Thursday, April 02, 2015

Brazil Deforestation

As I covered Brazil’s story of deforestation recently, I did not see until this story that a majority of the harvesting of the lumber is in fact through illegal means. Brazil for a long time was credited for its environmental sustainability, as it contained the amazon forest, but kept deforestation rates very low. Recently they have sky rocketed though, more than doubling within the past year. Between 2005 and 2010, Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions sunk 39 percent primarily from burning mainly the basin of the forest. It is said that this clearing is mostly to make way for pastures for cattle. In a report done by Greenpeace, they blame the weak and corrupt government set in the country. Also they said that about 78 percent of the logging done in the Para state was illegal, which was made done by giving clean documentation to illegally harvested timber. Although there have been some clear stopping of illegal deforestation in Para as seen through the arresting of Ezequiel Antonio Castanha. He is allegedly responsible for up to 10 percent of the illegal deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon. The farmers are also people who really want the forests clear, as it would make more room for them to grow their crops. Dilma Rousseff, who was elected president, originally stated a no tolerance for deforestation, but later partnered with a coalition of wealthy farmers and agribusinesses and persuaded her to rewrite the country’s land-use laws.
Fearnside, a scientist trying to aid the Amazon along with others, blame the major cutting on the Forest Act of 2012 which took away major protection for the Amazon and gave amnesty to people who have broken the law before 2008.
Rita Mesquita, a senior researcher of Brazil’s National Institute for Research in the Amazon, stated that if the rate of deforestation keeps going like this, then even the mightiness of the Amazon would be gone in 30 or 40 years. This could not be anymore true, as forests are cut down way quicker than they come up. Carbon dioxide levels will skyrocket as well. Overall, if the government does not crack down more on this deforestation problem, their ecosystem will change in ways that most people there do not see.

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