10 Amazon Rainforest Deforestation Facts to Know About

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Over 40% of Global Tropical Deforestation Occurs in Brazil

Globally, we lose about 5 million hectares of forest a year due to land clearing for agriculture and livestock farming, logging activities to produce materials like paper, palm oil and soy production, as well as gold mining. The Amazon rainforest covers land across nine countries including Colombia and Peru, but around 60% of it lies within Brazil. Despite efforts to protect forest land, legal deforestation is still rampant, and about a third of global tropical deforestation occurs in Brazil’s Amazon forest, amounting to 1.5 million hectares each year.

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Beef Production is the Biggest Driver for Deforestation in the Amazon

Globally, we lose about 5 million hectares of forest a year due to land clearing for agriculture and livestock farming, logging activities to produce materials like paper, palm oil and soy production, as well as gold mining. The Amazon rainforest covers land across nine countries including Colombia and Peru, but around 60% of it lies within Brazil. Despite efforts to protect forest land, legal deforestation is still rampant, and about a third of global tropical deforestation occurs in Brazil’s Amazon forest, amounting to 1.5 million hectares each year.

Gold Mining in the Amazon is On the Rise

Um dos fatos mais preocupantes sobre o desmatamento da floresta amazônica é que os projetos de mineração de ouro aumentaram em toda a região amazônica nos últimos anos, especialmente ao longo do Escudo das Guianas, à medida que o mercado global de ouro cresce constantemente. Os projetos de mineração ocorrem nas profundezas das florestas e degradam habitats cruciais, apresentando riscos significativos de contaminação da água por vazamentos tóxicos e erosão do solo. A atividade garimpeira costuma se espalhar para áreas protegidas, como Terras Indígenas e Unidades de Conservação. Estudos também descobriram que a mineração de ouro apresenta impactos prejudiciais à saúde da floresta e limita sua regeneração, onde se descobriu que as árvores da floresta têm uma capacidade menor de acumular carbono e custam cerca de 2 milhões de toneladas de carbono florestal.

Blue Macaw is One of the Many
Species Under Threat

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The Hyacinth Macaw, also known as the Blue Macaw, is native to the Amazon. But the species’ natural habitats and resources grow smaller and smaller every day with illegal logging, agricultural land clearing and urban development. Today, it exists only in small areas including central Pará, the epicentre of deforestation, which saw 203,460 hectares deforested in 2019. While the strikingly blue parrot is currently classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are at the precipice of becoming endangered.

Likewise, Milton’s Titi, an incredibly rare primate that was only first discovered in 2011, and can found only in a small area of lowland rainforest between the Roosevelt and Aripuanã River in the Amazon. As these monkeys cannot swim well or cross mountainous terrain, the live exclusively on treetops and can only remain in this specific area. Due to rising deforestation, the region lost 3,130 hectares of land in 2019, which could prove fatal for the survival of the species.

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Soybean Production is a Growing Threat

Soybean production is responsible for about 12% of global deforestation, which is mainly used as animal feed and to support the massive demand of meat production. Despite the rising popularity of soy milk, tofu and other soybean products, only 19% of soybean production goes into human food products. Brazil currently accounts for around one-third of global soybean production, where in 2018, the country produced 118 million tonnes of soy to support its massive meat production.

Deforestation Has Turned the Amazon Rainforest into a Carbon Source

The Amazon rainforest is a natural carbon sink and provides one of the greatest services for planet: absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Its ability to do so is crucial in our fight against the climate crisis. Yet as a result of persistent deforestation and a sharp increase of wildfires, the Amazon has been converted into a source of carbon, and is found to emit a greater amount of carbon dioxide than it is absorbing. Forest fires produce three times more carbon than the forests can absorb, thus creating a negative loop. The study also revealed that the forest emitted about a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, equal to the annual emissions released in Japan, the world’s fifth-biggest polluter.

More Than 100 Countries including Brazil Pledged to End Deforestation by 2030

At the COP26 UN climate summit, more than 100 countries committed to halting and reversing deforestation by 2030. And much to the surprise of many, Brazil – despite President Bolsonaro being notably absent at the conference – joined in the pledge. However, many environmentalists are skeptical about Bolsonaro’s commitment in light of his track record and disregard for environmental governance. Though there have been recent efforts to increase forest protection, including hiring 700 more environmental enforcement agents and the allocation of greater funding to the country’s environmental protection bodies, Brazil’s commitment to end deforestation remains to be seen.

