Deforestation in the region, along with the climate, threaten people, wildlife and freshwater supplies.
Brazilian President-elect Luis Inacio Lula da Silva was greeted with applause and cheers during his address at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, November 16, 2022.
Lula promised to stop the rampant deforestation in the Amazon, which was encouraged by his predecessor Jair Bolsanaro, as he did during the campaign.
Forests play a key role in slowing climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide, and the Amazon rainforest absorbs a quarter of the CO2 absorbed by all land on Earth. These articles from The Conversation’s archives explore stress on the Amazon and its indigenous groups.
1. Huge loss
The Amazon rainforest is vast, covering approximately 2.3 million square miles (6 million square kilometers). It spans eight countries, about 60% of which are in Brazil. And the destruction that occurs there is also enormous.
Between 2010 and 2019, the Amazon lost 24,000 square miles (62,000 square kilometers) of forest. That’s the equivalent of about 10.3 million football fields in the United States. Much of this land has been converted to cattle ranches, farms and palm oil plantations.
“There are several reasons why this deforestation is important: economic, environmental and social,” writes Liberty Vittert, a data scientist at Washington University in St. explains why it chose Amazon deforestation as its 10-year international statistic. .
Deforestation in the region, along with the climate, threaten people, wildlife and freshwater supplies. “Farmers, commercial groups and others looking for cheap land all have a clear vested interest in future deforestation, but the long-term losses clearly outweigh the short-term gains. ‘, concludes Wittart.
2. Legalization of land acquisition
Much of the Amazon has been under state control for decades. In the 1970s, Brazil’s military government began encouraging farmers and miners to move to the region to boost economic development.
More recently, however, the Brazilian government has made it easier for the wealthy to seize vast tracts of land, including reserves and indigenous territories.
Geographers Gabriel Cardoso Carrero, Cynthia S. Simmons, and Robert T. Walker of the University of Florida reviewed domestic law and land tenure and found that even before Bolsonaro was elected in 2019, Brazil’s National Congress was enforcing private land laws in the Amazon. I found that it is increasing in size.
Deforestation rates began to pick up in 2012 in Amazonas South, Amazonia’s most active deforestation frontier, as regulatory oversight eased. After Bolsonaro took office, the number and size of clearings researchers identified using satellite data increased.
“Policy interventions and the greening of agricultural supply chains have led to deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon declining since 2005, reaching a low point in 2012 and trending upward again due to weakening environmental governance and reduced oversight.” “In our view, the Amazon’s supply chain for beef and soybean products, by arguing that it originated from land that was long ago logged and whose legality has persisted for many years, has been challenged internationally,” they observed. I think society can help.”
3. Indigenous Resistance
Road construction in the Amazon increased dramatically during Bolsonaro’s tenure, posing threats to natural areas such as development and associated wildfires. University of Richmond geographer David Salisbury also saw it as an existential threat to indigenous communities.
Indigenous peoples in the border areas of Brazil and Peru, where Salisbury worked, said that “the loggers and their tractors and chainsaws could allow coca growers, land traffickers and others to access traditional indigenous territories and resources.” We understand that it is a sharp point to ensure that the “They also recognize that indigenous communities may be the only ones protecting forests and deterring invaders and road builders.”
In Brazil’s recent elections, several indigenous women won seats in Congress, and Lula pledged to defend the rights of indigenous peoples. It was important to ensure that they received the support and educational opportunities they needed to empower them to thrive and protect their rainforests.
4. Five Drivers of Global Deforestation: Beef, Soybeans, Palm Oil, Timber, and Crime
A handful of highly lucrative commodities are the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon and other tropical regions around the world. In Brazil, much of the land has been cleared for beef cattle and soybean cultivation.
In Indonesia and Malaysia, palm oil production is fueling massive rainforest destruction. Pulp and paper products and wood production for fuel are also major drivers in Asia and Africa.
“Making the supply chains for these four commodities more sustainable is an important strategy for reducing deforestation,” writes geographer Jennifer Devine of Texas State University. But Devine also discovered a fifth factor woven into these he four industries. It’s organized crime.
“Large and lucrative industries offer opportunities for money transfers and money laundering. As a result, drug trafficking is driving deforestation in many parts of the world,” she reported. . For example, in the Amazon, drug traffickers illegally cut down forests and hide cocaine in timber shipments to Europe.
“Promoting sustainable production and consumption is essential to halting deforestation around the world. However, in my view, national and industry leaders should avoid organized crime and illegal markets from these commodity chains. should also be eradicated,” concludes Devine.
I wrote this articleSenior Environmental and Energy Editor of The Conversation, republished under a Creative Commons license. Please read the original article.