August 21, 2017

Amazon rainforest destruction in Brazil shows big increase

The edge of the Amazon rainforest is only heading in one direction - receding. A bit like my hairline actually.

Data from Brazil’s Space Research Institute shows that deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has increased by almost six times, in a year.

New satellite images show deforestation has increased from 103 sq km in March and April 2010 to 593 sq km in the same period of 2011.

Most of the destruction has been in Mato Grosso state, which is the centre of soya farming in Brazil.

Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira says there is cause for alarm and has announced the setting up of a “crisis cabinet” in response to the news.

“Our objective is to reduce deforestation by July,” the minister told a news conference.

Analysts say the new figures have taken the government by surprise.

Last December, a government report said deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon had fallen to its lowest rate for 22 years. Why is it that ‘government’ reports always seem to paint a more positive picture
than independent ones?

The latest data has thrown a grenade into a heated debate in the lower house of Brazil’s Congress, on whether to ease an existing law on forest protection.

Observers expect the issue to be put before the Chamber of Deputies again this week.

Brazil’s Forest Code, enacted in 1934 and subsequently amended in 1965, sets out how much of his land a farmer can deforest.

Regulations currently require that 80% of a landholding in the Amazon remain forest, but that falls to 20% in other areas.

Supporters of change say the law impedes economic development and contend that Brazil must open more land for agriculture.

While opponents fear that in their current form some of the proposed changes might give farmers a form of amnesty for deforested land.

The changes were put forward by Aldo Rebelo, leader of Brazil’s Communist Party (PCdoB) and backed by a group in Congress known as the “ruralists” who want Brazil to develop its agribusiness sector.

‘Rebelo’ what a fabulous name for a Communist party leader.

Newswarped thinks this is a no-win situation for Brazil. Many of the industrialised nations cleared their forests years ago. Brazil would like to do the same but there is a lot of environmental pressure when you own one of the last major regions of forest left on the planet.

Perhaps the industrialised countries could offer financial inducements to Brazil to retain its rainforests. That may be too practical for them to cope with though.

Comments

  1. Please – this is so important – go to this site to sign a petition to the Brazilian government. International scrutiny is needed in support of the many Brazilian forest defenders who are trying to stop this destruction:

    http://lougold.blogspot.com/2011/05/urgent-amazon-forest-alert-events-are.html