Rapid Deforestation in Brazil and Climate Change Implications

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Rapid Deforestation in Brazil and Climate Change Implications

The Economist magazine reports a worrying trend that is going on in Brazil currently. A revival in deforestation is happening because of aggressive deregulations, and lagging enforcement started in 2012.

It sped up in 2019 when a new president took office. This rapid deforestation will make Brazil’s emissions 10-20% higher compared to 2018.

There seems to be another reason for the fast clearing of their forest – cleared areas are being used for beef and soya been farming that supplies big company chains.

Trase, a research initiative by Global Canopy and Stockholm Environment Institute, both non-profit environmental organizations have analysed Brazil’s supply chains. It finds that the bulk of soya beans exports is from an area ruined by illegal deforestation and ends up in the lap of a few big companies. Beef production, however, is causing six-times more deforestation than soya does, the article says.

Corporate accountability is a problem that sets back the progress of climate change, according to the article.

Why is deforestation in the Amazon significant?

The Amazon rainforest absorbs 3% of global carbon emissions, and already a significant area the size of France has vanished since 1970. And almost all the deforestation activity that is happening in Brazil today is illegal the economist article says.

The Mato Grosso state where this lively deforestation is happening holds three large ecosystems, the Amazon rainforest, cerrado savannah and the Pantanal wetlands.

The article covers the ongoing deforestation in Brazil and identifies the firms and the amounts of beef and soya beans they are buying from the area, and where these supplies are ending up.

In another economist article, it explains how these large supply chains operate in the area and how they can stop deforestation.

These articles shed light on what is going on behind the illegal and rapid deforestation in the Amazon, the big food supply chain’s behaviour, and its lack of accountability to the environment, and how earnest some governments are in tackling the climate change issues.

Click on the links below to read these interesting articles:

Sources citations:

A study names firms that buy products from areas with deforestation. (2020, June 11). The Economist. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/06/11/a-study-names-firms-that-buy-products-from-areas-with-deforestation

How big beef and soya firms can stop deforestation. (2020, June 11). The Economist. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2020/06/11/how-big-beef-and-soya-firms-can-stop-deforestation

PHOTO CREDIT: By Ibama from Brasil – Operação Onda Verde, 2014, CC BY 2.0, Link

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