Despite slower forest destruction rates throughout 2021, the vital goal set out by the Deforestation Pledge to end and reverse global deforestation by the end of the decade will be missed without urgent action, according to the recently published Forest Declaration Assessment.

Deforestation Rates Rose Sharply Under Bolsonaro Presidency

Um dos fatos mais surpreendentes sobre o desmatamento da floresta amazônica é que, desde que o presidente do Brasil, Jair Bolsonaro, assumiu o cargo em janeiro de 2019, as taxas de desmatamento dispararam para níveis recordes. De acordo com dados do governo brasileiro e do Imazon, uma ONG que rastreia de forma independente a destruição da floresta, o desmatamento é nitidamente maior sob o governo Bolsonaro do que em qualquer outro momento durante as duas presidências anteriores do Brasil.

O ex-militar de direita não tem escrúpulos em desmatar e defende abertamente a mineração e extração de madeira em territórios indígenas. Apesar de se manifestar contra o “desmatamento ilegal”, o governo Bolsonaro vem reduzindo os orçamentos para aplicação da lei, perdoando multas por desmatamento ilegal e revogando as leis que restringem o desmatamento. Em resposta à sua atitude imprudente sobre o desmatamento, várias queixas foram apresentadas contra Bolsonaro no Tribunal Penal Internacional, acusando-o de crimes contra a humanidade por seu ataque à Amazônia, minando os direitos indígenas e incitando incursões e violência por meio de pedidos de mineração e terras desenvolvimento.
A recente vitória do ex-presidente nas eleições presidenciais de 2022 no Brasil marca uma virada nas questões ambientais e desperta otimismo na luta contra as mudanças climáticas e no futuro da Amazônia.

Indigenous Communities are Key to Protecting the Rainforest

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Indigenous territories and communities play a big role in protecting the Amazon’s biodiversity and unlocking the carbon potential of forest trees and soil. Indigenous people not only have the incentives to protect their homes, but they have boundless knowledge of the lands and best practices for conservation efforts. Studies have found that Indigenous lands are effective buffers against deforestation and while other research saw providing Indigenous Peruvians with smartphones and satellite data has helped overall reduction of tree cover loss in the Amazon. But these efforts are under increasing threat as the current Brazilian government is pushing legislation through Congress that will make it harder for new Indigenous lands to be established and potentially allowing the government to repossess existing lands.

EU Looks to Ban Food Imports from Deforested Areas

Aqui está um dos poucos fatos encorajadores sobre o desmatamento da floresta amazônica: a UE está propondo a proibição de seis commodities agrícolas e alimentares ligadas a áreas de desmatamento para ajudar a proteger as florestas mais vulneráveis ​​do mundo, incluindo a Amazônia. Caso a legislação seja aprovada, as empresas europeias serão obrigadas a provar que os produtos que vendem não contribuíram para o desmatamento legal e ilegal ou para a degradação florestal.

Source:earth.org

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Biden-Xi Renewed Cooperation on Climate Change Brings Relief to COP27 Negotiators

US President Joe Biden and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping agreed on Monday to resume cooperation on climate change, offering a much-needed boost to downbeat COP27 negotiations.

The leaders of the world’s largest economies and biggest emitters of greenhouse gases met at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. It was the first in-person meeting since President Biden took office last year and the first time they spoke since Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial Taiwan visit earlier this year, which led to the suspension of the cooperation on climate change Beijing and Washington had agreed on at last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.

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Xi and Biden will “work together to address transnational challenges” – a White House readout of the meeting said. Climate change, global macroeconomic stability, and food security amid the conflict in Ukraine were cited as the most pressing global issues the two discussed.

News of the renewed long-stalled cooperation on climate change between China and the US brought relief to COP27 negotiators in Egypt, who were hoping the G20 meeting could lead to more cash and bold commitments in the fight against global warming. “This unequivocal signal from the two largest economies to work together to address the climate crisis is more than welcome, it’s essential,” said Manish Bapna, president and chief executive officer of the US non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

“There is no way in which we can address the climate challenge that we face without the co-operation of all G20 members and in particular without the co-operation of the two biggest economies, the United States and China,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said. “And I am very happy that the countries had a summit today.”

