Amazon forest is the ‘Lungs of the world.’ Deforestation, this year, has been more than double the destruction caused last year. This year there is a rise of 108% compared to 2019 as per the data published by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
According to INPE updates on Amazon deforestation, more than 280 square kilometers of the forest is cleared. It’s the largest part cleared since 2015. Based on the data, in the years 2019 and 2018, 136 square kilometers and 183 square kilometers were cleared. In 2017, it was comparatively less, and the area cleared was 57 square kilometers. The data was gathered by INPE’S satellite DETER system. According to INPE Updates on Amazon, deforestation is still active.
The hike in the rates of deforestation occurred as a result of the environmental strategies of the Brazilian President JairBolsonaro.
Bolsonaro was in the headlines during August as he executed almost no plans to control the forest fire, which almost shook the world.
According to BBC reports, Bolsonaro condemned the environmental enforcement agency ‘Ibama’, for imposing immoderate fines for environmental issues. He also ousted the former president of INPE for magnifying the figures for deforestation. He also came up with a scheme by opening up the forest for mining, grazing, and hydroelectric power projects. Once it gets approval, then in a very short span of time, the Amazon forest will turn to a barren land.
The latest results depict that amazon deforestation has gone up to 30 percent in a year. It shows the largest rate of deforestation from 2008. The increase in the rates came simultaneously with the election results of Brazil in 2018. The right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro campaigned with the promises of opening the Amazon forest for the benefit of Brazilian people.
The Amazon Forest Fire, August 2019
While we talk about Amazon deforestation, an important element that shook the world requires attention. Smoke covered the Amazon rainforest in the month of August as fires stormed across the rainforest, harming the ‘Lungs of the planet’. Amazon rainforests are the homes for a wide range of flora and fauna. The forest had grabbed global attention, and many countries came forward to help to control the fire, but Bolsonaro refused all the helping hands.
Activists say that these fires were a sort of tool to cast away the indigenous people of the forest. The attacks against these ethnic groups have been high under the Bolsonaro government.
The fires are common during the dry season. However, critics say that President Bolsonaro’s strategical position resulted in mass destruction during the fire.
Beginning of Amazon Deforestation Activities
Amazon forests are the largest river basin on the planet. The biome is the home for many endemic species in the world. The deforestation rates are going up at an alarming rate.
The deforestation was initially the result of the farmers cutting down the trees for farming and cattle feeding. But by the 20th century, the rate of deforestation increased for industrial activities. By the mid-2000s, a vast area of land was cleared for mining purposes, cattle feeding, and/or construction of dams.
Brazil being the holders of two-thirds of the biome, is responsible for more than half of the deforestation.
Why INPE Updates on Amazon Deforestation Matter
Amazon forests are the largest tropical rainforests in the world. It ranges over 9 countries, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela covering more than five million square kilometers.
Amazon forests are the major carbon holders storing up to carbon worth for 100 years developed by human beings. They are a notable part of the world for reducing the speed of global warming. 20 percent of the forest is lost in less than a century. If the rate of deforestation goes up uncontrolled, within a few years, the massive rainforest will disappear.
According to a study published in the journal One Earth, within 30 years, the Amazon rainforest may turn to a dry, barren land. The annual rainfall of the ecosystem heavily depends on the evaporation in the woods. Climatologists and conservationists say that the cycle that helped the rainforest to sustain itself is under pressure, with the ecosystem undergoing struggles due to the global climate changes and deforestation. Another major catastrophe of recent times was the Australian bushfire of 2019, which destroyed more than 6.3 million hectares of land and caused the death of millions of animals and birds.
The transformation of the land to dried grasslands or barren land will not only affect its native ethnic groups but also the whole world. If the transition occurs, then it will have a greater influence on the global climate itself.
For detailed statistics, you may read another article here.