قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / World / Amazon Rainforest Fire: Why deforestation was so lucrative

Amazon Rainforest Fire: Why deforestation was so lucrative



The recent alarming fires in the Amazon rainforest have repeatedly raised concerns about how to protect something of value to the world but within the limits of a handful of countries.

This is a discussion that is now fraught with little quarrels. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Tuesday that he would reject a $ 20 million aid package from G7 countries to help fight a flood in the Amazon rainforest. He later said that we would accept the offer if French President Emmanuel Macron apologized for criticizing his handling of the fires.

Macron, in turn, demanded an apology for a comment by Bolsonaro in a Facebook post in which he mocked Macron's wife. "He said very disrespectful things about my wife," Macron said in a press conference. "I have great respect for the Brazilian people and can only hope that there will soon be a president to do the job."

Bolsonaro then said that he would accept the help if Brazil could decide how it should be spent. He has already used the military to help fight the flames.

This clash of egoists over a relatively small amount of money from some of the richest countries in the world is silly, especially given the stakes.

The dispute over aid also darkens one important point: despite international concern and pressure, the fate of the Amazon is mainly based on the political and economic forces on the ground. Although farmers, ranchers, miners and loggers have attached great importance to the deforestation of the rainforest, Brazil has laws to protect the jungle. The government has already used it to stem deforestation in the Amazon. The Brazilians will again need to exert public pressure to do it again.

The exploitation of the Amazon has proved immensely profitable.

The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world and about 60 percent of its 2.1 million square miles are in Brazil. It is a huge carbon storage and hosts the largest concentration of biodiversity on the planet. It plays an important role in the climate in the region and scientists are still learning how it affects the global climate system.

But in the past year, deforestation and fires have increased and reversed the years of decline. Several scientists are now alarming that the Amazon is nearing a dying scenario in which enough forest is lost to bring down the entire ecosystem.

Despite these risks, there is enormous economic pressure behind the flames. The vast majority of fires currently burning in the Amazon were fired by people working in the mining, logging and agriculture sectors. After a forest area has been cleared, farmers' fires are ignited by means of slash-and-burn techniques to bring nutrients into the ground for harvest. Others use fire to clear low-level vegetation and more easily access trees and soil. Fires are also used by illegal loggers and miners to evict indigenous peoples from their land.


Representatives of Kayapo, living in the heart of the indigenous territory of Capoto-Jarina in Brazil, met on 26 August 2019 on the sidelines of the Biarritz G7 summit with President Emmanuel Macron's recent fires in the Amazon rainforest.
Samuel Boivin / NurPhoto on Getty Images

One of the biggest drivers of deforestation is livestock. Brazil is now the world's largest beef exporter. In 2018, these exports generated $ 6.7 billion for the country's economy. Brazil is also the second largest soybean producer in the world. About 80 percent of soybean grown in the Amazon is used for animal feed. With China's recent tariffs on US soybeans, China has increased its appetite for soybeans from Brazil.

In the Amazon there are also gold, aluminum and oil deposits. Illegal mining has reached unprecedented levels, according to the Amazon Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information Network (RAISG), an environmental monitoring group. The demand for wood has also spurred illegal logging.

And the rate of forest destruction in the Amazon has increased since Bolsonaro took office last year. He campaigned for the use of the rainforest and won the recognition of the country's agricultural lobby. His government has drastically reduced the enforcement of environmental laws. According to the BBC, the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment has imposed nearly 30 percent fewer fines this year than in the same period last year.

Ricardo Salles, Bolsonaro's Minister of the Environment, was found guilty late last year of changing maps as part of an environmental program during his tenure as Environment Commissioner for the State of São Paulo.

The Brazilian Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating a decline in environmental protection for the rainforest. During its week, hundreds of government employees signed a public letter from Bolsonaro, saying that their policies to protect the Amazon were being undermined by its policies. "More than 15% of the national territory is demarcated as indigenous land and quilombolas [remote settlements founded by escaped slaves]. In these isolated places of Brazil there are less than a million people exploited and manipulated by NGOs, "he tweeted in January. "Together we will integrate these citizens and cherish all Brazilians."


Source link