Brazilian rainforest under greater threat than ever

Brazil is suffering from serious political unrest. The current government might not be around for much longer. And the Brazilian Amazon is under greater threat than ever as a result of the turmoil. The forests provide a fifth of our planet’s oxygen but the country’s Congress is talking about removing existing legal protections in an area of forest extending to at least 600,000 hectares.

Deforestation is increasing again, wildfires are back

At the same time deforestation has increased by 30% in the past 12 months and as a result destructive wildfires are back again. It looks very much like the current situation could undo all the good Brazil has done over the last decade in record time. And it’s a tragedy in the making.

The American magazine Science has revealed how Brazil cut deforestation by 72% between 2004 and 2016. The latest reports say that between July 2015 and August 2016 loggers cleared almost 8000 square kilometres of Brazilian rainforest. At least half of Brazil’s CO2 emissions are as a result of deforestation. And many experts insist that Brazil must mend its wicked ways immediately before things get any worse.

The tipping point is closer than ever

There’s so much at stake. Figures reveal that if Amazonian deforestation tips over from 20% to 30% of the total forest, it could result in a horrific tipping point and lead to the whole forest turning into a dry savanna-like landscape in record time, which would have a profound impact on the world’s already-spiralling climate.

Not so long ago Brazil promised to cut its CO2 emissions by 43% by the year 2030. It just isn’t happening. In 2015 emissions grew by three and a half percent, say Brazil’s Climate Observatory NGO group. At the same time Brazilian politicians profess to be horrified by Donald Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement on his country’s behalf. It just doesn’t make sense.

A world-scale tragedy in the making

This is clearly madness. It’s one of the biggest threats to South America’s vital rainforests and it seems highly unlikely, right now, that Brazil is going to protect the forests it and every other living being on the planet depends on. And it’s all down to short term thinking and greed. Shame on you, Brazil.

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