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‘Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest’

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    13th Aug, 2019

There has been rapid increase in the deforestation in the Amazon forests of Brazil.

Context

There has been rapid increase in the deforestation in the Amazon forests of Brazil.

About

  • Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is increasing rapidly since January, when Jair Bolsonaro took office as President.
  • Satellite images show that about 4,200 sq km of forests have been destroyed up to now under the new government.
  • New government is in favour of “reasonable” exploitation of these forests which have emboldened illegal expansion into forest.
  • Armed gold-hunting gangs have reached tribal areas.

Significance of Amazon forests

  • Climate science data show that Amazon basin spreads across millions of hectares in multiple countries and thus play a larger environmental role along with economic gain.
  • It hosts massive sinks of sequestered carbon and the forests are a key factor in regulating monsoon systems.
  • It harbours rich biodiversity and about 400 known indigenous groups who have prevented commercial from overrunning the lands.
  • It’s called the “lungs of the planet” for its role in sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and adding fresh oxygen to it.

Way forward

  • Brazil must engage with the international community on meeting the opportunity cost of leaving the Amazon undisturbed.
  • It should seek higher funding for forest protection by various international organizations as globally there is a tremendous momentum to save Amazon forests.
  • It must welcome initiatives such as the billion-dollar Amazon Fund backed by Norway and Germany.
  • Remedial funding accounting for the value of environmental services is the most productive approach.

About Amazon rainforests

  • The Amazon is the world's biggest rainforest, larger than the next two largest rainforests — in the Congo Basin and Indonesia — combined.
  • The Amazon River is by far the world's largest river by volume.
  • The Amazon River once had flown west-ward instead of east-ward as it does today. The rise of the Andes caused it to flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • It is bounded by the Guiana Highlands to the north, the Andes Mountains to the west, the Brazilian central plateau to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

 

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