Speaking in Bali on Monday, Guterres urged G20 countries – responsible for 80% of global emissions – to accelerate the transition to clean energy and “provide governments of the Global South with investments and liquidity, and offer debt relief and restructuring.”

“Action – or inaction – by the G20 will determine whether every member of our human family has a chance to live sustainably and peacefully, on a healthy planet,” he added.

Source:earth.org

Brazil's Lula Aims to Reward Farmers With Cheap Credit for Curbing Carbon

Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is looking to increase the amount of cheap credit for farmers to spur environmentally friendly practices.
Lula’s plan for sustainable agriculture could be key for pressing global issues: it increases food production and protect forests at the same time.
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The new government’s transition team is working on a plan to give out more cheap credit and offer lower interest rates to producers that make environmental commitments, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Those could involve projects designed to curb carbon dioxide emissions, including efforts to integrate cattle and grains production onto the same land, and preservation of native vegetation beyond existing requirements.
The impact of such policies may ripple across global food supply chains and prove a boon for the environment. Brazil is the world’s biggest exporter of soybeans, beef, sugar and coffee, and ranks second for corn, making it a global powerhouse that feeds the world. The South American nation is also home to the Amazon rainforest, which is crucial for absorbing emissions and has suffered soaring deforestation in recent years.
“We don’t need to clear one meter of land to be the world’s largest food producer,” Lula said Wednesday in his speech during the COP27 summit in Egypt.
Source:bloomberg.com

Macron supports Lula's proposal to hold the COP in the Amazon

President of France says he is “totally” in favor of the 2025 Climate Conference being in the Amazon, as Lula suggested during COP27, and defends that Brazil participates in an “Amazon strategy”.
French President Emmanuel Macron supported this Thursday (11/17) the proposal by Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to hold the 2025 United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP) in the Amazon. “I would really like it if we could have a COP in the Amazon, so I fully support Lula’s initiative,” said Macron, traveling to Bangkok for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
“I support Brazil’s return to an Amazon strategy. We need that,” he added.
“France is an Indo-Pacific power and an Amazonian power. The biggest external border of France and Europe is our Guyana border with Brazil,” Macron said.
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Lula: opportunity for the world to get to know the Amazon.
During the COP27, currently being held in Egypt, Lula expressed this Wednesday his desire for the COP30 to be hosted by a state in the Amazon, an essential ecosystem for the balance of the global climate.
“We will be increasingly assertive in the face of the challenge of tackling climate change, in line with the commitments agreed in Paris and guided by the pursuit of decarbonizing the global economy,” Lula said, reaffirming that the conference would be the opportunity for the world to get to know this biome that your government promises to protect.
In his approximately half-hour speech, the president-elect repeated to the international audience his promise to place the fight against the climate crisis at the top of the agenda. The stressed message is that Brazil “is back” and that the international isolation caused by Jair Bolsonaro has come to an end.
Brazil should have hosted the COP25, in 2019, but the Bolsonaro government, then newly elected and in transition, withdrew the offer, citing budget constraints.
The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Laurence Boone, stated that Paris sees Brazil as an “essential partner in Latin America”.

Source:dw.com

Germany proposes climate cooperation with Brazil

German Minister of Development says that, with Lula, Brazil can abandon an economy based on deforestation and invites the next government to talk about partnership in the sectors of climate and energy.
The Minister of Development of Germany, Svenja Schulze, made this Wednesday (11/16) an invitation to the next Brazilian government, under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for talks on cooperation in the climate and energy sectors.
The social democrat explained that the objective is a “partnership that goes beyond the energy sector and addresses the socio-ecological restructuring of the economy as a whole”.
Schulze stated that, with Lula as president, Brazil will have the chance to put aside an economy based on forest destruction.
“The country has everything necessary for a prosperous and sustainable economy. Lula knows very well that the Amazon rainforest brings much more to the economy than deforestation,” said Schulze, on the sidelines of the current United Nations Conference on Changes Climate Change (COP27), in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
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“Development that enables more prosperity”
The German minister stated that Brazil can become a leader in sustainable agriculture and in the production of green hydrogen, which is obtained through renewable energies.
According to Schulze, the envisaged partnership covers all development policy instruments, including development banks.
“There is now an opportunity to jointly support a huge leap in development that will enable more prosperity for all, bring society back together and alleviate the climate,” said the German minister.
Source:dw.com

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