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Enquanto algumas populações de elefantes africanos estão aumentando, principalmente na África Austral, os números continuam a cair em outras áreas, particularmente na África Central e em partes da África Oriental. Com uma estimativa de 415.000 elefantes restantes no continente, a espécie é considerada vulnerável, embora certas populações estejam sendo caçadas em direção à extinção. O número de elefantes asiáticos caiu pelo menos 50% nas últimas três gerações e ainda está em declínio hoje. Com apenas 40.000-50.000 restantes na natureza, a espécie é classificada como ameaçada de extinção. No entanto, a espécie com maior risco é o elefante de Sumatra, com uma população de cerca de 2.400-2.800 indivíduos.


More News

Secrets of the Amazon Rainforest
I Am Amazon
Caniço Fishing in the Amazon Rainforest
The battle for the Amazon's future - BBC News
Fighting to protect the Amazon
In search of the Amazon’s tallest tree
Inside the Amazon Rainforest
Guardians of the Amazon

Bioplastic Records Promise to Decarbonize Music Business

Nothing like good old vinyl. We can’t agree more, but now we have great news. A sugar-based alternative to vinyl can help the music industry become more sustainable.
According to UK-based Evolution Music, the bioplastic they’ve been developing can be used to create records.
Reuters reports that Their aim is to persuade labels and artists to stop using plastic while keeping the existing pressing plant machinery and processes.
The first reactions are positive and it seems recording artists will be keen to switch to bioplastic.
A co-founder of Music Declares Emergency (MDE), Lewis Jamieson, says that the production of vinyl is toxic in many ways but people still love vinyl. The only solution is a non-toxic alternative that feels and sounds the same.
MDE is a music industry climate action campaign group that started as a declaration by nearly 3,000 artists ranging from grindcore to solo cellists.


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Uber Will Exclusively Offer Electric Vehicles from 2030

Uber, the ride-sharing platform, announced plans to only have electric vehicles by 2030. This will mean a change for their drivers, as those without electric vehicles won’t be able to work for them.
According to Treehugger, this goal stands for the US, Canada, and Europe. The company is already finding ways for its users to ask for electric vehicles. Uber is offering Comfort Electric service in 24 cities in the US and Vancouver, Canada.
Currently, Uber has 25,000 electric vehicles, but they plan to double this number to 50,000 by next year. The company wants to become a zero-emission platform, so it will invest $800 million in helping drivers transition to EV vehicles by 2025.
Moreover, Uber is giving drivers a dollar for each EV trip they take. They also partnered with Hertz to rent Tesla EVs for their drivers in multiple cities across the US.


Could Paint Really Be A Solution For Carbon Capture?

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A college graduate by the name of Kukbong Kim has come up with an incredible new formula for indoor and outdoor paint made of recycled concrete. The amazing thing about this new paint is that it actually has two major benefits for the environment. Firstly, it uses discarded concrete from the construction industry, which otherwise would end up at a landfill site. This has negative effects on soil pH levels, making them a lot more alkaline and limiting the ability to reclaim landfill sites.

Secondly, the paint is capable of absorbing up to 20% of its weight in CO2. Now imagine if this kind of paint made it onto all the walls and how much that could impact atmospheric CO2 levels. And here’s the interesting thing about this story. If a college graduate can come up with such an idea for paint, what other construction and household materials could be coming our way that will achieve the same thing?

“Cement is the most carbon-intensive ingredient in concrete and is responsible for eight per cent of global emissions. But when concrete is recycled, only the aggregate is reused while the cement binder is pulverised to create waste concrete powder and sent to landfill, where it can disturb the pH balance of the surrounding soil.”

What's Hidden Behind 2,124,000 Square Miles of the Unexplored Amazon Forest?

Dances that depict the Amazon
Saire Party
Carimbó Dance

Earth won't wait, neither can we!

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