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The Plight Of The Amazon

© Klaus Thymann

Mr Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new president promised environmental protection should not hinder economic growth. He favours business over biodiversity and calls for pro-market ways of exploiting Brazil’s natural resources. One of his first moves were to transfer regulation of Indigenous lands in the Amazon rainforest to the Ministry of Agriculture, an agency known to favour development over sustainability and Indigenous rights.

This has raised the alarm bells Critics say this is a dangerous move. Many Brazilians worry it will lead to increased deforestation, weaken Amazon protections and give Indigenous people less control over their ancestral lands.

Klaus Thymann was travelling in the Amazon and photographed some of the pristine forest, a few places where deforestation was evident. Thymann also visited Humaita where IBAMA’s (Brazil’s Environmental Protection Agency) office was burned down in October 2017.

Amazon encompasses the single largest remaining tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon rainforest represents more than half of Earth's remaining rainforest and covers an area of 5.5 billion km2, about 60 percent of which is in Brazil.

The Amazon stores an estimated 150 billion to 200 billion tons of carbon.
The Amazon stores CO2 equivalent to all the world’s cars CO2 emissions combined.
Amazonian forests provide a variety of material products, such as timber, rubber, and Brazil nuts; these provisioning functions currently support local populations and also represent lost opportunities for sustainable use when areas are deforested.

Carbon loss from biomass and soil makes a significant contribution to global warming through emissions with each year’s deforestation. If deforestation was a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest emitter, The Amazon houses at least 10% of the world’s known biodiversity.

The Amazon is home to more than 30 million people living across a vast region subdivided into nine different national political systems 9%, or 2.7 million of the Amazon’s population is still made up of indigenous people 350 different ethnic groups more than 60 of which still remain largely isolated.

Half a century ago, the Amazon covered an area about the size of the lower 48 United States. Since then, more than 16 percent of that area has fallen to loggers, miners and land-grabbers. Direct human impacts like these have long defined the battle to save the rainforest

20% of the forest cover of the Brazilian Amazon removed over the past 40 years, already with marked effects on the climate

Between August 2017 and July 2018, deforestation increased by almost 14% with an area of 7,900 square kilometres (3,050 square miles) of forest cleared, according to the governmental institution of special investigations. "It's more or less one million football fields of deforestation in just one year," Marcio Astrini, the public policies coordinator for Greenpeace Brazil, told AFP. Brazil’s Amazon forest was originally the size of Western Europe, and the 784,666 km that had been deforested by 2016 is the size of France and the United Kingdom combined.

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